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Shviley Emunah. (Paths of Faith).
Riva di Trento Yakov Markaria editor 19 November 1558 - First edition, 4to. 130 leaves; pages 40 to 50, page 71, page 78 and page 125 misnumbered. Two leafs lacking and supplied in manuscript. 11 astronomical diagrams in text, ink annotations to front free endpaper, two Christian censor's annotations passing the book and dated July 1599 and 1629 to final leaf, hand written dedication on first page dated 1909; ink library stamp of Max Septimus to title and verso of final leaf. Modern full calf; spine sunned. First edition of this highly important collection of eclectic Kabbalah essays discussing philosophy, science, astronomy and theology, which went through numerous editions. The work, which translates as "Paths of Faith" consists of ten chapters covering various topics such as: God and his qualities; the creation and order of the world; human anatomy, physiology and pathology; rules for enjoying good health and long life; the soul and its functions; the redemption of Israel; and the resurrection and afterlife. Meir Ibn Aldabi was a 14th century Rabbi, philosopher, doctor and writer, son of Isaac Aldabi, "He-Chasid" (The Pious), grandson of Asher ben Yechiel (the Rosh), and a descendant of the exiles from Jerusalem. His name is ascertained from this text, his chief work, wherein a poem is found in which every line begins with a letter of his name, and there it reads "Aldabi". Shviley Emuna considered being his most important work. Aldabi belonged to the class of popular writers who, possessing extensive theological and scientific knowledge, commented upon the assertions of their predecessors with a clear understanding, expressing here and there their own opinions, and presenting some subjects from the standpoint of the Kabbalah. Aldabi was also one of those Talmudists whose conception of religion was wholly spiritual and who revered the Kabbalah: he cannot, however, be called a true Kabbalist. In 1360 he wrote Shvilei Emunah (Paths of Faith), an exhaustive treatise on philosophical, scientific, and theological subjects. To judge from the many editions that appeared from time to time, it was for centuries a favourite book with the educated. Shviley Emunah is divided into ten chapters, which discuss respectively: - The existence of God, His attributes, His incorporeality, unity, and immutability, which is not affected by prayer or even by miracles – introducing in each case a Kabbalistic discussion of the names of the Deity. - The creation of the world, which does not necessitate any change in God or any plurality in His nature; an explanation of the Biblical account being given, followed by a dissertation on the seven climates or zones of the earth as then conceived, the spheres, the stars, the sun and moon and their eclipses, and on meteorology. - Human embryology and the generative functions. - Human anatomy, physiology, and pathology. - Rules for health and long life. - The soul and its functions. - The exaltation of the soul, which, through the fulfillment of the Law, becomes one with the Creator - the chapter being devoted chiefly to an explanation of the ethical value of the Mosaic commandments. - Explanatory notes on the truth of the Law and of oral tradition, elucidating some of the Aggadot on the same lines as Solomon ben Aderet. - Reward and punishment, paradise and hell, immortality of the soul and its transmigration in man. - The redemption of Israel, the resurrection, and the world to come after resurrection; a general résumé of the book, followed by a poem. Moritz Steinschneider, a well-versed 19th century Talmudist, has shown Aldabi's Shevilei Emunah to be a compilation from various older sources, chiefly from Gershon ben Solomon of Arles's encyclopedic work, Sha'ar ha-Shamayim (Gate of the Heavens), of the 13th century. The book is signed by two Christian sensors on its last printed leaf. The oldest inscription in brown ink reads (in Italian): "Checked by me Brother Luigi da Bologna July 1599". On leafs 525-526 some words in the text are crossed out using the same in [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy]
      [Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books]
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