Yehudah HaLevi

(1075 - 1141 / Andulusia)

Yehudah HaLevi
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Yehudah ha-Levi is one of the best-known Spanish Jewish poets. Born in Toledo when it was still under Islamic rule, he became a prolific writer of both Arabic and Hebrew poetry. His writing touches on themes such as love, friendship, religious devotion, hope, wisdom, and sorrow.

Ha-Levi's most famous work is The Kuzari, comprised of 5 essays written between 1120 and 1140. The Kuzari tells how the king of the Khazars decided to adopt Judaism after consulting with apologists for the Christian, Islamic, and Judaic religions. According to Rabbi Eliyahu (the "Gaon") of Vilna, The Kuzari is "holy and pure, and the fundamentals of Israel's faith and the Torah are ... more »

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Best Poem of Yehudah HaLevi

Marriage Song

Fair is my dove, my loved one,
None can with her compare:
Yea, comely as Jerusalem,
Like unto Tirzah fair.

Shall she in tents unstable
A wanderer abide,
While in my heart awaits her
A dwelling deep and wide?

The magic of her beauty
Has stolen my heart away:
Not Egypt's wise enchanters
Held half such wondrous sway.

Even as the changing opal
In varying luster glows,
Her face at every moment
New charms and sweetness shows.

White lilies and red roses
There blossom on one stem:
Her lips of crimson berries ...

Read the full of Marriage Song

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