Judah Halevi was born in Spain, either in Toledo or Tudela, in 1075 or 1086, and died shortly after arriving in the Holy Land in 1141, at that point the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
22 Facts About Judah Halevi
Convention suggests that Judah ben Shmuel Halevi was born in Toledo, Spain in 1075.
Judah Halevi often described himself as coming from Christian territory.
Judah Halevi did compose a short elegy on the death of Isaac Alfasi, the head of the academy.
Judah Halevi was educated in traditional Jewish scholarship, in Arabic literature, and in the Greek sciences and philosophy that were available in Arabic.
Judah Halevi's verse is distinguished by special attention to acoustic effect and wit.
Judah Halevi then went to Cairo, where he visited several dignitaries, including the Nagid of Egypt, Samuel ben Hanania, and his friend Halfon ben Nathaniel Halevi.
Legend has it that Judah Halevi was killed by an Arab horseman as he arrived in Jerusalem, with the first account found within a Hebrew miscellany published around 450 years after Judah Halevi's presumed death.
The life-work of Judah Halevi was devoted to poetry and philosophy.
Manuscripts give some grounds for believing that Judah Halevi himself divided his oeuvre into sacred and profane poetry.
In Cordoba, Judah Halevi addressed a touching farewell poem to Joseph ibn Zaddik, the philosopher and poet.
Judah Halevi's poetry includes verses relating to his vocational work as a physician.
Judah Halevi is noted as the most prolific composer of Hebrew riddles, with a corpus of at least sixty-seven riddles, some of which survive in his own hand, and even in draft form, though only a few have been translated into English.
Judah Halevi's riddles are mostly short, monorhyme compositions on concrete subjects such as everyday artefacts, animals and plants, or a name or word; one example is the following:.
Judah Halevi lived during the First Crusade and other wars.
Judah Halevi's attachment to the Jewish people is an equally significant theme: he identifies his sufferings and hopes with that of the broader group.
Judah Halevi believed that perfect Jewish life was possible only in the Land of Israel.
The vision of the night, in which this was revealed to him, remained indeed but a dream; yet Judah Halevi never lost faith in the eventual deliverance of Israel, and in "the eternity" of his people.
Judah Halevi used complicated Arabic meters in his poems, with much good taste.
That Judah Halevi felt them to be out of place, and that he opposed their use at the very time when they were in vogue, plainly shows his desire for a national Jewish art; independent in form, as well as in matter.
Judah Halevi was recognized by his contemporaries as "the great Jewish national poet", and in succeeding generations, by all the great scholars and writers in Israel.
Ike al-Ghazali, Judah Halevi endeavored to liberate religion from the bondage of the various philosophical systems in which it had been held by his predecessors, Saadia Gaon, David ibn Merwan al-Mukkamas, Solomon ibn Gabirol, and Bahya ibn Paquda.