||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.
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.