Auctioneers of Rare Books, Collectibles and Fine Art

Auction 44: June 25th, 2009


HALEVI, JUDAH

Lot: 131 HALEVI, JUDAH Sepher HaKuzari [philosophy]. Translated from Judeo-Arabic by Judah ibn Tibbon FIRST EDITION. Rare final leaf with colophon delineates the Spanish geneology of the typesetters, the Ibn Yachya brothers. Lightly foxed and trace stained, otherwise a fine copy ff. (62). Stamp on f.2. Scattered marginalia in an Aschkenazic hand, previous owner's signature on title. Modern calf. 8vo Vinograd, Fano 13; Mehlman 1196; St. Cat. Bodl. 5738,1(ed. rarissima); Habermann, Perakim BeToldoth Hamadpisim Ha'ivrim (1978) no. 24, p. 57

Gershom Soncino, Fano: 1506. Est: $20,000 - $25,000
Price Realized: $30,000

-EXCEEDINGLY RARE FIRST EDITION OF A FUNDAMENTALLY VITAL WORK OF JEWISH PHILOSOPHY BY ONE OF THE GREATEST HEBREW POETS AND PHILOSOPHERS OF THE MIDDLE AGES.
     
      This celebrated philosophical exposition of the teachings of Judaism is one of just a very few book of Jewish philosophy written in the form of a Socratic dialogue. Halevi develops a philosophy of history in an attempt to show the insufficiency of theological conclusions arrived at by rationalistic means. His underlying principle is that God cannot be found or conceived by reason, God is to be conceived by intuition. It is this intuition ("Inyan Eloki") which may bring one to the highest spiritual levels. The work has a polemical dimension as well and discusses the perceived inadequacies of Christian and Islamic theology and the superiority of Judaism. See: M. Waxman, Vol. I pp. 333-39




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