Pakuda, Bachja Ben-joseph, Ibn

Pakuda, Bachja Ben-Joseph, Ibn, a noted Jewish moralist, lived between A.D. 1050 and 1100. Nothing is known of his personal history, not even when and where he was born, nor how and where he was educated. But he is distinguished as the author of a work in Arabic, known in Hebrew under the name of הִלּבָבות חוֹבוֹת, The Duties of the Heart, an ethical treatise, written in a kind of poetical prose, but considered as a poem more on account of its sublimity of style and language than for its actual versification. This work, in which "more stress is laid on internal morality than on mere legality," was translated twice into Hebrew, by Joseph Kimchi (q.v.) and by rabbi Jehuda ben- Samuel ibn-Tibbon (q.v.), and afterwards into several other languages, and has found its way into almost every Jewish library. In Bachja's system there is no poetry, no idealism, no theosophy. He is the lawyer and judge, the practical jurist, to whom man and his happiness, here and hereafter, are the objects of philosophical speculation. He is orthodox without an exception, in theology as well as in the acknowledgment of the Jewish sources, viz. the Bible and tradition, neither of which he subjects to any criticism. But he adds to these two sources of information a third, viz. reason, which he places at the head, and thus, by means of reason, Scripture, and tradition, he seeks to demonstrate "that the performance of spiritual duties is not a mere supererogatory addition to that piety which is manifested in obedience to law, but is the foundation of all laws." As a poet, Bachja is especially famed for a poem on "Self-examination," בִּקָּשָׁה, or שַׁיר תּוֹכָחָה; also called from its initial בָּרכַי נִפשַׁי, generally appended to the editions of the Choboth ha-Lebaboth, and written in the style of the Arabic Malkazimi , or rhymes without metre. This poem has been translated into Italian by Ascaralli and Alatrini, into German by Sachs and M. E. Stern, and into English by the Rev. M. Jastrow in the Jewish Index (Phila. 1872, Oct. and Nov.). Whether Bachja lived before, after, or at the same time with Ibn-Gebirol (q.v.) is not fully ascertained; but he never mentions Gebirol or any of his books, which some take as a proof that he lived before Gebirol. See Gratz, Geschichte d. Juden, 6:43 sq.; Braunschweiger, Geschichte d. Juden in den roman. Staaten, p. 51 sq.; Jost, Gesch. d. Judenth. u. s. Sekten, ii, 412 sq.; Furst, Bibl. Judaica, i, 76 sq.; De Rossi, Dizionario storico degli autori Ebrei (German transl. by Hamburger), p. 54 sq.; Jellinek, Introduction to the Chobot ha-Lebaboth (Leipsic, 1849); Stern, Germ. Transl. of the Chobot ha-Lebaboth, with exeg. annotations (Vienna, 1866); Ueberweg, Hist. of Philosophy, 1, 418, 420, 426; Munk, Esquisse historique de la Philosophie chez les Juifs; Sachs, b Religiose Poesie der ,uden in Spanien, p. 63 sq., 273 sq.; Etheridge, Introduction to Hebr. Literature, p. 247 sq.; Finn, Sephardim, p. 177; Lindo, Hist. of the Jews in Spain and Portugal, p. 61; Da Costa, Israel and the Gentiles, p. 290; Wise, Lecture on Bachja (in The Israelite [Cincinnati], Dec. 1872); Zunz, Literaturgeschichte der synagogalen Poesie, p. 201; the same, Additamenta ad Catal. codd. Hebr. Bibl. Sen. civ. (Lips.), p. 318; Eisler, Vorlesungen fiber die jidischen Philosophen des oMittelalters (Vienna, 1876), 1, 43 sq.; but especially Kaufmann, Die Theologie des Bachja ibn- Pakudah (ibid. 1874). (B. P.)

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