CASPI, SAUL (c. 1600), Provençal Hebrew poet; lived in Carpentras. In addition to individual poems which have been included in the rites of Avignon and Carpentras, there is a complete manuscript collection, consisting of 44 secular and religious poems by him, together with 24 pieces in rhymed prose (Ms. Leghorn 117). Among these poems, some of which are written in metric form, are hymns for the various holidays, a paraphrase of the Book of Esther, kabbalistic pieces, fables, riddles, epithalamia, and others. Particularly noteworthy are the poems written on the occasion of the marriage of Judah Leon to Esther, daughter of Joshua Leon and of Gad (Astruguet) de Meyrargues to Caspi's sister, Regina, in 1599. The latter poem was published by C. Bernheimer, together with an admonition to the study of theology and two texts in rhymed prose. The Columbia University Library, New York, possesses manuscripts, containing several of Caspi's piyyutim composed in two languages (Hebrew and Provençal).
Zunz, Gesch, 475; Zunz, Poesie, 358; Luzzatto, in: Oẓar Tov, 3 (1880), 66; Gross, Gal Jud, 70; Bernheimer, in: REJ, 66 (1913), 104–10; idem, in: Vessillo Israelitico, 63 (1915), 114–7; idem, Catalogue des manuscrits… de Livourne (1914), 61, no. 117; Belleli, in: Vessillo Israelitico, 63 (1915), 57–65; Davidson, Oẓar, 4 (1933), 465.
[Jefim (Hayyim) Schirmann]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.