||Ten chapters from the literary work Tahkemoni comprised of rhymed prose and verse by the poet and translator R. Judah ben Solomon Al-Harizi (c. 1165–c. 1234), edited from ms. with extensive notes by Saul Isaac Kaempf. Tahkemoni (the Wise One, Samuel II 23:8), completed after 1220, is written as a maqama, that is, a combination of rhymed prose and verse. Biblical verses and allusions are juxtaposed with the adventures described in the books chapters, each dealing with a different episode or subject. The unity of Tahkemoni is provided by a single narrator, Heman the Ezrahite, who repeatedly encounters the hero, Heber the Kenite. Heber is presented as a scholarly rogue, as well as a physician, preacher, poet, and astrologer. This wide ranging work contains prayers, fables, ditties, riddles, and satire. This edition, which reads from left to right, has a German title page, Zehn Makamen aus dem Tachkemoni oder Diwan des Charisi ... wie auch mit Beilagen biographischen und literarhistorischen Inhalts vermehrt. The text is in square vocalized Hebrew letters with an intorduction, detailed notes, and addenda in German.
R. Judah ben Solomon Al-Harizi (c. 1165–c. 1234). Born in Spain to an affluent family that lost its wealth, Al-Harizi found it necessary to support himself by his writing, depending upon the beneficence of patrons, whom he praises and to whom he dedicates his works. Al-Harizi wandered extensively, from about 1190, first in Provence and then in Egypt, Erez Israel, Syria, and present day Iraq, returning to Spain in about 1230 via Greece. His first important literary endeavor was the translation into Hebrew of the maqama (Mahbarot Iti’el) of the Arab poet Al-Hariri. His motivation in writing Tahkemoni was to show the excellence of Hebrew.
Saul Isaac Kaempf, (1818–1892), rabbi and orientalist. Kaempf, who was born at Lissa (Leszno), Poznania, was a disciple of R. Akiva Eger there. He later studied at the University of Halle where he was a student of Gesenius. In 1845 he became a preacher in Prague and in 1858 professor of Semitics at the University of Prague. His works include the two-volume Nichtandalusische Poesie andalusischer Dichter aus dem 11., 12. und 13. Jahrhundert (2 vols., 1858), an important pioneering contribution to the study of Hebrew poetry; a biography of R. Akiva Eger with a eulogy at his death (1838); Mamtik Sod (1861), a defense of Z. Frankel's Darkhei ha-Mishnah against S. R. Hirsch (1861); popular German translations of the mahzor (1854) and of the siddur (1874), both following the rite of his temple in Prague (1874); Das Ruehmen Moab's, oder die Inschrift auf dem Denkmal Mesa's (1870); and collections of sermons and poetry.