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Bidding Information
Lot #    12925
Auction End Date    1/24/2006 10:17:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Hovot ha-Levavot (Judeo-Arabic)
Title (Hebrew)    ôøàéõ àì÷ìåá
Author    R. Bahya ben Joseph ibn Paquda
City    Djerba
Publisher    David Aydan
Publication Date    1914
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [1], 320 ff. octavo 165:98 mm., nice margins, usual age staining. A good copy bound in paper wrappers. Not in CD-EPI.
   Judeo-Arabic edition in Hebrew letters of Hovot ha-Levavot (Duties of the Heart), the classical ethical work of R. Bahya ben Joseph ibn Paquda. Hovot ha-Levavot is an ethical and philosophical classic on man’s obligations to God. Bahya (Bahye) ben Joseph ibn Paquda (late 11th century), a resident of Saragossa in Muslim Spain, was a dayyan and paytan (liturgical poet), but little else is known about him. He is remembered today for Hovot ha-Levavot written in Arabic, as Kitab al-Hidaya ila Faraid al-Qulub and translated into Hebrew in 1161 by Judah ibn Tibbon. Bahya’s reasons for writing Hovot ha-Levavot are stated in the introduction, where, after dividing a person’s duties into those of the body and of the heart, he observes that the latter, “confirmation of our faith in the contents of the Torah by logical demonstrations” is not the subject of a specific work. R. Bahya writes in the introduction, This department of knowledge, the science of the Duties of the Heart, had, I saw, been entirely neglected. No work had been composed, systematically setting forth its principles and divisions. I was so greatly surprised that I said to myself, Possibly this class of duties is not positively enjoined by the Torah, but is only an ethical obligation, the aim of which is to teach us the right and proper way. Possibly it belongs to the class of supererogatory practices that are optional, for which we will not be called to account nor be punished if we disregard them. And therefore our predecessors omitted to treat of it in a special work. A careful examination, however, by the light of Reason, Scripture and Tradition, of the question whether the Duties of the Heart are obligatory or not, convinced me that they indeed form the foundation of all the Precepts, and that if there is any shortcoming in their observance, no external duties whatever can be fulfilled.

This edition is dated by the colophon, which states that the holy work was completed 12 Iyyar, òèøú (5674 = Friday, May 8, 1914).

   EJ; Heller, 16th Century; JNUL 001790625
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
Other:    North Africa
Other:    Ethics
Language:    Judeo-Arabic
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica