This poem, the first from the poet's cycle ×ž×›×‘×œ ×¢×¨×‘ mikkebel Ëarab "Out of Arabian Bonds", is one of his most famous today. If you're gonna translate Halevi, you've got to do Libbi BÄƒmizraá¸¥. Well Ok. Fine. Here you go. Here, you even get me reading it to you in reconstructed Andalusi Hebrew pronunciation. Happy?
My heart is in the east, and the rest of me at the edge of the west. How can I taste the food I eat? How can it give me pleasure? How can I keep my promise now, or fulfill the vows I've made While Zion remains in the Cross's reign1, and I in Arab chains? With pleasure I would leave behind all the good things of Spain, If only I could gaze on the dust of our ruined Holy Place.
1- The poet had made a vow to leave Spain behind and journey to Jerusalem, which was at the time held by the Crusaders. The Crusaders, when they took the city of Jerusalem in 1099, had forbidden Jews to reside there.