||Added t.p.: "Tachkemoni"; Mekamen oder Divan von Jehuda ben Salomo Al-Charisi... Nach genauer Durchsicht und moeglichst correcter Laeuterung des Textes und der Punctation, herausgegeben von M. E. Stern...
Classic poetry, apart from its literary merit and brilliant, incisive style, the Tahkemoni also throws valuable light on the state of Hebrew culture of the period, and describes the scholars and leaders of the communities visited by the author.
Al-Harizi gives vivid descriptions of the worthies of Toledo, the poets of Thebes, a debate between a Rabbanite and a Karaite, and conditions in Jerusalem. The Tahkemoni also contains critical evaluations of earlier and contemporary poets, although Al-Harizi's appraisal of his contemporaries is not always reliable and occasionally misses their most essential features. The book includes love ditties, fables, proverbs, riddles, and satirical sketches, such as the descriptions of a flea and a defense by a rooster about to be slaughtered.
Al-Harizi's prominence is due both to his light, entertaining, and allusive style, and to the variety of his subject matter. His descriptions of nature are more realistic than those generally found in other Spanish Hebrew poets, with a feeling for the rural life and the animal world. He described storms at sea and, with the exception of R. Samuel ha-Nagid, was the only medieval Hebrew poet to describe battle scenes. Al-Harizi wrote in Hebrew at a time when most Jewish men of letters wrote in Arabic.