ORḤOT ẒADDIKIM (Heb. אוֹרְחוֹת צַדִּיקִים "The Ways of the Righteous"), an anonymous work in Hebrew probably written in Germany in the 15th century. Orḥot Ẓaddikim, one of the most important works in Hebrew ethical literature, has always been published anonymously and though an attempt was made to identify the author with the 15th-century moralist and polemical writer, Yom Tov Lipmann Muelhausen, the hypothesis seems to be without foundation. The only historical fact cited in the work is the expulsion of the Jews from France in the 14th century. Since Orḥot Ẓaddikim follows the teachings   of the Ḥasidei Ashkenaz in many ways, it is possible that the author, in keeping with the admonishment of Judah b. Samuel he-Ḥasid of Regensburg in Sefer Ḥasidim (also published anonymously) for writers not to identify their work so that their descendants might not pride themselves with the accomplishments of their fathers, purposely kept the book anonymous. Despite its anonymity Orḥot Ẓaddikim became one of the most popular works in traditional Hebrew literature and since the 16th century nearly 80 editions, including abridged versions and translations, have been published. The first was a shortened version in Yiddish (Isny, 1542); the full Hebrew text appeared for the first time in Prague some years later (1581, latest publication 1969). The original title is probably not Orḥot Ẓaddikim, apparently given to it by the copyists and publishers. The Isny edition (1542) is called Sefer ha-Middot ("The Book of Ethical Qualities"), a name traditionally bestowed on Hebrew ethical works. In the introduction the author refers to the book as Sefer ha-Middot and in the concluding paragraph of the introduction he states "this Sefer ha-Middot was written and sealed with the seal of wisdom." The title is also appropriate to the structure of the work since it enumerates ethical qualities and their characteristics. Orḥot Ẓaddikim, to a large extent a compendium of earlier Hebrew ethical thought, is based on philosophical and ethical works written in Spain, and on Ashkenazi ethical writings. The author also drew on some works written in Italy which he copied verbatim. The language and style, though mainly patterned after the philosophical-ethical literature of Spain, is also fused with stylistic and structural elements of the Ashkenazi ethical school. Ḥovot ha-Levavot by Baḥya ibn Paquda, the classical work of Jewish ethics, is one of the main sources of Orḥot Ẓaddikim both in its basic ideas and the many proverbs and parables which the author culled from it. Orḥot Ẓaddikim, more than any other medieval Hebrew ethical treatise, used proverbs and parables for elucidation. The structure of the work seems to have been influenced by Solomon ibn Gabirol's Tikkun Middot ha-Nefesh which sets up pairs of ethical qualities (usually conflicting) and by Mivḥar ha-Peninnim, a work also attributed to Ibn Gabirol. The last chapter of Orḥot Ẓaddikim draws extensively on Saadiah b. Joseph Gaon's concept of the desired harmony between the various ethical qualities in Emunot ve-De'ot. The influence of the ethical works of Maimonides is also marked and the author sometimes quotes whole passages verbatim. He also copied sections from Ma'alot ha-Middot, an ethical work by jehiel b. jekuthiel anav of Rome. Despite the major influence that the above works had on the ideas, style, and structure of Orḥot Ẓaddikim, in its ethical outlook and approach the book follows the teachings of the Ḥasidei Ashkenaz, Sefer Ḥasidim and Sefer ha-Roke'aḥ by eleazar b. judah of Worms, and is mainly interested in the practical and immediate meaning of the ethical qualities. Though the author also deals in generalizations and often divides every subject into sections and subsections, following the structure of medieval philosophical works, primary significance is given to practical behavior. The last chapter describes how a full religious life may be realized. This realization is not seen in the achievement of wisdom, or the unity with God through love, as is common in philosophical-ethical literature, but in the awe of and obedience to heaven, the supreme quality posited by the Ḥasidei Ashkenaz. In the introduction, the author gives a theoretical and anthropological basis for his theory of ethics; the book is divided into she'arim (portals, i.e., sections), most of which are short, each devoted to a discussion of the ethical merits and demerits of a specific moral quality. The author apparently tried to arrange the chapters into pairs of contradictory qualities, but this was not followed through. Some of the major sections are devoted to pride, modesty, love (not exclusively the love of God, but all aspects of love in human life), hatred, compassion or mercy (raḥamim), cruelty, joy (including a long discussion on faith in God, to which, strangely enough, a special portal was not devoted). The author discusses the negative characteristics of non-religious joy, and extols the joy found in the love of God and obedience to him. Other sections treat worry, anger, envy, zeal and laziness, truth and falsehood, flattery, gossip, and repentance. (The section on repentance is the longest and most detailed section in the work.) The last two chapters are on the Bible and the study of Torah, discussing problems of religious knowledge and wisdom, and the awe of heaven, which, to the author, is the most important quality. Awe of heaven expresses itself in man's attitude toward God in everyday life. Orḥot Ẓaddikim greatly influenced later Hebrew ethical works. The Hebrew moralists in Safed, though kabbalists and though there is no kabbalistic element in Orḥot Ẓaddikim, drew on its teachings. The work also influenced ethical writers of Eastern Europe. It is even possible that the manner in which the merits and demerits of every quality are enumerated influenced Moses Ḥayyim Luzzatto in his Mesillat Yesharim. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S.J. Cohen, The Ways of the Righteous (1969); Guedemann, Gesch Erz, 3 (1888), 223ff.; J. Kaufmann (Even Shemuel), Rabbi Yom Tov Lipmann Muhlhausen (Heb., 1927).

