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The Chafetz Project -
Yad Charuzim

    Yad Charuzim (יד חרוזים) (or Handbook of Rhymes), by Gershom Chafetz, is a Hebrew rhyme lexicon.

    Published Editions

    • First edition (Venice, 1700)
      readable online - hebrewbooks.org: here and here
    • Second edition (Venice, 1740)
      without appendix and eulogy, with additional notes by Simchah Calimani
      readable online - hebrewbooks.org

    Book Details

    • Published by Moshe Chafetz after Gershom's death at age 17
    • Twelve rules for Hebrew usage in poetry and rhyme scheme
    • Introduction, by Moshe Chafetz, with Gershom's biography (first edition only; JTS Library copy doesn't have intro, but three other scanned copies have it)
    • Appendix with a poetic version of Rambam's enumeration of the 613 mitzvot (first edition only)
    • Eulogy by Solomon ben Isaac Nizza, Gershom's teacher (appendix, first edition only)
    • Simchah Calimani's second edition "additional notes" appear to be additional word entries scattered throughout, as opposed to an additional section or such
    • 72 pages (each represents two facing pages) plus the Rambam's 613 appendix
    • Sample page (PDF)

    Online Citations

    The Jewish Quarterly Review, Volume 1 (1910? 1941?)

    From Chapter III - Poets of the Seventeenth Century (p.370)

    "The scope of Hebrew poetry has also enlarged. While we find... at the end of the century the brilliant young son of Moses b. Gerson, Gentile (Hefez) (1663-1711) Gerson, who died in 1700 at the age of seventeen, busying himself with giving poetic form to the 613 Commandments (Shir Le-Taryag Mizwot), the theme of the poets of this period bears a closer relation to life, and its tone is more worldly. Even Gerson Hefez shows in his Yad Haruzim (Venice 1700) which is a dictionary of rimes, a fine appreciation of poetry and poetic forms, and the octave he quotes from his father is elegant and finished... The bulk of the poetry of the seventeenth century is philosophical, didactic, and polemic rather than religious. True poetic feeling is beginning to manifest itself."

    Some information repurposed from Encyclopedia Judaica

    (Title page, Yad Charuzim)

    The Chafetz Project

    I have photocopies and microfilm of Yad Charuzim, obtained from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

    I am slowly translating it into English. I seek original copies.

    Got Information?

    Any information about this book or Moshe Chafetz is greatly appreciated; in particular, available copies or existing translations.

    Contact me at djbrook@sbcglobal.net.

    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.