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New “Yehuda Halevi” bio captures poetry of the 12th century

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/books/article/new_yehuda_halevi_bio_captures_poetry_of_the_12th_century_20100408

“Hopeless romantic” would probably be the last description on your mind were you to conjure the image of a twelfth-century rabbi. But Hillel Halkin’s “Yehuda Halevi” (2010, Schocken Books, 368 pgs.), the latest in Schocken’s “Jewish Encounters” series, provides just that image. And what a beautiful portrait it is, of a deeply religious man enthralled with poetic expression and esthetics, who spent his life enriching Jewish thought and literature with his inspiring poetry and philosophy. One of the reasons why Rabbi Yehuda Halevi remains such a fascination through the ages is that he is an inspiration to those Jews who view their religious lives as much more than just doing things by the Book.

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