By Uriel Simon
Uriel Simon describes the interesting controversy that raged from the 10th to the 12th centuries in regards to the theological prestige and literary style of the Psalms. Saadiah Gaon, who initiated the debate, claimed that the Psalter was once a moment Torah-the Lord's observe to David-and not at all man's prayer to God.
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Extra info for Four Approaches to the Book of Psalms: From Saadiah Gaon to Abraham Ibn Ezra
Amnon Shiloach (oral communication), there is no historical evidence for the former possibility, while Saadiah himself praises the blending of various rhythmic modes as the quintessence of musical excellence (Beliefs. 10: 18; p. 402). Moreover. , the artisti~ transition from one rhythmic mode to another. 47 The next two performance instructions are also presented as a pair of contraries, referring to the relative pitch of the notes, a topic also anchored in Arabic musical theory (see Epistle. p.
Numerous] 'alban;54 what is [to be said] in a raised voice [should not be said in a lower voice and the low] ered should not be said in a raised voice; thus too the other ['afban shall not be] changed. If someone does change them he has sinned, [as] emerges from the verse 'For the ordinance was by the Lord through His prophets' (2 Chron. 29:25). " The first sentence of the third condition-the instrumental-is badly preserved in the Genizah fragment, and roughly six lines are missing from there to the continuation in MS Munich.
S5 Saadiah called his long commentary to Proverbs "The Quest for Wisdom" (Proverbs, p. 22); the extended introduction is devoted primarily to bridging between this name-which refers to the purpose of the biblical book-and the name "Proverbs"-which refers to its literary form. Here too the question of the frequent use of concretion appears, and here too his answer is that the style has to be adapted to the needs and limitations of the readers: "For them, sense perception is more accessible and simpler than reason ....