Yehudah HaLevi

(1075 - 1141 / Andulusia)

Biography of Yehudah HaLevi

Yehudah HaLevi poet

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 contained within." It has been translated into Hebrew, Ladino, English, French, German, and several other languages.

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PoemHunter.com Updates

Hymn for Atonement Day

Lord, Your humble servants hear,
Suppliant now before You,
Our Father, from Your children's plea
Turn not, we implore You!

Lord, Your people, sore oppressed,
From the depths implore You;
Our Father, let us not, this day,
Cry in vain before You.

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