Question: "Youtube has a rousing and exquisite version" of the piyyut Yaarat Dvash יערת דבש with Moshe Haboucha singing and playing the oud. This piyyut is so compelling, I would like to find more information about it, and its author Israel Najara.
Detailed information about this piyyut is available in Hebrew on the outstanding "Invitation to Piyut" website. It provides the piyut text, photos of the text from a manuscript and early printings, word-by-word commentary on the text, short essays on its meaning and poetic art, and a biography of Najara. Click the MELODIES and MORE RENDITIONS buttons to hear 10 different recordings of this piyyut in the Algerian, Babylonian [Iraqi] and Moroccan traditions. Click on NOTES to retrieve the score of the melody in the Babylonian tradition. A background article on the poetry and piyutim of the Babylonian Jewish community is also available.
The Thesaurus of Jewish Music, from the Hebrew University, provides links to a series of biographical articles about Najara in English, and web-based recordings of other Najara piyyutim .
Many Hebrew articles about Najara and his writings are listed in RAMBI, by searching for נגארה as the subject.