Judah Ha-Levi (ca. 1075-1141)
Also Judah Halevi.
Spanish Jewish rabbi who was also a physician, a poet, an astronomer, a mathematician, and a celebrated Hebrew theologian and mystic.
Born in Toledo, Spain, Ha-Levi studied at Alfasi's academy in Lucena, where he received an intense Hebrew education, and became an Arabic literature scholar.
Ha-Levi also wrote songs, national, secular and religious; he expounded and defended Judaism in his chief philosophical work, 'Sefer ha-Kazuri'.
Ha-Levi seemed to have had some conception of elementary spirits, for of the angels he said that "some are created for the time being, out of the subtle elements of matter."
An extraordinarily talented poet, Ha-Levi achieved his entry into Andalusian literary society as a young man and quickly earned the friendship and admiration of Moses Ibn Ezra, the famous Jewish Spanish philosopher, linguist, and poet.
As an adult, Ha-Levi devoted his professional efforts to medicine, yet found time to function as a communal leader and engage in scholarship. In all these endeavors he was greatly esteemed.
Yet the mature Ha-Levi became alienated from the social and intellectual elite of the Jewish Andalusia, and resolved to "leave behind all the good things of Spain" for the spiritual regeneration promised by "the dust of the ruined Shrine." Reflexes of this decision are found in his poetry, correspondence and his works of religious thought.
For generations Judah Ha-Levi's life has captured the imagination of scholars and layman alike. The dramatic appeal of his story lies in Ha-Levi's renunciation, towards the end of his life, of fame and fortune in favor of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
See Between Mysticism and Philosophy: Sufi Language of Religious Experience in Judah Ha-Levi's Kuzari (Suny Series in Jewish Philosophy), Philosopher and Prophet: Judah Halevi, the Kuzari, and the Evolution of His Thought (Suny Series in Judaica), Selected Poems of Jehudah Halevi (The Jewish People: History, Religion, Literature), The Kuzari: In Defense of the Despised Faith, Divination, Acutomancy, Agalmatomancy, Coscinomancy, Cleidomancy, Augur, Stoichomancy, Dowsing, Tarot, Heptameron, Demonology, Sortilege, Idolomancy, Demonomancy, Tephramancy, Anemoscopy, Eromancy, Austromancy, Chaomancy, Roadomancy, Capnomancy, Pyromancy, Meteormancy, Ceraunoscopy, Zoomancy, Felidomancy, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Chakra Store, The Tarot Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: (1) Cohen, Abraham, Everyman's Talmud: The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages, Schocken; (2) Scholem, Gershom, On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead; Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah, Schocken; (3) Walker, Charles, The Encyclopedia of the Occult, Random House Value; (4) Scharfstein, Sol and Gelabert, Dorcas, Understanding Jewish History, Ktav Pub Inc.
| || |