To Love What Death Can Touch: Poem for 2.25.16


To Love What Death Can Touch

‘Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch.To Love What Death Can Touch
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be –
to be,
And oh, to lose.
A thing for fools, this,
And a holy thing,
a holy thing
to love.
For your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word was gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
‘Tis a human thing, love,
a holy thing, to love
what death has touched.

by Yehuda HaLevi (1075 – 1141)

5 comments on “To Love What Death Can Touch: Poem for 2.25.16

  1. Dear Larry,

    Yehuda’s thoughts are a personal favorite of mine. The bereaved mothers in my group “Mothers Finding Meaning Again” have read these beautiful and true sentiments several times and posted them on our FB page.

    Be well and thank you for your devotion to the broken-hearted.

    Mary Jane

  2. Hello Larry,

    This is one of my favorite poems as well. The Yehudah Halevi attribution that is all over the internet, though, is wrong. This is a modern poem, written in English, by Rabbi Chaim Stern, a great Reform Jewish liturgist who died in 2001. Just trying to spread the word, since the Halevi attribution is nearly ubiquitous!

    Irwin Keller

  3. What a beautiful poem. I just heard it read on NETFLIX at the end of a program called Godless. It was so beautiful that I felt the need to research it, and find it’s origin. Thank you for your message I just wrote it in my journal for safe keeping. Just simply “Beautiful”.


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