Themes and variations: Yannai on exodus 3:1 and Deuteronomy 6:4
Piyyutim-Hebrew liturgical poems-are, with increasing frequency, being recognized as important sources for understanding Jewish culture in Late Antiquity and the history of Jewish biblical interpretation. The length of these poems, however, has meant that passages from these works are presented selectively, as excerpts, with the result that their complex and sophisticated compositional elements are obscured. This article presents annotated translations of two full piyyutim by one of the early masters, Yannai (sixth century, Galilee)-the qedushta'ot embellishing Exodus 3:1 and Deuteronomy 6:4-in order to demonstrate the macro-level rhetorical features of these poems and to suggest how these works can be approached from literary, liturgical, and exegetical perspectives. © 2010 by Prooftexts Ltd.
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