||First bi-lingual Hebrew-Latin edition of R. Abraham ibn Ezra’s treatise on the commandments. In Yesod Mora Ibn Ezra distinguishes between laws which are implanted in the human heart prior to revelation (pikkudim) and laws which prescribe symbolic acts reminding us of such matters as creation, e.g., observance of the Sabbath, and the exodus from Egypt, e.g., the observance of Passover (Yesod Mora, ch. 5;). In addition he speaks of obscure commandments (mitzvot ne’elamot), which have no clear-cut reason. Yesod Mora also addresses the names of God. This edition of Yesod Mora contains the Hebrew text of Yesod Mora and a Latin translation by Michael Creizenach (1789–1842). Both parts are in twelve chapters. The Latin section contains a number of diagrams and equations.
Ibn Ezra (1089–1164) the famed Spanish poet, grammarian, biblical commentator, philosopher, astronomer, and physician, wrote Yesod Mora during his later years. Troubled by personal tragedy, he left Spain for Rome. It is probable that the reason for that troubled spirit and the restless wandering which resulted from it, was due to the real, or alleged, conversion to Islam of his only surviving son. Henceforth Ibn Ezra lived the life of a wandering scholar, and it is during this period that most of his works were written. Yesod Mora was written in London in 1158.
Michael Creizenach (1789–1842) was a German educator and theologian. He is one of the most typical representatives of the era of transition, following the epoch of Mendelssohn, whose chief aim was the regeneration of Judaism by the methods of Talmudic dialecticism, which, as they imagined, would win over the Orthodox and yet achieve the necessary progress. Creizenach was educated in the traditional way, devoting his whole time to Talmudic studies; and he was sixteen years old when he began to acquire the elements of secular knowledge. This was during the French occupation, when a liberal spirit, greeted enthusiastically by both Jews and Christians, permeated the society of the ancient center of Catholic Germany. He studied mathematics with great zeal, and wrote text-books of the science. Through his influence a Jewish school was founded in Mayence, whose principal he was, at the same time giving private instruction. He was a very popular teacher, and counted many Christians among his pupils. In 1825 Creizenach was appointed teacher at the Philanthropin in Frankfort, where he found in I. M. Jost an enthusiastic coworker in pedagogic and reform endeavors. He held services regularly in the hall of the school, and introduced confirmation exercises. His literary works were also devoted to the advocacy of Reform on the basis of rabbinical Judaism. With this object he wrote his "Shulhan Aruk," in which he essayed to prove that the Talmud as a whole was untenable, but that a compromise with modern ideas could be effected in the same dialectical way in which the Rabbis had harmonized the Law with the exigencies of their time. In the later parts of his work, however, he abandoned this view; advocating a return to pure Mosaism, which a year after his death was more distinctly proclaimed as the program of the Frankfort Reformverein, at the head of which was his son Theodor. In spite of his Reform tendencies, Creizenach was deeply interested in Hebrew literature, especially in Hebrew fiction, and during the last two years of his life edited with his friend Jost the Hebrew periodical "Zion."
Added t.p.: Yesod Mora; Fumdamentum pietatis... Auctore R. Abrahamo ibn Esra. Paraphrastice vertit M. Creizenach Dr...