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Critical Edition of the Piyyutim of Eleazar be-rabbi Qallir. Dr Michael Rand

The liturgical poet (payyetan) Eleazar be-rabbi Qillir flourished in Byzantine Palestine in the early 7th century, a short while before the Muslim conquest of the area. His enormous poetic oeuvre, produced for performance within the context of the now-defunct Palestinian liturgical rite, has been preserved in the rite-books (siddurimmaḥzorim) of various European Jewish liturgical rites—primarily those of Italy, Franco-Germany, and the Byzantine lands—as well in hundreds of fragments from the medieval manuscript cache known as the Cairo Genizah. The Qillirian corpus, characterized by remarkable artistry and virtuoso use of the Hebrew language, served a lynchpin for the development of medieval Jewish liturgy, and its collection, collation and critical edition has been a major desideratum. The present project, in which I am engaged with Professor Shulamit Elizur of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, aims to produce such an edition. The first volume, containing the piyyutim for Rosh Hashana, was published in 2014, and the second volume, piyytim for Yom Kippur, is currently in preparation.