Obadiah the Proselyte

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Obadiah the Proselyte (born Johannes son of Dreux around 1070 in Oppido Lucano) was a Catholic priest[citation needed] or a Norman-Italian baronet[citation needed] who converted to Judaism in 1102.[1][2] It was common practice for proselytes to choose the name "Obadiah" because of the tradition that Obadiah the prophet was an Edomite converted to Judaism.[3]

His reasons are not entirely clear.[4] It is believed he had been inspired by the Jewish people during the First Crusade and archbishop Andreas of Bari who had converted to Judaism. His understanding of the Bible may have also played a role.[5]

He is known for recording medieval Jewish chant in Gregorian notation.[6] There is a dispute whether this Gregorian melody used is of Jewish origin or of non-Jewish origin.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Norman Golb, Obadiah the Proselyte: Scribe of a Unique Twelfth-Century Hebrew Manuscript Containing Lombardic Neumes, in The Journal of Religion, vol. 45 no. 2 (Apr., 1965) p. 155
  2. ^ http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/112385/jewish/Ovadiah-the-Ger.htm
  3. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed 2001), art. Obadiah the Proselyte
  4. ^ University of Chicago magazine
  5. ^ University of Calgary
  6. ^ Norman Golb,Obadiah the Proselyte: Scribe of a Unique Twelfth-Century Hebrew Manuscript Containing Lombardic Neumes, in The Journal of Religion, vol. 45 no. 2 (Apr., 1965) pp.153-56.
  7. ^ See Norman Golb, The Music of Obadiah the Proselyte and his Conversion, Journal of Jewish Studies, 18, 1-4 (1967) pp. 43-63 where he discusses the various theories and offers his own.