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A Study in Judaeo-Arabic Literature 1 

By Henry Mai/ter, Dropsie College 

Judaeo-Arabic authors are very fond of variously 
personifying the human body and soul, both separately and 
in their relations to one another. The instances are so 
numerous, the sources from which the various personifica- 
tions are to be collected so widely scattered, and the aspects 
under which they were conceived so manifold, that the 
writer, working without a sufficient library, must at once 
surrender his ambition of giving an exhaustive study on 
the subject. Aside from some casual remarks, no attempt 
has hitherto been made at gathering and grouping the ma- 
terial according to some principle. The following may be 
taken as a modest beginning in this direction. 

The subject is closely connected with the general idea 
that the universe and man are parallel; that whatever is 
found irt the world without, in the macrocosm, is reflected 
or finds its counterpart also in the man, the microscosm. 
This doctrine is very old, being traceable not only to Pythr 
agoras and Plato (Munk, Guide, I, 354, n. 1), but also to 
the oldest Babylonian lilterature (Hugo Winckler, Die 
babylonische Kultur, Leipzig 1902, p. 33). The Talmuds 
and Midrashim afford numerous instances of analogies 

1 See this Review, 1911, p. 459, n. 12, 471, n. 42. A preceding study 
belonging to p. 457, n. 10, is soon to appear elsewhere. 



between parts of the universe and of the human body; 
see particularly |n: "aTi nnx, ed. Schechter, c. 31 and 
the references given there. For several years I have been 
collecting material on this subject in mediaeval Hebrew 
literature, and hope to treat it elsewhere. Here I limit my- 
self to the analogy between soul and body without regard 
to the idea of microcosm. 

The oldest instance of personification of soul and body 
in Jewish literature, is, to my knowledge, the passage in b. 
Nedarim 32ft. The "little city,»and few men within it" 
(Eccl. 9, 14-16) is interpreted there as signifying the 
human body and its limbs, the "great king," who builds 
bulwarks against the city, is the evil spirit (jnn "iv), and 
the "poor wise man," who delivers it by his wisdom, yet 
is remembered by no one, is the good spirit (31D IV). The 
same interpretation is given by the Targum and Midrash 
Kohel. rob. on the verses referred to ; comp. Bahya, Duties, 
V, 5, near beginning; Zohar, DfW'B, III, 234&-235&; Samuel 
Ibn Tibbon, D^DH lip', Pressburg 1837, p. 92. 

Very ingenious is the metaphor employed in b. Sanhe- 
drin 91a (occurring also in Lev. rab, c. 4, § 5, and Tan- 
huma, section NlpM) to express the relation between soul 
and body. They are both compared to two men, one lame, 
the other blind, who, when called to account for the 
despoliation of the king's garden which they were appointed 
to watch, denied the deed on the ground of their physical 
disabilities. The king, however, placed the lame man on 
the shoulders of the blind one and demonstrated to them 
the way in which they had jointly committed the crime. 
The application is to the -flesh and the spirit. When soul 
and body are arraigned before the Almighty they disown 
responsibility for their sins in this world. The soul alleges 


that it had not the physical organs for committing sin, the 
body contends that without initiative from the soul it was 
incapable of any action. God thereupon reunites body and 
soul and metes out punishment to both together. This 
beautiful parable found its way also among the Arabs. The 
"Brethren of Purity," a humanistic society of Arab philos- 
ophers of the tenth century, reproduce the story with vari- 
ous embellishments characteristic of these Mohammedan 
writers and their fondness for vivid imagery. 2 The Arabic 
superscription of the parable is "Al-Hindi," the Hindoo, 
thus declaring it to be of Hindoo origin. Steinschneider, 
however, cites various instances, where Arabic Hindi, 
Hebrew Hin, and Latin Indus are errors for Yahudi, 
Him , and Judeus (mediaeval spelling), and believes this to 
be the case also here. The Arabs received the parable from 
the Jews, not from the Hindoos, as the latter are not 
known to have applied it to soul and body. 3 This hypothesis 
is not acceptable. A quotation from Richard Garbe's "Die 
Samkhya- Philosophic" (1894), p. 164, (taken from Karika 
21), kindly communicated to me by Professor George F. 

