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15 HIS GROWING SELF AWARENESS:

EnglishHebrew
by Joseph Yahalom
15 HIS GROWING SELF AWARENESS: ZIONWARD In Halevi’s poem “ My Heart is in the East ( 321),” written with the vow of abstinence in mind in regard to his longings for Zion, Halevi asks, rhetorically, how he can possibly taste any food, and how delight his palate when he is as far from Zion as the east is from the west, or the spirit from matter. According to the wordplay deployed by Halevi – “ h ˙ evel” with the letter h ˙ et: meaning “ region”/“ khevel,” with the letter khaf: meaning “ chain of bondage” – the Land of Israel is in the region of the distant Christian territory while he himself is fettered to Islam. It is just as easy for him to abandon worldly pleasures in Andalusia as it is precious and vital that he behold the remains of the ruined temple: · « ¯ ¡ ÚΔÈ CÈ≈‡ ¿ Â Ï « Î…‡ ¯ ΔL ¬ ‡ ˙ Δ‡ ‰ » Ó ¬ Ú ¿ ËΔ‡ CÈ≈‡ / · » ¯ ¬ Ú « Ó ÛBÒ ¿ a ȃ΅  » ‡ ¿  Á » ¯ ¿ ÊƒÓ ¿ a ȃaƒÏ · » ¯ ¬ Ú ÏΔ · ΔÎ ¿ a ȃ  ¿ ‡ «  ÌB„¡‡ ÏΔ · ΔÁ ¿ a ÔBiƒ ˆ / „ BÚ ¿ a È « ¯ » Ò¡‡ ΔÂ È « ¯ » „ ¿  Ì≈ l « L ¬ ‡ ‰ » ÎÈ≈‡ · » ¯ ¡ ÁΔ  ¯ ȃ · ¿ c ˙ B ¯ ¿ Ù « Ú ˙ B‡ ¿ ¯ ¯ « ˜ ≈ È / BÓ ¿ k „ « ¯ » Ù ¿ Ò · eË Ï » k · … Ê ¬ Ú È «  È≈ Ú ¿ a Ï « ˜ ≈ È My heart is in the east and I’m at the far end of the west. How can I taste or savor what I eat? How keep my vows and pledges – with Zion In the boundary of Edom, and I in Arabia bound? It’s a trifle for me to give up Spain’s riches as it’s precious for me to see the shrine’s ruins. For Rosenzwieg ( Perushei Franz Rosenzwieg, 78), “ The poem marks page TOC Home

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