Commentary

[in chronological order]

Wine and Poetry by Hillel Halkin

- Hillel Halkin, "Wine and Poetry: The Young Yehuda Halevi," Sephardic Horizons, vol. 3, issue 1, Winter/Spring 2013.    
Hillel Halkin, one of the leading contemporary writers on Jewish poetry and the biographer of Halevi, discusses Halevi’s youthful poetry in this article in Sephardic Horizons. Excerpt: “It happened in Andalusia, in the Muslim-ruled south of Spain.… More

Yehuda Halevi by Hillel Halkin

- Hillel Halkin, Yehuda Halevi, Schocken, 2010.  
Hillel Halkin’s long-awaited biography of Halevi does not disappoint. A wonderful work that captures both the heroism and profundity in Halevi’s life and thought. From the Publisher: A masterly biography of Yehuda Halevi, one of the greatest of… More

Yehuda Halevi: Poetry and Pilgrimage

- Joseph Yahalom, Yehuda Halevi: Poetry and Pilgrimage, trans. Gabriel Levin, Magnes Press, 2009.  
From the Publisher: “This book follows the life story of the greatest Hebrew poet of medieval times from his first publication in Christian Toledo to his heroic journey toward Zion from Muslim Spain. The description is based, for the first time, on the… More

The Song of the Distant Dove: Judah Halevi’s Pilgrimage

- Raymond P. Scheindlin, The Song of the Distant Dove: Judah Halevi’s Pilgrimage, Oxford Press, 2008.  
From the Publisher: “Judah Halevi (ca. 1075-1141) is the best known and most beloved of medieval Hebrew poets, partly because of his passionate poems of longing for the Land of Israel and partly because of the legend of his death as a martyr while… More

“Judah Halevi and Karaism”

- Daniel J. Lasker, “Judah Halevi and Karaism,” From Judah Hadassi to Elijah Bashyatchi, Brill Books, 2008, pp. 141-154.  

The Law of God by Rémi Brague

- Rémi Brague, The Law of God: The Philosophical History of an Idea, trans. L. G. Cochrane, University of Chicago Press, 2007.  
Brague’s masterful interpretation of the concept of the “divine law” in intellectual history sheds important light on Halevi. From the Publisher: The law of God: these words conjure an image of Moses breaking the tablets at Mount Sinai, but… More

“Ittisal and the Amir Ilahi: Divine Immanence and the World to Come in the Kuzari”

- Diana Lobel, “Ittisal and the Amir Ilahi: Divine Immanence and the World to Come in the Kuzari,” Esoteric and Exoteric Aspects in Judeo-Arabic Culture, eds. Benjamin H. Hary and Haggai Ben Shammai, Brill, 2006, pp. 131–173.  
From the Publisher: “This volume represents the interdisciplinary nature of Judeo-Arabic studies. There are articles on Jewish thought, philosophy and mysticism, language and linguistics, religious studies, intellectual and social history, law, biblical… More

“Taste and See That the Lord is Good: Halevi’s God Revisited”

- Diana Lobel, “Taste and See That the Lord is Good: Halevi's God Revisited,” Be’erot Yitzhaq: Studies in Memory of Isadore Twersky, ed. Jay M. Harris, Harvard University Press, 2005, pp. 161–178.  
From the Publisher: “Professor Isadore Twersky was one of the giants of the field of Jewish Studies. Among his many accomplishments was the supervision of over thirty-five dissertations in Jewish Studies, ranging chronologically from the tenth century… More

Judah Halevi and His Circle of Jewish Poets in Granada

- Ann Brener, Judah Halevi and His Circle of Jewish Poets in Granada, Brill-Styx, 2005.  
From the Publisher: “Perhaps the greatest Hebrew poet since biblical times, Judah Halevi (ca. 1075-1141) is best-known for his “Songs of Zion,” written late in life. But when Halevi first appeared on the stage of history, he was just a young… More

“Who Has Implanted Within Us Eternal Life: Judah Halevi on Immortality and the Afterlife”

- Barry S. Kogan, “Who Has Implanted Within Us Eternal Life: Judah Halevi on Immortality and the Afterlife,” Judaism and Modernity: The Religious Philosophy of David Hartman, ed. Jonathan W. Malino, Ashgate, 2004, pp. 445–463.
From the Publisher: “In the past quarter-century, David Hartman has established himself as one of the pre-eminent religious and Jewish thinkers of our age. Refusing to be limited by the traditional focus on metaphysics and theology, Hartman has… More

