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orion ShirShabb and other parallel texts
I am studying the archaic features recognizable in the Beta Israel (Falasha)
liturgical calendar. There are, to my opinion, several ones which may go
back to the 2nd Temple period Jewish calendars. One text from those
that I have to take into account is _The Liturgy of the Seventh Sabbath_.
In some recent studies (especially, by Rachel Elior in JSQ 4 (1997) 217-267 and
by Christopher Morray-Jones in his forthcoming SBL Seminar paper)
the parallels between ShirShabb and some Hekhalot texts were considered.
_The Liturgy of the 7th S._ is another text close to both ShirShabb and
Hekhalot, but far less studied. I would like to attract your attention to this
text and to hear any comments on the possible links between it and the
liturgical texts and liturgies of the 2nd Temple period.
I shall quote from Monica S. Devens, _The Liturgy of the Seventh Sabbath.
A Beta Israel (Falashas) Text. Introd., Critical Ed., and Translation_
Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verl., 1995 (Aethiopische Forschungen, Bd. 38).
Devens uses here the word "liturgy" to translate an Ethiopic word *Salot*
having the literal meaning "prayer" which is, in turn, a very common,
throughout the Christian Orient, term for "service" in general. This liturgy
is appropriated to the Feast of the Sabbath of Sabbaths (that is, the
49th = 7 x 7 Sabbath of the year) occuring, according to this text, at
4th Sabbath of the 5th lunar month (or, according to some other sources,
at 3th Sabbath of the same month). The liturgy is obviously connected
with 7-pentecontad structure of the liturgical year, known also from the
Temple Scroll, some recensions of the Slavonic Apocalypse of Baruch
(which is somewhat different from the Greek 3 Baruch), some early
Christian calendars, especially Nestorian one. It is very likely, that the
calendar of the ShirShabb implies such a
structure as well. The origins of the Beta Israel themselves (to whom belonges
the text) are obscure, but their links with the Axumite Jewish communities'
traditions (at least, through the Ethiopian Christianity) are quite possible.
1/ A fragment close to the Hekhalot and Merkavah traditions (p. 162):
Hallelujah, His seat is on high, Amen.
Hallelujah, Iyyor <the name of a heaven> is His dwelling place, Amen.
Hallelujah, Saner <the name of another heaven> is His sanctuary,