Hai (or Haja) Bar-sherira
Hai (or Haja) bar-Sherira a Jewish rabbi, was born in 969 and died in 1035. He was the last gaon of Pumbaditha (q.v.), and was distinguished both for his personal virtues, and for an erudition which rendered him the most accomplished Jewish scholar of his time. He was a voluminous writer, and his works may be classified under the following heads: a. Talmudical; b. Exegetical; c. Poetical; d. Cabalistic; and e. Miscellaneous. Passing over his Talmudical works, we mention his פֵּרוּשׁ עִל ת8נ8, or commentary on the Scriptures, not extant, but cited by some of the later commentators, as Ibn-Ezra, David Kimchi, and others. Sefer ham-measeph, ס8 המאסŠ, originally called el Chdvi, i.e., "the gathering," arranged alphabetically after the manner of many Arabic dictionaries, where the order is regulated by the last adical letter (e.g. רעד under daleth). In this dictionary, written in Arabic, which extended to the Biblical Chaldee also, the language of the Mishna, as well as a comparison of the Arabic, and sometimes even of the old Persian, was applied to the explanation of Hebrew words, as may be seen from the quotations of Ibn-Balaam (in his commentary on Numbers and Deuteronomy, preserved in Oxford, and where the dictionary of Haja is expressly called el-Chavi, as in Tanchium on Jg 8:16), Ibn-Ezra (De 32:39; Isa 46:8; Am 1:15; Ps 58:10;
Job 4:15; Job 6:10; Job 13:27; Job 21:32), David Kimchi (in his Book of Roots, also in his commentary on Isa 5:5; Isa 35:10; Jer 12:6; Eze 19:10), Rashi (on Jg 4:19; Ho 3:4), and others. This dictionary, as well as several other treatises, is not extant. Of his poetical works, we mention Musar haskel, השכל מוסר, also שערי מוסר, an exposition of the Pentateuch in Arabic verse (Constantinople, 1511; Latin transl. by Mercier, Paris, 1561; and Seidel, Leipsic, 1638); Shema Koli (שמע קולי), i.e., "Hear my voice," in the Spanish Ritual. See Rapaport, Biography of Hai, in Bikkura hattim, 10:79-95; 11:90-92; Steinschneider, Jewish Literature, page 78, 125; and Catalogus Libr. Hebr. in Biblioth. Bodl. (1026-30); Furst, Bibl. Jud. 1:355-358; De' Rossi, Dizionario Storico (Germ. transl.), page 120 sq.; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden, 6:6-13; Geiger, Jud. Zeitschrift (1862), page 206-217, 312-314; Nascher, Hai Gaon (Breslau, 1867). (B.P.).