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Let Me Flee for Help . . . Israel as “I” and the Teqi‘ot of Yose ben Yose

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The representation of Israel in the first-person singular (as an “I”) occurs sporadically in early liturgical poetry. This article examines the unusually complex use of this technique in the teqi‘ot liturgy of Yose b. Yose. Close analysis of Yose’s teqi‘ot situates his use of the collective first-person singular at the nexus of an array of performative elements, i.e., elements that construct the poems as performances, situated in space and time, and vis-à-vis an audience. The article contextualizes Yose’s achievement against the backdrop of the teqi‘ot of Yose’s predecessors and contemporaries, and those of his great successor, Qillir.


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