||Consolation for the soul of man by R. Joseph ibn Falaquera (Palquera, c. 1225-1295), poet, philosopher, and scientist. Apparently born in Spain to one of the aristocratic families of Tudela, Falaquera's place of residence is not known. It has been suggested that he was a physician, but he not only makes no mention of practicing that profession but his references to it are uncomplimentary. Falaquera seems to have never married, he refers to women and children negatively, and at times lived in poverty, perhaps supporting himself through his poetry, a practice to which he gave much time as a youth, but later gave up as a profession, according to statements in his Ha-Mevakkesh (The Hague 1778-79). As a philosopher Falaquera is not original, but, well versed in Arabic and Greek philosophy, has value as a transmitter of ideas. Falaquera's objective in his books, generally short philosophic treatises, is to instruct qualified but unfamiliar readers in philosophy and science.
Zori ha- Yagon (balm for sorrow), one of Falaquera's lesser known but more moving works, was written to give relief to a person in despair. Replete with quotes from rabbinic literature and philosophical works, it expresses Falaquera's belief that life must be governed by faith, philosophic reason, and mental well-being. Only with self-discipline and knowledge of truth can a person realize relief In Zon ha- Yagon Falaquera is much influenced by the Greek physician Galen and the ninth-century Arab philosopher Ya'quab ibn Ishaq al-Kindi, as well as Maimonides and ibn Gabirol. The style of the book is a maqama, an Arabic form of rhymed prose, interspersed with poetry.
Zon ha- Yagon was printed in the year Zori Tov (goodly balm) צרי טוב (317 = 1557), in two weeks according to the colophon, for work was begun, with mazzal tov on the 1 st of the month of Ziv (lyyar, Thursday, April 11, 1557), and completed on the 14th (April 27th). The editor was R. Saul ben Simon. The corrector (and expurgator) was the apostate Vittorio Eliano, associated with all the books published by Conti from 1558 through 1559. Saul asks the reader to judge him favorably, for somehow having lost the manuscript of this book, sweet as honey, and searched diligently for it to no avail, he has rewritten the text from memory with his own comments, this making up the better part of the book.
Among Falaquera's printed titles are Battei Hanhagat ha-Glf ha-Bari (in ha-Rofe ha-Ivri 10, 1937, and alone, Tel Aviv, 1950), on the regimen of the healthy body; Iggeret ha-Halom (in JQR, I (1910/11)), on dreams; Iggeret ha-Musar (in Kobez al Jad, I (1936-37)). Iggeret haVikku'ah (Constantinople,. c. 1577); Sefer ha-Ma'alot (Berlin, 1894), concerning the various degrees of intellectual perfection; Ha-Mevakkesh (Cracow, 1646), a poetical work on one's choices in life, is among the most popular of Falaquera's works; Moreh ha-Moreh (Pressburg, 1837), on Maimonides' Moreh Nevukhim; Sefer ha-Nefesh (Lemberg, 1835), a psychological work; Reshit Hokhmah (Berlin, 1902), an introduction to the study of the sciences. A number of Falaquera's books remain in manuscript or are known only from his references to them in extant works.
||... להשקיט הנפש מדאבון ... [מאת ר' שם טוב בן יוסף פאלקירה, עם הגהה מאת ר' שאול בן שמעון]. שנת צ'ר'"י' ט'ו'"ב'
דף יט,ב-כ,א: דברי מחבר ההגה"ה שבתוך הספר, עם שני שירים ממנו: "כי בא שאול אל נכון קץ"; "שמעו רופאים רב לכם סוב אחר משאות". האקרוסטיכון: שאול בן מהר"ר שמעון. בראשו נדפס: "הותחל במזל טוב באחד לירח זיו, י"ד בו נגמר" (אוצר השירה והפיוט, ב, עמ' 471, מס' 198; שם, ג, עמ' 492, מס' 1826).