Mi Kamocha by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi
Piyut for Parshas Zachor
The piyut Mi Kamocha by Rabbi Yehuda Halevi was customarily recited on the Shabbos before Purim by Sephardic and eastern congregations.
The content of the piyut is the story of Megillas Esther and the miracles of Purim, written poetically and in rhyme.
Rabbi Yehuda Halevi (1075-1141), author of the Kuzari, was one of the great early Rishonim, Born in 11th century Toledo, he composed close to one thousand songs and piyutim, many of which were included in prayers for Yomim Tovim and are sung by congregations around the world until this very day. In his latter years, he journeyed to Eretz Yisrael where he passed away at the age of 66.
The Chida inscribes in Shem Hagedolim: “In our Machzor, the machzor of the Sephardim, there you will find several piyutim by the said rabbi—sweet lullabies, beautiful speech, sweeter than honey… He also instituted the lovely piyut [sung] on Shabbos, “Mi Kamocha”.
Venice, 1586.  leaves. Page size: 15 cm. Includes printed notes in the margins, probably by Rabbi Yitzchak Salim. (See: Habermann, Hamadpis John di Gara, p. 81). Initials; professional restoration of holes and damaged margins. Minor stains, upper margins cropped, new leather binding.
The Piyut that brought about the Ibn Ezra’s Shidduch
The Sefer “Shalsheles HaKabbalah” (Venice, 1587) brings down a remarkable occurrence involving Rabbi Yehuda Halevi and the Ibn Ezra. Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, while composing this piyut was struggling with a few verses .The Ibn Ezra came to his home just then and wrote the stanza for him. Rabbi Yehuda Halevy was so impressed that he took the Ibn Ezra as his son-in-law.
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