"We can still learn much from Judah Halevi... his serene allegiance to history and the long-range forces of destiny high above the immediate brute realities and implacable forces of nature." --Salo Baron
"In defending Judaism... against the philosophers, he was conscious of defending morality itself and therewith the cause, not only of Judaism, but of mankind at large." --Leo Strauss
"The Kuzari" is a classic work of Jewish philosophy, written in 1140 by celebrated Jewish poet and philosopher Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi. His goal was to defend Judaism against attacks from philosophers, Christian and Moslem theologians, and Karaites (Jewish sectarians).
The book, composed of five sections, takes the form of a dialogue between the pagan king of the Khazars and a Jewish scholar who was invited to instruct him in the tenets of the Jewish religion. It is loosely based on the true story of the conversion of the Khazar royalty and aristocracy to Judaism in the 8th century.
This edition is based on the 1905 translation by Prof. Hirschfeld from the original Arabic. However, great efforts have been invested in order to create a work that is accessible to the modern reader. Archaic language has been updated, long paragraphs broken down into smaller units, and the table of contents is expanded and fully linked.
In addition to Prof. Hirschfeld’s extensive introduction, this edition includes a biography of Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi and a summary of the central arguments of The Kuzari.
Rabbi Chanan Morrison grew up in Pennsylvania, and graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics from Yeshiva University (New York). Pursuing advanced Talmudic studies in Jerusalem, he spent the next seven years studying in Jerusalem yeshivot, including the famed Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav, founded by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook in 1924.
Rabbi Morrison taught Jewish studies for several years in Harrisburg, PA, before returning to Israel. He and his family subsequently settled down in a small community in the Judean Desert.
In an effort to maintain contact with former students, Rabbi Morrison began emailing articles on the weekly Torah portion based on the philosophical writings of Rabbi A. I. Kook. Over the years, this email list grew at a phenomenal rate; it now benefits thousands of readers from all over the world. He is frequently featured on the Torah section of the Israel National News website, and his work can be read on his own website at http://www.ravkooktorah.org.read more
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