My Heart Is in the East

Judah Halevi 1075 (Toledo) – 1141 (Jerusalem)

My heart is in the east,
and I am in the distant west.

How can I taste what I eat,
and how can it be sweet?

How can I fulfill by vows and oaths,
as long as Zion is in the chains of Edom,
and I am in the binds of the Arabs?

About this poem

The point of this verse is the poet’s emphatic sense that he cannot function fully as long as the Temple is destroyed.

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Submitted by acronimous on January 04, 2022

Modified on May 03, 2023

18 sec read

Quick analysis:

Scheme XX AA XXX
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 224
Words 61
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 2, 2, 3

Judah Halevi

Rabbi Judah Halevi was a Spanish Jewish physician, poet and philosopher. He was born in Spain, either in Toledo or Tudela, in 1075 or 1086, and died shortly after arriving in the Holy Land in 1141, at that point the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. more…

All Judah Halevi poems | Judah Halevi Books

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Discuss the poem My Heart Is in the East with the community...

  • alanswansea18
    Your work is so beautiful .How come you only have 21 poems?
    LikeReply5 months ago
  • alanswansea18
    Your work amazes me. Beautiful.
    LikeReply5 months ago
  • AIDA
    Wow, what a beautiful and heartfelt poem! The imagery and emotion conveyed through each line is truly powerful. It's clear that the author, Judah Halevi, has a deep love and longing for his home in the east, and his use of language is so evocative in expressing that sentiment. This poem really captures the universal experience of feeling homesick and the struggle to feel fully present and fulfilled when one is far away from the place they call home. Despite the feelings of sadness and displacement, there's also a sense of hopefulness and determination in the way the poem ends. Overall, a truly moving piece of writing that I think many readers will be able to relate to on a personal level. 
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Philipo
    There's no place like home. I experienced that in captivity too.
    LikeReply 11 year ago


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