2 See Dieterici, Anthropologic der Araber, Leipzig 1871, p. m-113. 

8 II libro di Sidrach, Rome 1872, p. 8, n. 2: "alineno non mi e noto che 
questa favola fosse applicata dagli Indian! all' anima ed al corpo"; comp. 
Hebr. Bibiiographie, XIII, 31, especially his posthumous work Rangstreit- 
Literatur, in Sitzungsb. d. philos. hist. Klasse d. kais. Akad. d. Wiss. in Wien, 
CI/V (1908), No. IV, p. 58- 60, where the question of the origin of the 
parable is more thoroughly discussed and also some Hindoo parallels quoted. 
In a recent work, The Egyptian Elements in the Legend of the Body and 
Soul by Louise Dudley (Bryn Mawr College Monograph Series, vol. VIII), 
the learned authoress, over-anxious to prove her thesis, sees in all her 
material but Coptic and old Egyptian elements. Her general conclusions (p. 
149, against Linow and Steinschneider; comp. also p. 160), as the passage 
from Garbe's work shows, are not at all conclusive. The present article, 
however, was already under print when the above dissertation came to my 
knowledge, which precludes a discussion in detail. 


Moore, proves that the ascription is correct and that the 
Arabs took the parable from the Hindoos. The passage 
translated reads as follows : 

"The relation between brute creative matter and the 
spiritual, but inactive, soul is compared to the alliance be- 
tween the blind and the lame man. Finding themselves 
hopelessly entangled in a thicket, one took the other on 
his shoulders and both reached safety. The lame man is 
the soul. It has the power of vision, but according to the 
doctrine of the Samkhya-system it can neither move nor act. 
The blind man is matter. It has the power of movement, 
and executes all of the world's actions, but it neither sees 
nor comprehends." 

Through what channels the idea came into the Talmud, 
I am unable to say. The Brethren of Purity, or the "Noble 
Friends," as they also call themselves at times,* could 
hardly have had any knowledge of the Talmud, since 

4 I use the translation "Brethren of Purity," which is commonly met 
with in the works of European writers, especially those of Dieterici, who has 
edited and translated into German most of their writings. The real mean- 
ing of the arabic 'Ihwan es-$afS is, as Goldziher (Muhammedanische Studien, 
I, 9, n. i, and more partcularly in the periodical "Der Islam," Strassburg 
ioio, I, 22-26) has proved, "The True Friends"; comp. Steinschneider, JQR., 
XVII, 581 (357)- In Hebrew literature they are mostly referred to by some 
general epithet, as 0»J1OTp."l, O'Dann, O'BlDl^'Cn (in») nsp; comp. for 
instance Moses Ibn Ezra, in the periodical JVS, II, 120, 1. 8 from bottom, 
with Dieterici, Anthropologic, p. 1. no f.; see also below, note 32. Palquera 
is to my knowledge the only author, who, in tt>p2D> zot>, 450, top, refers to 
them as D'p'nffl D>*13nm D>JD*»n D»n»n, corresponding to the Arabic 
jJOl *\iJU»Vlj S>\kJi\ jlji-l ('Ihwan es-Safa, ed. Dieterici, p. 624, 
top); comp. also tPpaB, 45&: 0'jQ»3n O'jnH. Joseph Albo, 'I^arim, III, 
and one of the versions of Maimonides' Letter to Samuel Ibn Tibbon 
(D'aBin JliaitWI J»31p, Leipzig 1859, p. 28rf) quote by the Arabic \WSH 
KOsSm ; comp. Kaufmann, Attributenkhre, 336, and Horovitz' Introduction to 
Ibn Saddik's )Op D^l?, VII, n. 31, 32- 


there was no Jew in their ranks. Be that as it may they 
have been more than generous in their return to the Jews 
for what they have taken from the latter. For Jewish 
literature abounds in instances of allegories of soul and 
body, nearly all of which are taken directly or indirectly 
from the works of these humanists. As there is no other 
principle to guide us in the arrangement of the following 
quotations, they may be grouped historically according to 
the authors in whose works they first occur. 