“Judah Halevi and His Use of Philosophy in the Kuzari”

- Barry S. Kogan, “Judah Halevi and His Use of Philosophy in the Kuzari,” The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Jewish Philosophy, ed. Daniel H. Frank and Oliver Leaman,  Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 111–135.
From the Publisher: “Influenced originally by Islamic theological speculation, classical philosophers and Christian Scholasticism of the Middle Ages, Jewish thinkers living in Islamic and Christian lands philosophized about Judaism from the ninth to… More

“Al-Ghazali and Halevi on Philosophy and the Philosophers”

- Barry S. Kogan, “Al-Ghazali and Halevi on Philosophy and the Philosophers,” Medieval Philosophy and the Classical Tradition, ed. John Inglis, Curzon, 2002, pp. 64–80.  
From the Publisher: “An initial chapter on the history of Islamic philosophy sets the stage for sixteen articles on issues across the three traditions. The goal is to see the Islamic tradition in its own richness and complexity as the context of most… More

Ninety-Two Poems and Hymns of Yehuda Halevi

- Franz Rosenzweig, Ninety-Two Poems and Hymns of Yehuda Halevi, trans. Thomas Kovach, Eva Jospe and Gilya Gerda Schmidt, ed. Richard A. Cohen, State University of New York Press, 2000.  
From the Publisher: “This is the first publication in English of Franz Rosenzweig’s 1927 translation of and commentaries on ninety-two poems and hymns of the greatest medieval “singer of Zion,” Yehuda Halevi (born circa 1080). Franz… More

Between Mysticism and Philosophy: Sufi Language of Religious Experience in Judah Ha-Levi’s Kuzari

- Diana Lobel, Between Mysticism and Philosophy: Sufi Language of Religious Experience in Judah Ha-Levi's Kuzari, State University of New York Press, 2000.  
From the Publisher: “A revealing study of this important medieval Jewish poet and his relation to Islamic thought. Judah Ha-Levi (1075-1141), a medieval Jewish poet, mystic, and sophisticated critic of the rationalistic tradition in Judaism, is the… More

“Judah Halevi”

- Lenn E. Goodman, “Judah Halevi,” History of Jewish Philosophy, ed. Daniel H. Frank and Oliver Leaman, Rutledge, 1997, pp. 188–227.  
From the Publisher: “Jewish philosophy is often presented as an addendum to Jewish religion rather than as a rich and varied tradition in its own right, but the History of Jewish Philosophy explores the entire scope and variety of Jewish philosophy… More

Philosopher and Prophet: Judah Halevi, the Kuzari, and the Evolution of His Thought

- Yochanan Silman, Philosopher and Prophet: Judah Halevi, the Kuzari, and the Evolution of His Thought, trans. L. J. Schramm, State University of New York Press, 1995.  
From the Publisher: “This book is the first to describe the development of Halevi’s thought with a view to reaching a better understanding of its inherent systematic difficulties, as well as enabling identification of the various strata of the… More

“Religion, Philosophy and Morality: How Leo Strauss Read Judah Halevi’s Kuzari”

- Kenneth Hart Green, “Religion, Philosophy and Morality: How Leo Strauss Read Judah Halevi’s Kuzari,Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 61, No. 2 (1993), pp. 225-273.  
Excerpt: “IT IS A CURIOUS thing about reading Leo Strauss’s monograph “The Law of Reason in the Kuzari” that one may be misled not only by its method and apparatus but also by the topic and discussion, and believe it to be just… More

“Toward a New Understanding of Judah Halevi’s Kuzari”

- Michael S. Berger, “Toward a New Understanding of Judah Halevi's Kuzari,” Journal of Religion 72 (1992), pp. 210–228.
Excerpt: “Judah Halevi, a noted poet, philosopher, and physician of medieval Spanish Jewry, continues to be of both scholarly and lay interest. His poetry, included in the liturgy of severalJewish communities, still inspires readers in its simplicity… More

“Merkavah Traditions in the Philosophic Garb: Judah Halevi Reconsidered”

- Elliot R. Wolfson, “Merkavah Traditions in the Philosophic Garb: Judah Halevi Reconsidered,” Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 57 (1991), pp. 172–242 .  
Excerpt: “It is generally agreed that the twelfth century was a critical time when both philosophy and mysticism began to have a greater impact on the intellectual development of Jews living in central Europe. On the one hand, ancient Jewish mystical… More

“Proselyte Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the Thought of Judah Halevi”

- Daniel J. Lasker, “Proselyte Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the Thought of Judah Halevi,” The Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 81, No. 1-2, 1990, pp. 75-92  
Abstract: “The incongruous details included in Judah Halevi’s account of the conversion of the king of the Khazars lead to the conclusion that Halevi saw proselyte Judaism as having a different status than that of “native-born”… More

“Judah Halevi: Poet Laureate, Religious Thinker, Communal Leader, Physician”

- S. D. Goitein, “Judah Halevi: Poet Laureate, Religious Thinker, Communal Leader, Physician,” A Mediterranean SocietyVol. 5: The Individual, University of California Press, 1988, pp. 448–468.  
From the Publisher: “This six-volume “portrait of a Mediterranean personality” is a composite portrait of the individuals who wrote the personal letters, contracts, and all other manuscript fragments that found their way into the Cairo… More

“Judah Halevi”

- Colette Sirat, “Judah Halevi,” A History of Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, 1985, pp. 113–131.  
From the Publisher: “This book surveys the vast body of medieval Jewish philosophy, devoting ample discussion to major figures such as Saadiah Gaon, Maimonides, Abraham Ibn Ezra, Judah Halevi, Abraham Ibn Daoud, and Gersonides, as well as presenting the… More

“On Halevi’s Kuzari as a Platonic Dialogue” by Aryeh Motzkin

- Aryeh L. Motzkin, “On Halevi's Kuzari as a Platonic Dialogue,” Interpretation 9, 1 (1980), pp. 111–124.  
The late Aryeh Motzkin discusses how and why Halevi’s work should be interpreted. Excerpt: Since the Kuzari is a dialogue, the first question that needs to be resolved is the mutual relations of the views of the Haver, the Jewish rabbi who is the main… More

“Maimonides and Hallevi: A Study in Typical Jewish Attitudes Towards Greek Philosophy in the Middle Ages”

- Elliot R. Wolfson,  “Maimonides and Hallevi: A Study in Typical Jewish Attitudes Towards Greek Philosophy in the Middle Ages,” Studies in the History of Philosophy and Religion, Vol. 2, eds. Isadore Twersky and George H. Williams (ed.), Harvard University Press, 1977, pp. 120–160.  
From the Publisher: “Readers familiar with the luminous scholarly contributions of Harry Austryn Wolfson will welcome this rich collection of essays that have been previously published in widely dispersed journals and books, The articles range over… More

“Hallevi and Maimonides on Prophecy”

- Elliot R. Wolfson, “Hallevi and Maimonides on Prophecy,” Studies in the History of Philosophy and Religion, Vol. 2, eds. Isadore Twersky and George H. Williams, Harvard University Press, 1977, pp. 60–119.  
From the Publisher: “Readers familiar with the luminous scholarly contributions of Harry Austryn Wolfson will welcome this rich collection of essays that have been previously published in widely dispersed journals and books, The articles range over… More

“Hallevi and Maimonides on Design, Chance, and Necessity”

- Elliot R. Wolfson, “Hallevi and Maimonides on Design, Chance, and Necessity,” Studies in the History of Philosophy and Religion, Vol. 2, eds. Isadore Twersky and George H. Williams, Harvard University Press, 1977, pp. 1–59.  
From the Publisher: “Readers familiar with the luminous scholarly contributions of Harry Austryn Wolfson will welcome this rich collection of essays that have been previously published in widely dispersed journals and books, The articles range over… More

“Judah Halevi”

- Julius Guttman, “Judah Halevi,” Philosophies of Judaism, trans. D. W. Silverman, Jewish Publication Society, 1964, pp. 120–133.  

“Judah Halevi” by Isaac Husik

- Isaac Husik, “Judah Halevi,” A History of Medieval Jewish Philosophy, Jewish Publication Society, 1944, pp. 150–183.  
From the Publisher: “A noted scholar elucidates the distinguishing characteristics of the works of several Jewish thinkers of the Middle Ages. In addition to summaries of the main arguments and teachings of Moses Maimonides, Isaac Israeli, Judah… More

“The Law of Reason in the Kuzari” by Leo Strauss

- Leo Strauss, “The Law of Reason in the Kuzari,” Persecution and the Art of Writing, University of Chicago Press, 1988. [Essay originally published in 1943].  
Leo Strauss’ most significant statement on Judah Halevi, this essay appeared independently in 1943. It subsequently reappeared as a chapter in Strauss’ book Persecution and the Art of Writing. Strauss uses the essay to interpret Halevi as well as… More