Chovot Halevavot was written by Bachya ben Joseph ibn Paquda Not much is known about Ibn Paquda other than that he was a well-regarded. Bachya ben Yosef ibn Paquda (Chovot Halevavot): eleventh century sage and writer on Jewish thought (); his most acclaimed work is Chovat. My intention in this article is to neither promote nor denigrate Sufism. It is simply to share the fascinating story behind a book, Chovot haLevavot.

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Today we continued with Rabbeinu Bachya’s examination of the subject “the Love of God. Specifically hatred towards those who love Hashem and love for those who hate Him prevent a person from loving Hashem. The story is well-known. On the other handhe ruled that there is nothing wrong with cooperating with non-Orthodox Jews in purely civic matters. February 22, 1: Follow us on Twitter Follow Chogot. Share this course with your friends and family: The sixth “gate”, “Sha’ar HaKeni’ah,” deals with humility.

Yehoshafat was a great tzaddik. The first steps must involve abstinence from the pleasures of this world.

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.

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

The early Sufis were known for their asceticism or self-discipline. The Heart and the Fountain: The pious man asked this second man if he wasn’t afraid of the wild animals which prowl in the desert at night. The Torah demands of haelvavot superior person to protect the weak and to embrace those who need help.

Chovot HaLevavot – Wikidata

On the Shabbat before Purim there is a mitzvah to read Parashat Zachor which contains the commandments to remember what Amalek did to us in the desert and on Purim itself we read the story about the battle that we fought with Amalek after leaving Egypt. On holidays we recite the Hallel prayer. He danced with wild abandon among the people.


The need to separate between cooperating and endorsing is of course essential. Avraham Avinu “passed” this test and proved his loyalty to Hashem. Rabbeinu Bachya answered his own question by saying that love for Hashem can be expressed three ways:. Here it is absolutely forbidden for us to cooperate with non-observant Jews since chivot religious habits of non-observant Jews are totally incompatible with the Halacha and are destructive.

On the other cbovot it made cooperation on topics of community-wide concern fraught with tension.

Jewish Treats: Duties of the Heart

And the solution for both of them was to infuse the Judaism of their day – which had fossilized primarily into a study of legal codes – with a significant mystical and spiritual component which spoke straight to the heart.

Still, human life requires the cultivation of a world which God has formed to be inhabited, and the perpetuation of the race. Bachya Ibn Pakuda goes on to explain that this approach is considered too extreme from a Jewish point of view which would prescribe a more middle path. This group’s members did not observe Shabbat. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Interestingly, Chovot haLevavot was the first work Ibn Tibbon set out to translate. Yet only God, whose wisdom and goodness comprise all times and all circumstances, can be implicitly confided in; for God provides for all His creatures out of true love, and with the full knowledge of what is good for each.

With views like this, it is a wonder that his book enjoyed the recognition it did and still does, even by the traditionalists although, as mentioned, they often leave out the first section.

Ibn Paquda is believed to have lived in ZaragozaSpain in the first half of the eleventh century. However the highest level of love for God, the willingness to die for Him is so far removed from our abilities only Hashem Himself can give us the strength to meet that challenge.

Rav Shagar explains that that there are two types of rejoicing in Judaism. It must take precedence over our love for anything and anyone. There is, however, a pride which stimulates the nobler ambitions, such as the pride on being able to acquire knowledge or to achieve good: Yet it is not the highest mode of worship, as it may be prompted by fear of divine punishment or by a desire for reward; or it may be altogether formal, external, and void of that spirit which steels the soul against every temptation and trial.


Nor should the belief in God be such as might in any way be liable to be understood in a corporeal or anthropomorphic sense, but it should rest on conviction which is the result of the most comprehensive knowledge and research. Bahya held that man should think about his own wondrous formation in order to recognize the wisdom of his Maker.

Rabbeinu Bachya answered his own question by saying that love for Hashem can be expressed three ways: Thus one who looks for G-d may have been called a Tzufi or Sufi. He originally compiled the work in Arabic in the year [2]under the title Al-Hidaja ila Faraid al-Qulub Guide to the Duties of the Heart and in it was translated into Hebrew by Yehuda ibn Tibbon [3]. The exception to this state of affairs was the relationship between Yehoshafat and the family of Ahab. Rabbeinu Bachya tells the story of a pious man who met a person who was truly in awe of God.

And just because the wisest of men learn in the end to know only their inability to name God adequately, the appellation “God of the Fathers” will strike with peculiar force all people alike. The person who devotes himself to his own development is like a merchant with only one item for sale.

** Chovos HaLevavos – Duties of the Heart **

The Netziv opposed this tendency. When Hashem tested Avraham Avinu he did not ask him to give himself up as a sacrifice, Halevvaot tested Avraham Avinu by asking him to give up his son Yitzchak. And not merely drunk but drunk to the point that we can no longer think clearly.