In the Apophthegms of the Arab Honein b. Ishak (died 
873)° Hippocrates is credited with the sentence: bae> r6j>D 
D'HDjffijn niN-in r6y»a *iua sbn, "the intellect is to the body 
as the light is to the eye." This comparison is very fre- 
quently met with in the works of Arabic as well as Jewish 

authors. So Avicenna (died 1038) (j-C^I ^IjUljic i-^Jj 

UjLa)! ^ ' j a, which expresses the same idea. 8 In a work 
of Al-Farabi (died 950) 7 the comparison is made not with 
reference to the human soul or intellect in general, but to 
the "active" intellect in particular : D1KH }D ^)jnsn baETi Dm 
niNin JD ewn Dnv Similarly Al-Gazzali (died 11 11), 
Ethics, 151, 155. In the work D'WBn "irian, attributed to 
Ibn Gabirol, at the end of nwnan W, the sentence reads : 
«iun "UN cain p tbwn iik CDtrn -ib>jwi. Most of the He- 
brew authors, drawing a line between the soul (e>BJ) and 

5 Translated into Hebrew by Judah Al-^arki under the title '1D10 
D'BlDlTBil, II, 8, beginning, ed. Loewenthal, Frankf. a. M. 1896, p. 35. 

c Haneberg, Zur Brkenntnisslchre von Ibn Sina und Albertus Magnus, 
Munich 1866, p. 66, % 9; see also Avicenna's Compendium of Psychology 
published by Landauer, ZDMG., XXIX, 371, 1. 5. 

' nitttOan ni^nnn, published by H. Filipowski in S|'DKri, Leipzig 1849, 
I, 5. The passage is quoted by Hillel b. Samuel (thirteenth century), in 
B>Bjn 'SlOJri, 7b, and by Shem Tob Palquera, HlS^On, 15, who does not, 
mention Al-Farabi's work. 


the intellect (}3£2>), carry the simile to both. 8 The sentence 
occurs in its original Arabic form in an anonymous Arabic 
commentary on Canticles. 9 Without mentioning any source 

the author simply says : )D byssbs bpvba iibtJD JN rtobv 1p\ 
"iX3^>N JD DDE^X fibm ]tiD:nba. The origin of this compar- 
ison is Aristotle's De Anima, II, i.™ 

Very frequent is another comparison, likewise of Aris- 
totelian origin, 11 following which the soul is a craftsman 
and the body the tool of his trade. Saadia is here the first 
Jewish author to make use of this idea, when he says in 

reference to the soul: trim wh'sh runun kti font? 12 and a 
little further : $>n -p-iV K"i3J ^3 bya '3 «1U3 s6k bvttTs vb wnw 
D'^ona '^3. Later authors are still more explicit on the 
subject. 1 ' With the Brethren of Purity this comparison has 

8 See e. g. Joseph Ibn 'Aljnin, 1D1D "1ED, 103, 174, top, and in f31p 
B'iDia J113HW1, Leipzig 1859, II, 456; Simon Duran, JTI3K \XH, igb, Soft, 

9 Steinschneider's Festschrift, 53, bottom. 

10 ac & »} Style mi rj Siniafuc tov bpyavov j) ij/vxi [sc. ivreXsxeia £<ttiv~\. 
to 62 aa/ia to dwa/iu ov • aXX' aanep 6 bty&aXube ^ Koprj kou $ oi^iff, 
Kami r/ fvxy Kal aa/ia rb $$ov ; comp. Zeller, Philosophic der Griechen, 3d 
ed., II, 2, p. 487, n. i, especially Steinschneider's annotation to Maimonides' 
"Tin\1 1DNJ3, 17, n. 30, and Hebr. Ubersetzungen, 23, n. 150. 

