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Bidding Information
Lot #    13584
Auction End Date    3/7/2006 11:15:30 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Hayyei Levavot; Or Hayyei Levavot
Title (Hebrew)    אור חיי לבבות; חיי לבבות
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Jehiel Judah Lewensohn
City    Vienna - Newark
Publication Date    1872; 1885
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. 46; 16 pp., octavo, 202:130 mm., wide margins, usual age staining. Good copies unbound.
   Two parts of a work comparing translations from the Arabic of R. Bahye ben Joseph ibn Paquda’s classic ethical work, Hovot ha-Levavot (Duties of the Hearts) by R. Jehiel Judah ben Joseph Moses Lewensohn. Part one, entitled Hayyei Levavot, was printed in Vienna in 1872. Its title page stater that it explains all difficult passages in Torat Hovot ha-Levavot written in Arabic and translated into Hebrew by R. Judah ibn Tibbon. It clarifies every word and subject from the original according to a comparison of textual variations in all printed editions to the present. The seconc volume gives similar information, albeit in a more concise manner. The title page appears to be misdated, being dated התרמ"ה of the abbreviated era, which would be (650 = 1890). The work is recorded, however, as being an 1885 imprint, so that it should have said the full era.

The subject of R. Lewenshohn’s efforts is the enduringly popular ethical work Hovot ha-Levavot by R. Bahya (Bahye) ben Joseph ibn Paquda (late 11th century). Rabbenu Bahya was a resident of Saragossa in Muslim Spain, a dayyan and paytan (liturgical poet), but little else is known about him. He is remembered today for Hovot ha-Levavot (Duties of the Heart) 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. He continues, “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.”

Paragraph 2    חיי לבבות: א) תקוני המלות וגם נוסחאות בספר "חובות הלבבות" לרבנו בחיי בן בקודה זצ"ל שחברו בשפת העבית ותרגמו ללשון הקדש החכם ר' יהודה אבן תבון זצ"ל [נאפולי ר"ן]. ב) בברור... כל מלה וענין לעומת המלה והענין שבמקור...הערבי (על פי נוסחא... הנמצאת לי מן הגניזה של מצרים), ועפ"י... הדפוסים... ג) גם בכח הראיות והשואות ממקום למקום, ממני יחיאל יהודה בלא"א... מוה' יוסף משה זצ"ל...

ראינו טופס שבו נוספו [2] עמ' בראש הספר. הקדמת המחבר "אלופי ומיודעי!" שנדפסה בטופס הראשון מעבר לשער, הועברה כאן לעמוד שלאחריו עם תוספת. מעבר לשער נדפסה הקדמה אחרת "בשם ה'".

אור חיי לבבות הערות... ובאורים... בספר חובות הלבבות, שחברו רבנו בחיי בן בקודה זצ"ל... מאתי יחיאל יהודה בן לא"א... ר' יוסף משה זצ"ל למשפחת לעווינזאהן מווילנא...

   BE het 568; Heller, 16th Century; CD-EPI 0143219; 0143217
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
America-South America:    Checked
Other:    Austria
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica