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Judah Halevi: Poet and Pilgrim

Hosted By: Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS)

In the summer of 1141, Judah Halevi, a distinguished doctor, poet, and religious thinker sailed from his homeland, Spain, for the Holy Land, leaving behind his family, his medical practice, and his position as a distinguished leader of the Jewish community. Although little is known of his life before the pilgrimage, we can trace his journey in detail thanks to letters preserved in the Cairo Geniza. More importantly, we can follow Halevi’s inner religious journey through the stirring poems that he composed in anticipation of and during the voyage. 

In this session with Dr. Raymond Scheindlin, we will touch on both the external and internal journeys by drawing on the letters and the poems, all in translations by Dr. Scheindlin. 

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