Judah Ha-Levi (1085-1140)

 

  

 

             

 

 

 

 

 

Back, My Soul

Translated from Hebrew  by M. Simon

Traslacion del Ingles Oscar Mendoza

 

Back, my soul, into thy nest;

regresa mi alma a su nido
Earth is not for thee;

la tierra no es para ti
Still in
heaven find thy nest;

es, en los cielos donde esta mi nido
There thou canst be free.

 alli donde tu puedes ser libre

Strive not for this world’s command,

ya no luchas por los mandamientos del mundo
Look to what thou hast,

Mira donde estas 

 

Thou amidst the angels’ band

 Tu, entre un grupo de angeles
Shar’d the great repast.

Un plato especial  esta preparado para ti

Demean thee ‘fore the majesty

 ordenada  humildemente para ti por su Majestad
Of him who reigneth there,

El es quien reina alli
And in a lordly company

 ahoras que estas en la presencia de tu Señor
Be thou the courtier.

Solo se tu amable y cortes con El…

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The Immortality of Israel

(la inmortalidad de israel)

Translated by Israel Cohen

Traslacion del Ingles Oscar Mendoza

 

The sun and moon unchanging do obey

el sol y la luna inmutable obedecen
The laws that never cease or night or day.

las incesantes leyes en dias y noches
Appointed signs are they to Jacob’s seed

las señales estan apuntadas 

para la cimiente de Jacob
That life eternal hath been them decreed.

La vida eterna que ha sido decretada para ellos
And though, O Lord; thy left hand dealeth pain,

Y tu ,Oh Señor, has dejado en tu mano izquierda

un pacto de dolor
Thy right shall lead them back to joy again.

Y en tu mano derecha el regreso al gozo de nuevo
Let not despair oppress their quailing heart,

No permitas que la opresion de sus corazones

 les desespere,
Though radiant Fortune from their midst depart.

Y tu radiante fortuna desaparezca de su polvo.
But let this constant faith their soul uphold,

Y les permitas siempre que una fe constante

 mantenga levantadas sus almas,
That in the Book of Life their name’s enrolled

Que en el libro de la vida sus nombres esten escritos
For all
eternity: nor shall they cease

por toda la eternidad,que no cesen
While night and day do alternate in peace.

Mientras el dia y la noche se alternen,tengan paz..

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My Heart Is in the East

translated by H. Pereira Mendes

 

My heart is in the East, tho’ in the West I live,
The sweet of human life no
happiness can give,
Religion’s duties fail to lift my soul on high;
‘Neath Edom Zion writhes, in Arab chains I lie!
No joy in sunny Spain mine eyes can ever see
For Zion, desolate, alone hath charms for me!

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Oh! City of the World

translated by Kate Magnus

 

Oh! city of world, most chastely fair;
In the far west, behold I sigh for thee.
And in my yearning love I do bethink me
Of bygone ages; of thy ruined fane,
Thy vanished splendor of a vanished day.
Oh! had I eagles’ wings I’d fly to thee,
And with my falling tears make moist thine earth.
I long for thee; what though where once uprose
Sweet balsam trees the serpent makes his nest.
Oh! that I might embrace thy dust, the sod
Were sweet as honey to my fond
desire.

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The Pride of a Jew

translated by Israel Cohen

 

With all my heart, in truth, and passion strong,
I love Thee; both in solitude and throng
Thy name’s with me, alone I shall not bide:
My friend art Thou, though others from me glide,
My lamp art too: my light shall never fade,
Nor shall my foot e’er slip, by Thee upstayed.
They little knew who have despised me so,
That shaming me doth cause my pride to glow.
O Fountain of my life, I’ll bless Thee aye,
And sing Thy praises, O my song, alway!

 

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Separation

an anonymous translation

 

And so we twain must part! Oh linger yet,
And let me still feed my glance upon thine eyes.
Forget not, love, the days of our delight,
And I our nights of bliss shall ever prize,
Oh, even in my
dream be kind to me!

 

Though I were dead, I none the less would hear
Thy step, thy garment rustling on the sand.
And if thou waft me greetings from the grave,
I shall drink deep the breath of that cold land.
Take thou my days, command this life of mine,
If it can lengthen out the space of thine.

 

No voice I hear from lips death-pale and chill,
Yet deep within my heart it echoes still,
My frame remains–my soul to thee yearns forth.
A shadow I must tarry still on earth.
Back to the body dwelling here in pain,
Return, my soul, make haste and come again!

 

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To Zion

translated by Maurice Samuel

 

Art thou not hungry for thy children, Zion,–
Thy sons far-scattered through an alien world?
From earth’s four corners, over land and sea,
The heavy-hearted remnant of thy flock
Now send thee greeting: “Know that as the dew
Falls daily on the ancient slopes of Hermon,
So daily on the faces of thy children
Tears of vain-longing fall.” And as for me,
When I remember thee, the Desolate,
My voice is like the Jackal’s in the night,
A wailing and a lamentation old;
But when a dream of resurrection wakes–
A momentary glory–then my voice
Breaks like the harp’s into a jubilant ringing.
Thy names are on my lips, and in my heart
Restless desire: Beth-El, Mach’nayim, P’niel–
Assemblies once of the elect–on you
The glory of His name was shed, for you
The gates were open flung, and with a light
Neither of sun, moon, stars, your beauty shone.
Where on the dearest of His chosen ones
God poured his spirit, let me pour my heart.
I will pass to Hebron, where the ancient graves
Still wait for me, and wander in the dusk
Of the forests of Carmel. I will go to Gilead
And from Gilead pass to Habarim and Hor,
And stand upon the summit of the mountains
Where once the unforgotten brothers stood
And the light of them was seen throughout the world.
There let me fall to earth and press my lips
Into the dust, and weep thy desolation
Till I am blind, and, blind, still comfort thee.
I would to God that I were turned to dust
So that the wind could scatter me upon thee.
What comfort is in life for me, since now
Thine eagles have become the prey of vultures?
What pleasure in the light of day, since now
Thy lions, dead, are less than living dogs?
Oh, I can weep no more: enough, the cup
Of bitterness is full and overflows,
O Zion, beauty and gladness of the world,
Thine is all love and grace, and unto thee
In love and grace we are for ever chained.
We who in thy happiness were happy
Are broken in thy desolation. Each
In the prison of his exile bows to earth,
And turns him toward thy gates. Scattered and lost,
We will remember till the end of time
The cradle of our childhood, from a thousand seas
Turn back and seek again thy hills and vales.
Glory of Pathros, glory of Shinar,
Compared to the light and truth that streamed from thee,
Are dust and vanity: and in all the world
Whom shall I find to liken to thy seers,
Thy princes, thy elect, thy anointed ones?
The kingdoms of the heathen pass like shadows,
Thy glory and thy name endure for ever.
God made His home in thee: well for the man
Who makes God’s choice his own, with thee to dwell
And happy, happy the man who vigil keeps
Until the day break over thee again,
Until thy chosen are returned to thee,
And thy first youth in glory is renewed.

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2 pensamientos en “Judah Ha-Levi (1085-1140)

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