11 Zeller, /. c. In the so-called Pseudo-Theology of Aristotle it is re- 
peatedly asserted in the name of the "divine philosopher" Plato that the 
soul is the real man and the body only the latter'* instrument; see the Arabic 
text, edited by Dieterici, Leipzig 1882, p. 120 (German translation, 122), 149. 

12 Bmilndt, Constantinople 1562, p. 546, Arabic text, edited by Landauer, 
p. 195, I, 7; the later Hebrew editions have erroneously 07137 for D'737. 

13 So Ibn Saddil?, J»p 071J? (Breslau 1903), 32, bottom, 75, 1. 8: 
PBJfl 13 ntPOJItPB '731 niJDIK '733 N'TO (comp. Horovitz, Psychologie, 
*77> n. 95); Judah Halevi, Kuzari, II, 26; Maimonides, QH"nn 10KD, near 
beginning: »BJ7 '73 VMS OiOK 17733 VflXCW JHU 1331; Joseph Ibn 
'AJcnin, "ID1D 1BD, 19, 115 (comp. Goldziher, Kitab ma'&ni al-nafs, 48); 
Palquera, B>B J!"l 'D , c. 3 ; the anonymous author of the commentary on 


become almost a habit. They exploit the thought from 
every possible point of view, even to the extent of making 
it trivial." 

The works of the Brethren of Purity are the chief 
source also for numerous parables on body and soul. Thus 
they are compared to a king and his palace, the governor 
and his province, the mayor and the city, or the house 
(body) and its inmate, similes which are in turn worked 
out with minute detail, with points of comparison carried 
to extremes. A few instances will suffice to illustrate the 
method. On one occasion where body and soul are compar- 
ed to the house and its occupants the head is likened to the 
attic of the house, the eyes and ears are peep-holes, the 
throat is the corridor, the lungs are the summer-palace, 
the heart, with its natural warmth, the winter-palace, the 
stomach is the kitchen, mouth and lips are door and door- 
posts, the teeth are watchmen, and the tongue is the cham- 
berlain. Where comparison deals with loftier personages 
each character is given a train of attendants. Thus in the 
instance in which the soul or the intellect is made the king, 
the five faculties of the mind, called the "inner" senses, 15 
become his ministers, the five physical (or "outer") senses 
are his soldiers, the ears are the messengers, who bring the 

Canticles, quoted above, 52, bottom; Joseph Albo, 'I^arim, II, 28, and others: 
comp. Kaufmann, Sinne, 57, n. 54; Goldziher, /. c, 28, first note on text, 
p. 19; Horovitz, liber den Einfluss der griechischen Philosophie auf die 
Entwicklung des Kalam, Breslau 1909, p. 13, n. 2. 

" See Dieterici, Anthropologic, 5-9, 17, 43, 128; Die Lehre von der 
Wehseele, 91 f. (Arabic text, ed. Dieterici, 513 f.); comp. also Al-6azzali, 

Ethics, 38: nnasioi vfh >bs t|um. 

15 Al-Farabi appears to have been the first to introduce a distinction be- 
tween outer and inner senses: AilsVJU » JbUaJl , j*u»»- jH ; see his 'UyHn 
almasa'il, c. 20, apud Schmoelders, Documenta Philosophiae Arabum, Bonn 
1836, p. 23. By "inner" senses are understood those functions of the soul or 


news to the king, the hands are his servants, and so on." 
This simile is not original with the Brethren of Purity. 
It was used earlier, in less detail however, by Al-Farabi in 
a treatise on the soul." An interesting parallel to this 
simile appears in Avicenna's Compendium of Psychology, 

