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Song of the Distant DoveJudah Halevi’s Pilgrimage$
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Raymond P. Scheindlin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195315424

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315424.001.0001

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The Visionary

The Visionary

Chapter:
(p.70) 3 The Visionary
Source:
Song of the Distant Dove
Author(s):

Raymond P. Scheindlin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315424.003.0003

A notable feature of Halevi’s religious poetry is its frequent depictions of spiritual experience in visual terms. Some of Halevi’s visionary imagery derives from the ancient Jewish tradition of merkava mysticism, some from the philosophical tradition. But Sufi literature may also have played a part in providing Halevi with his mature conception of the ultimate goal of religious striving. Similarly, a number of important poems depict dreams, considered a form of prophecy; it is a dream that sets the narrative of framework of the Kuzari into motion. The chapter concludes with five poems illustrating visionary experience and dreams. Of these poems, one is a report of a prophetic experience of Halevi himself proclaiming the redemption of Israel; one depicts the poet’s aspiration for a personal vision of God; and one envisions the poet in the Temple.

Keywords:   dreams, prophecy, merkava mysticism, Sufism, visionary experience, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, Kuzari

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