Late in 1140, Halevi and Ḥalfon traveled to Fustat/Cairo, Halevi exclaiming in verse about the thrill of nearing the place once inhabited by Moses and the ancient Israelites. Halevi considered whether to travel to Palestine overland or to return to Alexandria and complete his journey by ship. He visited Samuel ben Ḥanania and exchanged formal Hebrew epistles with Nathan ben Samuel, his secretary, including a poem surprisingly erotic for a pilgrim and raising again the problematic religious status of poetry. Halevi reported to Aaron Ibn al-’Ammānī in Alexandria on his meeting with the Nagid. An Alexandrian correspondent informed Halevi that Ibn al-’Ammānī had circulated Halevi’s poems to him, arousing envy of him and hostility toward Halevi.
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