ZDMG., XXIX, 353 : jU:)l j^\ £|,JJ J "^il lJ\. 
jl^VI *l_^ J^ Hi!." This presentation is made use of 

intellect which, according to the opinion of the Arabs, are performed without 
the assistance of any of the five "outer," bodily senses, as apperception, 
imagination, cogitation, and retention. The Arabic philosophers differ as to 
the number of these functions, Al-Farabi counting four, while our authors, 
as well as later writers, enumerate five. There is, moreover, much disagree- 
ment as to the single functions which are to be included in this number. We 
are here not concerned, however, in these particulars. For a detailed dis- 
cussion see Kaufmann, Die Theologie des Bachja, 12-15. Mediaeval Hebrew 
authors followed their Arabic masters in all these points. Kaufmann, Sinne, 
46 ff., gives a long list of Hebrew authors discussing the O^'n'JB D'tPin 
D'JlX'ffl , to which many more can be added. So Dunash b. Tamim (10th 
century), commentary on Yefirah, London 1902, p. 64; Palquera, IPBJrt, c. 12, 
18; Aaron b. Elijah, introduction to pj? ]} ; Meir Aldabi, D310M ^<SB>, 
Warsaw 1887, p. 141, col. b (taken from O'DETl "1!?E> of Gerson b. Solomon, 
Rodelheim 1801, 76, top); Simon Duran, mat* JJD, 31&, 356; Isaac Abrabanel, 
D>jpt may, c. 21, and others. For D>31S'P11 D»»>JB often is used D"Jm"l 
D»3EU1 , which is also found rn Arabic sources, so in the works of the 
Brethren of Purity, ed. Dieterici, 209, bottom. The poet Immanuel of Rome 
uses D'WIlOl D"D'5B (Makama 18, ed. Lemberg 1870, p. J326). Berechiah 
ha-Nakdan, "liann 'D , ed. Gollancz, London 1902, p. 52, 146, uses 0*'OtM 

16 See Dieterici, Anthropologic, 5 ff., 17, 43, 128, especially 53, 56; 
Weltseele, 33, 46 f., 109 f. ; comp. Nat-uranschauung, 83, Microcosmos, 72, 89. 

" Translated into Hebrew by Zerahiah b. Isaac (1280) under the title 
VCin niSTO3 1QKI3 and published in the collection ATM man, Konigs- 
berg 1856, p. 480; comp. Steinschneider, Hebr. Vbersetsungen, 29s f. 

18 See the German translation of Landauer, ib., 391, n. 14, and the 
parallel, Dieterici, Anthropologic, 35. 


anonymously by Al-Gazzali, pitf.'JTKD, 39: 3B>inn nan riDSO 
jreosa unoimpoi isD3 bv wv itan ids Kin mon vxdk3 uawi 
aann in:tH»i in-6e> anjea jnjnn men 'ja^ wens wonm irosta 
Kin ...iDiB>n nam -ny bo mtnnn v5>k k , 3' 1 "icn miata ^oa run 
njn pten ids Kin nanon nsm inu fotoi wrwiK !>jn ioa 
nwDcn ^101 pan ns D^noa owim naiD i»a xw !>jnan nam 
...ITJn nSD'tf no ^>33 D^nosn. Gazzali develops this imagery 
still further and concludes with the following sentence put 
in the mouth of a bee ; u«6l D"!>ape WW DniD vrp DlNn 
aioai imata n^a nw "i^oa n^i vm^e> rbiii vaw v-n una-iin 
VS3V nen vi^n 'a-i a^> 3D« tk j"3 i^on 3^. 19 

This imagery proved a source of inspiration also to the 
poets of the Synagogue. In discussing some liturgical pro- 
ductions containing similar figures, Steinschneider says with 
reference to the passage just cited: "For this beautiful 
description of the human body the Synagogue is indebted 
to Gazzali." 20 The passage inspired him to a material imita- 
tion given below. 

