Bahya Ben Joseph Ibn Pakuda, also known as Behay and Bahie, was an 11th Bahya was the author of the first Jewish treatise on ethics, written in Arabic in. Philosophy and Mysticism in Bahya ibn Paquda’s “Duties of the Heart”. Diana Lobel. pages | 6 x 9. Cloth | ISBN | $s | Outside. Rabbi Saadyah wrote the first Jewish work of philosophy in Rabbi Bachaya wrote the first work of Jewish ethics more than a century later. Rabbi Saadya.

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But there are different modes of seclusion from the world. A number of compendiums of the work were composed and published for this purpose. Her critical ear for the nuances and history of Arabo- Islamic terminology. Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed.

Rabbi Bachaya Ibn Pakuda

The author ibnn a superb sense of Arabic, Sufi mystical psychology, and bin extraordinary dialogue sometimes openly acknowledged, often left unacknowledged among Jewish, Islamic, Christian, and Greek traditions at the time of Ibn Paquda. According to Steinschneider, one was written as early as the thirteenth century by a grandson of Meshullam b. An English translation, Duties of the Heart bxhya reprintedwas completed by Moses Hyamson. Bahya therefore felt impelled to make an attempt to present the Jewish faith as being essentially a great spiritual truth founded on reason, revelation especially as regarding the Torahand Jewish tradition.

There is, he says, a unity that is obviously only accidental, as, for example, that of an army consisting of many soldiers; and there is another unity, the accidental character of which is less visible, as, for instance, that of the body, which consists of matter and form.

Where there is purpose manifested, there must have been wisdom at work.

And what marvelous foresight is exhibited in the way the infant is sheltered in the womb against the harmful influences of the atmosphere and nourished like a plant until it enters life, when the blood in the mother’s breast is transformed for it into nurturing milk.

In nature likewise, the consideration of the sublimity of the heavens and of the motion of all things, the interchange of light and darkness, the variety of color in the realm of creation, the awe with which the sight of living man inspires the brute, the wonderful fertility of each grain of corn in the soil, the large supply of those elements that are essential to organic life, such as air and water, and the lesser frequency of those things that form the objects of industry and commerce in the shape of nourishment and raiment —all these and similar observations tend to fill man’s soul with gratitude and praise for the providential love and wisdom of the Creator.


It springs from a consideration of the low origin of man, the vicissitudes of life, and one’s own failings and shortcomings compared with the duties of man and the greatness of God; so that all pride even in regard to one’s merits is banished.

Bahya says in the introduction to Duties of the Heart that he wished to fill a great need in Jewish literature; he felt that neither the rabbis of the Talmud nor subsequent rabbis adequately brought all the ethical teachings of Judaism into a coherent system.

Internet URLs are the best. Some, in order to lead a life devoted to the higher world, flee this world altogether, and live as hermits far away from all civilization, quite contrary to the design of the Creator; others retire from the world’s turmoil and strife and live a secluded life in their own homes; a third class, which comes nearest to the precepts of the Law, participates in the world’s struggles and pursuits, but leads a life of abstinence and moderation, regarding this world as a preparation for a higher one.

Those that are imbued with this love find easy every sacrifice they are asked to make for their God; and no selfish motive mars the purity of their love. The question with him is rather, How can we know a being who is so far beyond our mental comprehension that we can not even define Him?

Bahya ibn Paquda – Wikipedia

Many Jewish writers familiar with his work consider him an original thinker of high rank. Bahya was thoroughly familiar with the Jewish rabbinic literatureas well as the philosophical and scientific Arabic, Greek and Roman literature, quoting frequently from the works of non-Jewish moral philosophers in his work. Medal of Freedom Recipients. Still this unity exists only as an idea.

The Law therefore shows the correct mode of serving God by following “a middle way,” alike remote from sensuality and contempt of the world.


How diverse the qualities of soul and of body! He was also broad-minded enough to quote frequently the works of non-Jewish moral philosophers, which he used as a pattern.

Bahya ben Joseph ibn Pakuda

In fact, all that the world offers will disappoint man in the end; and for this reason the Saints and the Prophets of old often fled their family circles and comfortable homes to lead a life of seclusion devoted to God only. He wanted to present a religious system at once lofty and pure paquva in full accord with reason.

The object of all religious practise is the exercise of self-control, the curbing of passion, and the placing at the service of the Most High of all personal possessions and of all the organs of life.

It contains a solemn exhortation to take as serious and lofty a view as possible of life, its obligations and opportunities for the soul’s perfection, in order to attain to a state of purity in which is unfolded the higher faculty of the soul, which beholds the deeper mysteries of God, the sublime wisdom and beauty of a higher world inaccessible to other men —a state reached only by the truly righteous ones, the chosen ones of God, where one is capable of “seeing without eyes, of hearing without ears, of speaking without tongue, of perceiving without the sense of perception, and of arriving at conclusions without the methods of reason.

Particularly does He provide for man in a manner that unfolds his faculties more and more by new wants and cares, by trials and hardships that test and strengthen his powers of body and soul. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. And one must plummet it. Keep Exploring Britannica Mahatma Gandhi. Shemariah of Poland, Sulzbach,together with a German translation by Isaac b.

The true essence of God being inaccessible to our understanding, the Bible offers the name of God as substitute; making it the object of human reverence, and the center of ancestral tradition.