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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Saadia B. Joseph Bekor Shor

Alleged son of Joseph Bekor Shor, and reputed anthor of a frequently published poem on the number of letters in the Bible. This poem is mentioned in a Masoretic work written in the fourteenth century in southern Arabia, and is there attributed to the gaon Saadia b. Joseph (Derenbourg, "Manuel du Lecteur," p. 139). Shem-Ṭob b. Gaon, a cabalistic writer of the fourteenth century, also speaks of the gaon Saadia as its author (Munk, "Notice sur Aboulwalid," p. 42). The same assertion is made by Elias Levita in the appendix to his "Masoret ha-Masoret" (ed. Ginsburg, p. 289). In a work which appeared in 1629-31 ("Ta'alumot Ḥokmah," by Samuel Aschkenasi), Saadia b. Bekor Shor is for the first time mentioned as the author of the poem, instead of Saadia b. Joseph. From this, Zunz ("Z. G." p. 75) and Dukes ("Beiträge," 2:75) concluded that Saadia, the author of the Masoretic poem, was the son of Bekor Shor, the well-known exegete. Steinschneider also adopts this theory ("Cat. Bodl." col. 2225). In no other place, however, is there found the slightest trace of the existence of a Saadia ben Joseph Bekor Shor. On the other hand, there is no tenable argument against the tradition that the gaon Saadia b. Joseph was the author of the poem. It would be best, therefore, to strike "Saadia b. Joseph Bekor Shor" from the list of Jewish authors (compare Derenbourg, "Manuel du Lecteur," pp. 234-241).

L. G.
W. B.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Saadia B. Joseph Bekor Shor'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/s/saadia-b-joseph-bekor-shor.html. 1901.

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