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Translations of Rabbinic Sources into Arabic

(1,469 words)

Author(s): Ofra Tirosh-Becker
Numerous Judeo-Arabic translations of the Bible were composed throughout the centuries. These include pre-Saʿadian translations extant in fragments from the Cairo Geniza, Saʿadya Gaon’s monumental Bible translation known as the Tafsīr, Bible translations composed by early Karaite scholars (see Karaism), the later shurūḥ (sing. sharḥ ) that were transmitted in many Jewish communities in the Muslim world, and more. By contrast, translations of rabbinic sources into Arabic are much less common.Manuscript fragments with translations of sections from the Mishna have b…

Transcribed Hebrew texts

(687 words)

Author(s): Ofra Tirosh-Becker
The Karaites in the tenth and eleventh centuries often used Arabic script for their Judeo-Arabic writings, unlike their Rabbanite rivals, who used Hebrew script for Judeo-Arabic compositions (with very few exceptions). The earliest evidence for Karaite Judeo-Arabic manuscripts written in …

Algerian Judeo-Arabic

(4,707 words)

Author(s): Ofra Tirosh-Becker
Algerian Judeo-Arabic, spoken and written by Algerian Jews, is part of the sedentary Maghrebi Neo-Judeo-Arabic dialect ensemble, that are classified either as pre-Hilālī or non-Hilālī urban Arabic dialects. Various levels of dialectal differences between Jewish and Muslim dialects are documented throughout the Arabic-speaking world. In some cases, the differences between these dialects are major. This is the case in Oran (Wahrān) and some smaller Algerian towns near the capital Algiers, where th…

Jeshua ben Judah (Abū ʾl-Faraj Furqān ibn Asad)

(674 words)

Author(s): Ofra Tirosh-Becker
Jeshua ben Judah (also known as Abū ʾl-Faraj Furqān ibn Asad) was one of the most renowned Karaite scholars in eleventh-century Jerusalem. An outstanding Karaite philosopher and Bible exegete who flourished circa 1040-1060, he was a student of Levi ben Japheth, Yūsuf al-Baṣīr, and Abū ʾl-Faraj Hārūn.Following his mentor Yūsuf al-Baṣīr, Jeshua became a prominent exponent of the Jewish kalām (scholastic theology), which was influenced by the Baṣran school of the Muʿtazila. The philosophical work of al-Baṣīr and Jeshua became the recognized theology of Karaism for …