Crimean Karaite Translation Of A Hebrew Drama Melukhat Sha’ul As An Example Of Rabbinic Lierature’s Influence On Literary Activity Of The Crimean Karaites
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Crimean Karaite handwritten books called mejumas contain a variety of Karaite literature written in Turkic. In the present day knowledge concerning this topic is more profound thanks to the first two critical editions of mejumas which were published recently. Both works present a wide range of Crimean Karaite folklore texts intertwined with literary texts which were also common to other Turkic-speaking nations living in the Crimea. Contents of a manuscript called the mejuma of Samuel Kohen shed a new light on this still not sufficiently examined field of study. Its scope differs from heretofore published mejumas as it contains a Turkic translation of a play entitled Melukhat Sha’ul. This particular manuscript, No. VI-3/22, was written in the Crimea in the second half of the nineteenth century, namely in 1876 or less probably in 1875. The above mentioned play occupies almost the entire book, which is quite peculiar in the light of previously published mejumas. They comprised literary works of wide range of themes and contents and were by no means coherent. In the case of the manuscript of Samuel Kohen I had an opportunity to analyze a text which was uniform in the terms of style, theme and language. The aim of this article is to present the most important aspects of the Crimean Karaite translation of a Hebrew drama Melukhat Sha’ul. For this purpose, a profile of author of the translation is portrayed and a description of the most important features of the play is provided. Moreover, a short fragment of the play is enclosed, namely a song performed by witches of Endor, together with its Hebrew original version and translation into English.
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