Die Augen sind die Fuhrer, 
Die Ohren die Kassirer, 
Die Zunge ist der Dragoman, 
Die Hande Fliigelmanner, 

"* lb., p. 40; see the many similar pictures, often highly poetical, in the 
tenth chapter of the work, out of which the following two sentences may be 
quoted here, as they belong to our subject proper. The one, p. 63, reads: 

nn mibsi mam l'nirai lmsSoi n»ya bvna Sb>03 iBua mun b>bj bvo 

D'tylBni D'JBWn 103; the other, p. 66: "fjO 103 fopi (MHO 103 MU1 1BU1 

cine 103 on D»o»2Bni D'Jis'nn D'cinno ou'bot rninsi nnw »nm 

D5?3 V13K1. The in rj'tPirtno is partitive, the sense being: and his faculties 
of comprehension and perception consisting of the outer and inner senses are 
like soldiers etc.; comp. Lev. rob. 4, $ 4; see also Tholuck, Blilthensammlung 
aus der morgenlandischen Mystik, 213; E. H. Plumptre, Ecclesiastes, 12, 2, 
p. 213 f. 

20 Magazin fur die Wissenschaft des Judentwms, 1876, p. 191, note. 


Die Fiisse sind die Renner, 

Das Herz der thronende Sultan: 

Und ist's dem Konig wohl urns Herz; 

Dann fiihlt kein Diener Sorg' und Schmerz. 21 
Jewish philosophers, nurtured in the literature of the 
Arabs, naturally followed the same line of thought. Thus 
Bahya Ibn Pakuda's masterful description of the human 
body as a palace with the intellect as its royal resident 
attended to by a splendid staff of servants, 22 agrees in its 
main features, as also in many details, with that of the 
Brethren of Purity. Abraham Ibn Ezra is another instance 
of prominent Hebrew authors who took delight in por- 
traying soul and body in Arabic fashion. 21 In Judah 
Halevi's symbolical description of the Tabernacle and the 
sacrificial cult (Kuzari, II, 26)* "King Intellect" ("]biD 

sl Steinschneider, Manna, Berlin 1847, p. 83. 

" Duties, III, 9; comp. Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibliogr., XIII, 13, n. 8", 
Kaufmann, Die Theologie des Bachja, 19. Palquera's detailed description of 
the body comparing its various organs to parts of the universe ( tPpSO , 460) 
occurs with slight variations also in Ibn Saddik's )Bp D71JJ, 24 (comp. 
Horovitz, Psychologie, 162, n. 45) and is taken from the Brethren of Purity 
Csee Dieterici, Anthropologie, 4 f.), while the author of the 1B»n "IBB (c 
1), attributed erroneously to R. Jacob Tarn, drew upon the Duties of Bahya. 

23 See e. g. his introduction to the commentary on Ecclesiastes and ib., 
1, 16, especially his f'pD p 'H, an imitation of a work of Avicenna, in 
the collection D'JIBBB tW1, Berlin 1845, p. 47. The Hebrew translation 
of Avicenna's work and that of an Arabic commentary on the same under 
the title P'pO p *n JTUN was published by Kaufmann in the periodical 
"V hy P^lp, II, Berlin 1886; see ib., 20 f. for passages relating to the 
subject under consideration. 

24 Comp. also ib., Ill, 5, beginning; Bahya, Duties, I, 7, end. Ibn 
Zebarah, D<JWyB» 1BD, (1866), 24 ( e)UD ^13 KIM MJ?lrl ) may also be 
here referred to; comp. Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibliogr., XIII, 15, particularly 
the many instances quoted by Kaufmann, Sinne, 63, n. 70; comp. also Judah 
Al-Barceloni, m>5t» '0 BniB, Berlin 1885, p. 109, 265; Bahya b. Asher, 
beginning of section rwa. 


}3B>n) dwelling in the heart is compared to the Shekinah 
which resided in the Sanctuary. He, too, like Avicenna 
whose psychological theories he adopted, 25 makes of the 
inner and outer senses a kind of advisory board to the 
intellect. Less complimentary to the body is Joseph Ibn 
Saddik. The animal soul, which is a general term for all 
functions of the physical senses, is the mere servant of the 
rational soul: norenM son [rvnn] paani i^omm noannpaam 
-|tan •OS riN mcon CWi. M His source is the treatise of Al- 
Farabi, p. 48a." The distinction between the souls 
is of Platonic origin. 28 Passages of this kind from the 
works of Hebrew authors are too numerous for quotation. 
The above will suffice as examples. 

