||This volume is notebook 3 of volume 2 of an edition of Yehuda HaLevi's secular poetry. This edition is based on manuscripts and was put together with annotations by Heinrich Brody. The text is entirely in Hebrew.
Judah HaLevi (1086-1145) was the greatest Hebrew poet of his time. Born in Toledo, the capital of Castile, Judah studied with the famous rabbinic scholar, Isaac Alfasi. In addition to mastering biblical Hebrew, Arabic and the intricacies of the Talmud, Judah explored the physical sciences, philosophy, and metaphysics. He was especially proficient at writing poetry, and soon he attracted the attention of the great poet Moses Ibn Ezra. It wasn't long before his fame spread throughout the Jewish communities of Spain. Because Cordoba was the cultural capital of Spanish Jewry, HaLevi migrated there. As he matured, Judah HaLevi found his voice as Israel's sweetest singer. He left behind an abundance of synagogue liturgy and nationalistic poems. Since he lived at the time of the first crusade, Judah realized the plight of his people. In his most famous work, The Kuzari, HaLevi foreshadowed the philosophy of Zionism and Jewish nationalism.
Dr. Heinrich Brody (Hayyim; 1868–1942) researcher of Sephardi piyyutim and medieval Hebrew poetry. Brody was born in Ungvar (Uzhgorod), Hungary, the son of Solomon Zalman Brody, the grandson of Solomon Ganzfried, author of Kizzur Shulhan Arukh. Brody studied at the Bratislava (Pressburg) Yeshivah and at the Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin where he also attended university and came under the influence of Abraham Berliner and Moritz Steinschneider. In 1894 he published the first part of his proposed edition of the poems of Judah Halevi. Brody continued until 1930 to edit Halevi's poems, with extensive commentaries, but he never completed this edition. Brody intended to publish the works of all the important medieval Hebrew poets. In 1897 he began to publish the poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol, in 1910, those of Samuel ha-Nagid, and in 1926, Mahberot Immanuel of Immanuel of Rome; but for various reasons these editions, too, were not completed. Brody became a Zionist while serving as rabbi in Nachod, Bohemia. After the establishment of the Mizrachi in 1902 he became president of the Hungarian organization. Brody expressed his views on Zionism and the role of religion in a pamphlet (published under the nom de plume H. Salomonsohn) Widerspricht der Zionismus unserer Religion? (1898). In 1905 he coauthored with K. Albrecht an anthology of Hebrew poetry of the Spanish-Arabic school entitled Sha'ar ha-Shir (English ed., 1906). In 1922, with M. Wiener, he edited an anthology of Hebrew poetry, Mivhar ha-Shirah ha-Ivrit. Brody founded the bibliographical periodical Zeitschrift fuer hebraeische Bibliographie in 1896 and published it until 1906 (from 1900 to 1906 together with A. Freimann). He went to Prague in 1905 to head the local talmud torah and after the death of Nathan Ehrenfeld became in 1912 chief rabbi of Prague. When the institute for research of Hebrew poetry (Ha-Makhon le-Heker ha-Shirah ha-Ivrit) was founded in Berlin by S. Schocken in 1930, Brody was invited to head it, and in 1933 he moved with the Institute to Jerusalem. During his years at the Institute he edited the secular poems of Moses ibn Ezra (1935) and Be'ur la-Divan (a commentary on the diwan of Judah Halevi), a book containing a wealth of information on Hebrew poetry in Spain. He also published the diwan of Eleazar bar Jacob (1935) and edited (from 1933 to 1938) the Institute's studies (YMHSI) in which he printed important original works. Brody published other research papers in Hebrew, German, and Hungarian.