By Colette Sirat
This publication surveys the great physique of medieval Jewish philosophy, devoting abundant dialogue to significant figures reminiscent of Saadiah Gaon, Maimonides, Abraham Ibn Ezra, Judah Halevi, Abraham Ibn Daoud, and Gersonides, in addition to offering the ancillary texts of lesser recognized authors. Sirat charges little-known texts, delivering observation and situating them inside of their historic and philosophical contexts. A entire bibliography directs the reader to the texts themselves and to contemporary reviews.
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Extra resources for A History of Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages
He himself died young, at about the age of 37 (between 1054 and 1058). Ibn Gabirol was a great poet, and his poetry gives us some information about himself and his life. He was, he says, small, ugly, and sickly; moreover, he was of a very disagreeable disposition and his arrogance caused him material harm, for, living entirely for philosophy and poetry, he depended for his subsistence on wealthy patrons. The most important of his influential friends was probably Yekutiel ben Isaac Hasan, whom he praises in numerous poems for his learning, wisdom, and generosity.
Miracles are the only sign; however there are many and various reports about miracles, and it is difficult to determine their veracity, in the first place, because we learn of these miracles through tradition and not through direct perception. An angel therefore being created must be capable of persistence; and what is there to necessitate his annihilation? If any one hold that an angel is only created for the moment, for the sake of a message or something similar, and that, when that is finished, there is no reason why he should endure, -what, we ask, indicates that he is created at the moment, - or created merely for the message or purpose which renders him for the moment necessary?
According to Kirkistini, man cannot hear the veritable Voice of God, therefore God creates a 'Voice' adapted to human corporeal capabilities. ( I ) The most eminent prophecy, that of Moses, comprises two different perceptions: Moses saw the Glory and heard the Voice. On the same level Moses was favoured with a face-to-face dialogue (he saw the most elevated Glory in his waking state) and with the mouth-to-mouth dialogue during which the Voice spoke to him as a man speaks to his companion. (2) The second degree, the Holy Spirit, is spiritual inspiration; it is by means of the Holy Spirit that Moses composed the two last pericopes of Deuteronomy and eleven psalms.
A History of Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages by Colette Sirat