Yehuda Halevi

po_halevi-yehudaYehuda Halevi (also Judah Halevi or ha-Levi; and Judah ben Shmuel Halevi; c. 1075 – 1141) was a Spanish Jewish physician, poet and philosopher.

Halevi was born in Spain, either in Toledo or Tudela, in 1075 or 1086, and died shortly after arriving in Israel in 1141. Halevi is considered one of the greatest Hebrew poets, celebrated both for his religious and secular poems, many of which appear in present-day liturgy. His greatest philosophical work was The Kuzari.

TIS A FEARFUL THING
Yehuda HaLevi

‘Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch.
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be –
to be,
And oh, to lose.
A thing for fools, this,
And a holy thing,
a holy thing
to love.
For your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word was gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
‘Tis a human thing, love,
a holy thing, to love
what death has touched.