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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

What Death Can Touch

It Is A Fearful Thing, To Love What Death Can Touch

By Judah Halevi


Judah Halevi was a Jewish poet, living in Spain about a thousand years ago. The translation of his beautiful poem has been attributed to Chaim Stern, around 1930.


It’s a fearful thing to love what death can touch.

A fearful thing to love, hope, 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 a gift to me.


To remember this brings painful joy. It’s a human thing, love, a holy thing, to love what death has touched.



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