My Heart Is In The East Poem Analysis

816 Words 4 Pages
The famous poem by Judah Halevi, “My Heart is in the East” beautifully explains the trajectory of Jewish culture after the destruction of the second Temple to present day. In just twelve short lines, Halevi captures massively present theme of the importance remembering your roots while allowing yourself to grow that shows up in Judaism over and over again. In the period of time directly following the destruction of the second temple, the Jewish people were forced to unite and did so through the development of rabbinic Judaism. Even though rabbinic Judaism was, by design, not centered around a specific geographical location because synagogues could be built and practiced in where they were needed, the rabbis did not forget the importance of Jerusalem. Halevi himself …show more content…
Halevi emotes: “As it is precious for me to behold the dust of the desolate sanctuary.” In this statement, Halevi is remarking on the destruction of the second temple. The dust of the desolate sanctuary is what remains of the second temple. Halevi is pleading the importance of being connected to the physical place where the second temple stood, but also understands that being connected doesn’t have to mean being physically there. Beholding the dust doesn’t just mean appreciating the physical ruins of the second temple. It means appreciating Jewish heritage and learning from the Jewish people who lived before you. The destruction of the second temple represented a turning point for Jews, they could either adapt to the changing world around them or attempt to maintain what they had been doing since the canonization of the Torah. Through the destruction, Jews were able to persevere and adapt while keeping the same basic structural values and ideals present while the second temple was functioning. The dust of the desolate sanctuary that was the second temple is the foundation that Halevi relied on and that all Jews rely on

Related Documents