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Orchot Tzaddikim — (Hebrew: ארחות צדיקים) is a book on Jewish ethics written in Germany in the 15th century, entitled Sefer ha Middot by the author, but called Orḥot Ẓaddiḳim by a later copyist. Under this title a Judæo German translation, from which the last… …   Wikipedia

  • RIGHTEOUSNESS — RIGHTEOUSNESS, the fulfillment of all legal and moral obligations. Righteousness is not an abstract notion but rather consists in doing what is just and right in all relationships; …keep justice and do righteousness at all times (Ps. 106:3; cf.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • PILPUL — (Heb. פִּלְפּוּל), a collective term denoting various methods of talmudic study and exposition, especially by the use of subtle legal, conceptual, and casuistic differentiation. The word is derived from pilpel ( pepper ), indicating that these… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • LURIA, ISAAC BEN SOLOMON — (1534–1572), kabbalist, referred to as Ha Ari (האר״י; the (sacred) lion from the initials of האלוהי רבי יצחק; Ha Elohi Rabbi Yiẓḥak, the divine Rabbi ). This cognomen was in use by the end of the 16th century, apparently at first in kabbalistic… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Shabbethai Donnolo — Sefer Ha Yakar by Shabbetai Donnolo Shabbethai Donnolo (913 – c. 982) (Hebrew: שבתי דונולו) was an Italian physician, and writer on medicine and astrology born at Oria. When twelve years of age he was made prisoner by the Arabs under the… …   Wikipedia

  • Sahl ben Matzliah — ( he. סהל בן מצליח הכהן, Sahl Ben Matzliah HaCohen , 910 990), also known as Abu al Sari was a Karaite philosopher and writer.Born in Jerusalem, he belonged to the Rechabites, and was one of the apostles of the Karaites who traveled extensively… …   Wikipedia

  • Sahl ben Matslia'h HaCohen — Sahl ben Matsliah Sahl ben Matslia h HaCohen (hébreu סהל בן מצליח הכהן, arabe Al Mu allim Abu al Sari) est un Sage karaïte du Xe siècle (910 990 EC). Sommaire 1 Éléments biographiques 2 Oeuvres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sahl ben Matsliah — Sahl ben Matslia h HaCohen (hébreu סהל בן מצליח הכהן, arabe Al Mu allim Abu al Sari) est un Sage karaïte du Xe siècle (910 990 EC). Sommaire 1 Éléments biographiques 2 Œuvres 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sahl ben Matsliah HaCohen — Sahl ben Matsliah Sahl ben Matslia h HaCohen (hébreu סהל בן מצליח הכהן, arabe Al Mu allim Abu al Sari) est un Sage karaïte du Xe siècle (910 990 EC). Sommaire 1 Éléments biographiques 2 Oeuvres …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sahl ben Matzliah — Sahl ben Matsliah Sahl ben Matslia h HaCohen (hébreu סהל בן מצליח הכהן, arabe Al Mu allim Abu al Sari) est un Sage karaïte du Xe siècle (910 990 EC). Sommaire 1 Éléments biographiques 2 Oeuvres …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”