(If anyone has the full text of ,יעלת חן, רחמי לבב please attach it in the comments section; I could not, for the life of me, find a usable text online. Thank you.)
At first glance, Halevi’s love poetry contrasts with the piety of his theological poetry; however, a closer reading suggests that his love poetry is likewise theocentric (1). Read in isolation, יעלת חן, רחמי לבב simultaneously conveys the speaker’s obsession with his lover and reveals her malice in return, creating an unsettling ambiguity. His veneration of her in the face of her cruelty to him suggests a terminal myopia on his part. Yet, the unwavering loyalty coupled with justifiable anger recalls the interaction between God and
In יעלת חן, רחמי לבב the imagery depicting
After her misbehavior,
God’s continued devotion, in spite of
(1) Theocentric poetry includes the poetry where the poet openly addresses God and his Zionist poetry. I include the Zionist poetry because Halevi demonstrates therein that a return to
(2) As Halevi uses the masculine singular for God, I address God throughout the paper using masculine singular pronouns to maintain consistency with the text. This choice does not reflect my personal theology.