Selected Religious Poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol

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His chief work, the Mekor Hayyim Fons vitae, or Fountain of Life , written originally in Arabic, accepts the Neoplatonic ideas of Emanation, expounded primarily by Plotinus. But Ibn Gabirol's view of Emanation differs from that of the Neoplatonists in that his Emanations are the result of the Will of God and not a mere mechanical necessity or flow from the Divine Source.

Catalog Record: Selected religious poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol | HathiTrust Digital Library

Matter is spiritual and as such streams directly from the Godhead; it becomes corporeal only at a distance from its origin. Perhaps because Ibn Gabirol omitted all biblical allusion in Mekor Hayyim, Jews did not read it; in fact, it was regarded by many as the product either of a Christian scholastic writer or of a Moslem, and "Ibn Gabirol" was frequently corrupted to Avicebron or Avicembril.

Tikkun Middot Ha-nephesh Improvement of the Moral Qualities , Ibn Gabirol's ethical treatise, despite its many biblical quotations, represented a system of ethics independent of the Jewish tradition. It was based largely on a psychological and physiological approach and urged man to attain harmony in body and soul by disciplining his senses along the lines of Aristotle's golden mean. Although Ibn Gabirol exercised a relatively minor influence on later Jewish thinkers, his Neoplatonic ideas penetrated the medieval Cabala, or Jewish mystic lore.

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Israel Davidson, ed. The Selected Religious Poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol , contains an informative introduction by the editor and a splendid collection of Ibn Gabirol's poetic works, including his Keter Malkhut, translated by Israel Zangwill. Abraham E.

Millgram, ed. Solomon ben Judah ibn Gabirol.

Solomon ben Judah ibn Gabirol Facts

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Selected Religious Poems Of Solomon Ibn Gabirol

Copyright The Gale Group, Inc. POETRY, philosophy, and science, apparently three distinct fields of intellectual endeavor, are essentially but three different manifestations of the same spiritual force, which urges man onward to search for the solution of the riddle of existence. Science attacks the problem from the physical side; philosophy grapples with it from the rational, or mental side; poetry tries to penetrate the mystery with its vision. Poetry need not necessarily reveal itself through the art of versification.

The astronomer whose eye sweeps through the vast vacancies of space and whose ear catches the harmony of the spheres, the mathematician who calculates the eons, and the physicist who measures the electron and weighs the sun are indeed greater poets than those who merely compose melodious lines.


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On the other hand, the great poet, who ascends by the light of the divine fire within him to the heights of Pisgah, whence he may look at life from a higher altitude and see it more complete, more in its totality, often catches in a flash of inspiration that which it takes the scientific investigator years of painstaking labor to discover.

The difference between those three seekers after truth is only in the method.

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That none of them has ever succeeded, or is ever likely to succeed, in lifting the veil that shrouds the great mystery, matters not. The effort in itself is of the greatest moment to mankind.