The Song of the Distant Dove: Judah Halevi's Pilgrimage by Raymond P. Scheindlin

By Raymond P. Scheindlin

Judah Halevi (ca. 1075-1141) is the easiest identified and such a lot cherished of medieval Hebrew poets, in part due to his passionate poems of eager for the Land of Israel and in part end result of the legend of his demise as a martyr whereas reciting his Ode to Zion on the gates of Jerusalem. He was once additionally one of many most well known theologians of medieval Judaism, having written a treatise at the that means of Judaism that remains studied and honored by way of conventional Jews.

As a member of the rich Jewish elite of medieval Spain, Halevi loved the cloth pleasures on hand to the higher periods. along his sacred poetry, he wrote verses approximately younger romance, wine songs, and odes to his acquaintances. In midlife, Halevi became extra heavily to faith, finally forsaking his kinfolk and group with hopes of finishing his existence as a pilgrim within the land of Israel.

Miraculously, a couple of letters in Arabic have been found approximately fifty years in the past, a few written by means of Halevi, a few written to Halevi, and but others written approximately Halevi by means of his pals in Egypt. those letters safeguard a shiny checklist of Halevi's travels as a pilgrim and of the final months of his existence. Raymond Scheindlin has written the 1st book-length therapy of Halevi's pilgrimage in any language. He tells the tale of Halevi's trip via choices from those revealing resources and explores its which means via discussions of his stirring poetry, provided right here in new verse translations with complete commentary.

In Hebrew verse of remarkable good looks, Halevi salutes the Holy Land; he argues with pals approximately his intentions; he units out his delusion of crossing the sea, of strolling the hills and valleys of the Land of Israel, and of demise and mingling his bones with its soil and stones. He even confides his mystery fears and uncertainties, his eager for his kin, and his worry of loss of life at sea. together with his consummate ability as a translator of Hebrew poetry and his mastery of Judeo-Arabic tradition, Scheindlin offers clean insights into the literary, spiritual, and old points of Halevi's beautiful poetry and fateful journey.

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