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Metsudah Kuzari
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Metsudah Kuzari

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The Kuzari originally appeared in the year 1110 as a series of five dialogues between a pagan king and a Jewish sage. It was written in Arabic, so that these fundamental concepts of Judaism could be understood by the widest possible audience of the time.

The Kuzari is a unique and classic work that embraces the spiritual pillars of the world; the essence of the entire Torah - concepts, teachings and commandments. It not only discusses these matters in a broad, general sense, but offers explanation for the specific details of many commandments, traditions and customs.

The Kuzari describes the theological struggles of King Bulan and the convincing arguments of the rabbi which led to the mass conversion. Using this premise and the dialogue format as his vehicle, Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi succeeds in presenting, in a passionate and convincing fashion, some of the most important fundamentals of Judaism.

Study this abridged version of the Kuzari with Rabbi Avraham Davis's crystal translation, and you will satisfy your thirst for the knowledge and appreciation of Judaism and its meaning.

Essay One:
Upon being asked as to what arguments I can present to counter the philosophers who dispute our belief, and also what argument I can put forward against people who hold other beliefs and against the Karaites who deny the Oral Tradition that is held by the Jewish nation, I recalled that I have already hearn about the presentation made by one of the Jewish sages to the King of the Khazars [concerning the Jewish faith] that influenced the king to convert to Judaism. This happened about four hundred years ago, as is mentioned and made known in history books.

This king had a recurrent dream. In his dream an angel seemed to speak to him and say: "Your intentions are desirable to the Creator, but your actions are not," He made a great effort to conform to the Khazars' religious practices to the point that he personally officiated at the services of {their} sanctuary and wholeheartedly proffered} sacrifices. But in speite of his endeavors and his devotion to the Khazar faith, the angel would {still} come to him in his dreams and say. : Y Our intentions are desirable to the Creator, but your actions are not." Under the influence of these dreams the king of the Khazars decided to investigate which of the faiths and religions [are true], till he discovered Judaism which he embraced as his religious and, with him, so did a large part of the Khazar nation.
I have found it proper to record, for the benefit of the learned, these arguments and proofs of the Jewish sage, which are satisfactory and aceptable to me, without subtracting or adding.

  • By Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi
  • Translated by: Rabbi Avrohom Davis
  • (305 Pages)Publisher: Metsudah

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