Apr 18 2008

Judah Halevi – Lord, Where Shall I Find You?

Published by at 7:42 am under Poetry

Lord, Where Shall I Find You?
by Judah Halevi

English version by T. Carmi

Lord, where shall I find You? Your
place is lofty and secret. And where
shall I not find You? The whole earth is
full of Your glory!

You are found in man’s innermost
heart, yet You fixed earth’s boundaries.
You are a strong tower for those who
are near, and the trust of those who are
far. You are enthroned on the cherubim,
yet You dwell in the heights of heaven.
You are praised by Your hosts,
but even their praise is not worthy of
You. The sphere of heaven cannot
contain You; how much less the
chambers of the Temple!

Even when You rise above Your hosts
on a throne, high and exalted, You are
nearer to them than their own bodies
and souls. Their mouths attest that they
have no Maker except You. Who shall
not fear You? All bear the yoke of Your
kingdom. And who shall not call to You?
It is You who give them their food.

I have sought to come near You, I have
called to You with all my heart; and
when I went out towards You, I found
You coming towards me. I look upon
Your wondrous power and awe. Who
can say that he has not seen You? The
heavens and their legions proclaim
Your dread — without a sound.

— from The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse, Edited by T. Carmi

/ Photo by Nicholas_T /

And where
shall I not find You? The whole earth is
full of Your glory!

Something by the Jewish poet Judah Halevi in honor of the beginning of Passover…

when I went out towards You, I found
You coming towards me…

Judah Halevi

Spain (1075? – 1141) Timeline

Judah (or Yehuda) Halevi was a great Jewish poet, philosopher and court physician who lived in southern Spain/Al-Andalus during the period when the region was a world center of science, philosophy, and mysticism under the Muslim Moors.

Many of Halevi’s poems were about the mystical yearning of the Jewish people and their memory of an ancient homeland in Palestine, earning him the epithet “Sweet Singer of Zion.”

He is also well known for writing the Kuzari (also known as The Book of Argument and Proof in Defense of the Despised Faith), a philosophical treatise written in the form of a dialog between the king of the Khazars and exponents of various belief systems in which the king ultimately chooses to convert to Judaism.

Judah Halevi died traveling to Palestine.

More poetry by Judah Halevi

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Judah Halevi – Lord, Where Shall I Find You?”

  1. […] – See more at: http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/blog/2008/04/18/judah-halevi-lord-where-shall-i-find-you/#sthash.EIt… […]

  2. Rabbi Eli Mallonon 09 Oct 2014 at 1:59 pm

    A post that combines the truth that G-d is everywhere, as Rabbi Yehudah Ha-Levi wrote, with waving the lulav (palm branch) on Sukkot (“Tabernacles”): rabbielimallon.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/10-9-14-a-lulav-meditation/

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