The Book of Direction to the Duties of the Heart

BookThe Book of Direction to the Duties of the Heart

The Book of Direction to the Duties of the Heart

The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

1973

September 1st, 1973

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Bahya Ibn Pakuda was born c. 1050, and lived for some time in Saragossa in Spain. His major work was written in Arabic, but it is most well-known by its Hebrew title Hovot ha-Levavot (Duties of the Heart). It enjoyed enormous popularity and was reprinted many times.

In the book Bahya investigates the motivation of Jewish practice and embarks on a philosophical enquiry into the nature of God, religion, and man. He was very much influenced by the Neoplatonism of his age, as well as by the Muslim mystics.

This edition by Menahem Mansoor is the first translation of the work from the original Arabic text, and this shows a number of variations from the Hebrew version. He has added an Introduction and Notes which draw attention to the influences on Bahya’s thought and to other relevant material.

‘The accepted and normative translation . . . reliable and readable.  This book belongs in even the smallest collections of Judaica, as well as of ethical literature.’  Choice

'This will now become the accepted and normative translation ... reliable and readable. This book belongs in even the smallest collections of Judaica, as well as of ethical literature.'
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover1
Half Title2
Title Page4
Copyright5
Contents6
Preface and Acknowledgments8
Translator's Introduction10
Notes to Translator's Introduction74
The Book of Direction to the Duties of the Heart92
Introduction94
Chapter One: On the Unity of God118
Chapter Two: On the Explanation of the Aspects of Meditation upon Creation and God's Abundant Grace Shown in It159
Chapter Three: On Our Obligation of Obedience to God185
Chapter Four: On the Reliance upon God Alone230
Chapter Five: On the Pure Devotion of All Acts to God Alone282
Chapter Six: On Humility before God313
Chapter Seven: The Explanation of the Aspects of Repentance, What is Essential to It, and Its Consequences337
Chapter Eight: On Self-Reckoning for God's Sake363
Chapter Nine: On Asceticism, Its Kinds and Advantages411
Chapter Ten: On the True Love of God435
Appendix Translated by David Goldstein456
Selected Bibliography462
General Index469
Index of Biblical Passages473
Index of Talmudic Passages480