Duties of the Heart

Overview

The Duties of the Heart (Chovos Halevovos) is Rabbi Bachya ibn Pakuda's classic theological work on the Jewish principles of faith and man's inner relationship to himself and to God. By outlining and defining ten indispensable principles of faith and by guiding the reader toward devout adherence to these principles, Ibn Pakuda teaches each and every Jew the way to perfect his or herself and, in this way, to draw closer to God. Bachya ibn Pakuda defines the following principles, expounds upon their significance, ...
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Overview

The Duties of the Heart (Chovos Halevovos) is Rabbi Bachya ibn Pakuda's classic theological work on the Jewish principles of faith and man's inner relationship to himself and to God. By outlining and defining ten indispensable principles of faith and by guiding the reader toward devout adherence to these principles, Ibn Pakuda teaches each and every Jew the way to perfect his or herself and, in this way, to draw closer to God. Bachya ibn Pakuda defines the following principles, expounds upon their significance, and reveals how to foster and practice them: the Wholehearted Acceptance of God's Oneness, Reflection, Service to God, Trust in God, Dedicating Our Actions, Surrender, Repentance, Introspection, Abstinence, and the Complete Love of God. Ibn Pakuda also warns the reader about what to avoid so as not to falter on the path to perfection. The Duties of the Heart also provides the reader with a broad treatment of certain existential issues, including the nature of the soul, reward and punishment, Divine Providence, and free will. Ibn Pakuda offers proof of God's existence, addresses the Jew's place in the great multitudinousness of the universe, confronts power and subservience, explores the restoration of true health and vitality, and reveals the primal oscillation of the soul alternately toward and away from God. Perhaps the most fundamental issue addressed in The Duties of the Heart is the nature of our inner selves and our inner relationship to God. Until the nineteenth century and the advent of modern psychology in the Western world, it was widely believed that all our motivations were conscious and rational. But the theory of an unconscious mind, only brought to the fore by Sigmund Freud and his contemporaries, was in fact the foundation for eleventh-century Ibn Pakuda's belief in the relationship between the soul of man and the World to Come. Yaakov Feldman renders a lucid and contemporary translation of the classic eleventh-century work The Duties of
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Editorial Reviews

Jewish Book World
Originally written in the late 11th century, Chovot HaLevavot is a classic treatise of Jewish moral philosophy. As explained in his introduction, all of Jewish obligation can be divided among the "Duties of the Limbs," those outward actions, such as the performance of mitzvot and the "Duties of the Heart," the structures of beliefs and spirituality. This new translation presents the ten categories of Bahya's "Duties of the Heart" in an extraordinarily readable and accessible manner. Rabbi Feldman has further aided the reader by providing introductions to each section, detailed analysis, footnotes and summary statements.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568214528
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Pages: 484
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 1.51 (d)

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