The Poetry and Prose of Yehudah ha-Levi

Yehudah ha-Levi (lived c. 1080-1141) was one of the greatest Spanish Jewish poets. He was born in Toledo, Spain while it was still under Islamic rule. He was a prolific writer of both Arabic and Hebrew poetry. He was also a physician and a philosopher. His writings are very diverse and cover such topics as love, friendship, religious devotion, hope, wisdom, and sorrow.

RELIGIOUS POEMS BY HA-LEVI:

  • "O My Lord, Your Dwelling Places Are Lovely"
  • The Seventh Day
  • Hymn for Atonement Day
  • Sabbath, My Love

    POEMS OF SORROW BY HA-LEVI:

  • A Longing to Return to the Land of Israel
  • In Remembrance of Jerusalem
  • On Parting with Moses ibn Ezra

    LOVE POEMS BY HA-LEVI:

  • Marriage Song
  • "My Sweetheart's Dainty Lips..."
  • The Mirror
  • He Comes
  • A Love Song
  • Awake, My Fair

    HUMOROUS POEMS BY HA-LEVI:

  • The Grey Hair

    POEMS ON THE PURSUIT OF WISDOM BY HA-LEVI:

  • Fortune's Treachery
  • Time-Servers

    POEMS ABOUT HA-LEVI'S JOURNEY TO ISRAEL:

  • To Mount Abarim
  • My Soul Longed for the Place of Assembly
  • On the Sea

    CLASSIC PROSE BY HA-LEVI:
    Ha-Levi's most famous work is The Kuzari, which is comprised of 5 essays and was 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. The Jewish rabbi presented many persuasive arguments, and so the Khazar king decided to be circumcised and officially convert. 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." The Kuzari is popular worldwide and has been translated into Hebrew, Ladino, English, French, German, and several other languages.

  • The Kuzari's References to the Khazar Conversion to Judaism
  • A New 1998 Translation of The Kuzari by Rabbi Korobkin
  • Philosopher and Prophet: Judah Halevi, by Yochanan Silman
  • Cover Page of 1880 Warsaw Edition of The Kuzari
  • Cover Page of 1796 Vienna Edition of The Kuzari

  • This page has been online since April 12, 1998
    Last updated January 9, 1999

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