IBN BARZEL, JOSEPH (12th century), Hebrew physician and poet. Ibn Barzel was a member of a well-known Spanish-Jewish family, but he was not considered in his time a very good writer. His contemporary, moses ibn ezra , does not mention him among the best poets of the epoch. He is mentioned in a letter of judah halevi to his friend halfon ben nethanel (published by Goitein and Gil Fleischer) as someone who was very close to him. He is also mentioned in the 13th century, together with Solomon ibn Almu'allim and Joseph ibn Ẓaddik , by Judah al-Ḥarizi (Taḥkemoni 3) who describes his poetry as outstanding: "iron penned smooth, spiced song iron-strong." The extant fragments of Ibn Barzel's poems, found among the Cambridge genizah fragments and in a manuscript of the E. Adler Collection, reveal talent, and – even those composed in accordance with conventional poetic forms – also originality. Schirmann published the preserved part of two panegyrics with a strophic structure as well as a short reshut in which God proclaims the liberation of Israel. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Schirmann, in: YMḤSI, 2 (1936), 175–8; Schirmann, Sefarad, 1 (19592), 566–8; Goitein, in: Tarbiz, 25 (1956), 402, 409–10; J.M. Millás Vallicrosa, Escrituras mozárabes de hebreos toledanos (1930), 35; Al-Ḥarizi, Tahkemoni, ed. by A. Kaminka (1899), 39, line 13 (cf. 475), and 42, line 12; Schirmann-Fleischer, The History of Hebrew Poetry in Muslim Spain (1995), 518–21 (Heb.); M. Gil and E. Fleischer, Yehuda ha-Levi and His Circle (2001), 324–26 (Heb.). (Angel Sáenz-Badillos (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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