Giving a Diamond
edited by Wout van Bekkum and Naoya Katsumata
This volume contains fifteen essays in honor of Professor Joseph Yahalom who served as a lecturer at the Hebrew University from 1974 until he became full professor in 1985. The completion of his Warburg price awarded thesis in 1973 marked the start of a long and successful academic career in both Hebrew and Jewish studies, with much emphasis on poetry and poetics. Yahalom’s continuing interest in and research on ancient Piyyut led to a number of editions of Hebrew and Aramaic texts as well as to studies on the early Palestinian vocalization system and the language of Piyyut based on the Genizah findings. In 1983, Yahalom was elected a member of the Academy of the Hebrew Language. In 2003, he received the Yizhak Ben-Zvi award for his lifetime study of Jewish history and Hebrew literature. Yahalom’s research on Hebrew medieval liturgical poetry focused on a period of roughly one thousand years, from the days of early Byzantium until the final days of Jewish presence on the Iberian Peninsula and the Sephardic diaspora. His bibliography testifies to his expertise of understanding Hebrew verse, laying much emphasis on the interaction between the Jewish and surrounding cultures, which concur with Yahalom’s overall convictions and views about Jewish literature in context.