To this category of similes in which the soul always 
appears as a sovereign with the body as its royal quarters, 

25 Steinschneider first called attention to Judah Halevi's dependence upon 
Avicenna, see Hebr. Bibliogr., X, 57, n. 2. Landauer, ZDMG., XXIX, 335 ff., 
proved it in detail; comp. Steinschneider, Hebr. Obersetzungen, 18, n. 121; 
Kaufmann, Theologie des Bachja, 12, n. 4. 

28 JBp D7I5? (1903), 37. On other occasions he, like Abraham Ibn 
Ezra (Introduction to Commentary on Eccl.), uses also the simile of house 
and resident; see ib., 33, top ( n'SD "pflS ]31B>3 ); comp. Horpvitz' Intro- 
duction, XII, n. 53, Psychologic, 161, n. 43, 177, n. 95. Similarly Palquera, 

cpaa, 47a: f\vA tm^si rasv n<33 ib>bj ^>sk mm. 

" See above, note 17; Steinschneider, Hebr. Obersetzungen, 296, n. 204; 
comp. also Schmiedl, Studien, 145. I must call attention here to a passage 
quoted by the author of the Commentary on Canticles, 55, of which I do 
not know the source. It reads: TON ]1tWlf1 . D1VJBJKD HO 1 ? D'lST TVshv 

lS»3 peas zh ivbv D'J'nn vsh laws pb^ e\nn kv . jvss "ua nfya 1 ? 

nori7D3. The last portion is found literally in the book Yesirah, c. 6, § 2, 
where the version of Saadia, ed. Lambert, 102, top, has more correctly t)U3 37; 
comp. Judah Al-Barceloni as quoted, note 24, and Dunash Ibn Tamim, *"DB, 
71. The middle portion expresses, I believe, the same idea as quoted above 
from Ibn gaddik. The author seems to have taken the whole passage from 
some younger Midrash. 

M Horovitz, Psychologie, 174, n. 83, 177, n. 91. 


belongs also the comparison of the soul to a captain steer- 
ing a vessel (body), a thought that can be traced back to 
Plato. Here again the Brethren, true to their method, spin 
a long yarn (see Dieterici, Macrocosmos, 107-110), con- 
triving a variety of supplementary analogies to complete the 
picture. Thus e. g. man's actions are compared to the 
merchandise with which the vessel is fraught, the world 
is the ocean, life is a voyage across the sea, death is the 
haven, and the hereafter is the home of the passengers, 88 
or the safe harbor, where captain and craft take their final 
rest (Dieterici, Anthropologie, 17, 43, 127). 

It has been pointed out already by Steinschneider 
(Hebr. Bibliogr., XIII, 8) that the works of the Brethren 
have influenced also the Ifabbalah. Thus we find the above 
simile applied in the Zohar, Exod., section ^np'O, 199. The 
prophet Jonah's going on board of a ship is allegorized as 
the human soul entering the body. The name Jonah (from 
ru 11 = to deceive) is applied to the soul, which is deceived 
into a calamitous association with the body. "And the ship 
was like to be broken" (Jonah, I, 4) is taken as an allusion 
to the frailty of the human body, constantly threatened by 
the storms of life. The lengthy exposition of the Zohar 
was translated literally into Hebrew and made part of a 
later Midrash on the book of Jonah. * The metaphor is 

" 'IbwSn es-Safa, ed. Dieterici, 437: r- ^U.0 | _ r »i)^ iuijo JU»*-I 

» TOV BT1D, in Jellinek's Bet ha-Midrasch, I, 103 £.; comp. Jellinek, 
ib., p. XIX. For the Aramaic of the Zohar I quote a part of the passage 
of the Hebrew translation of the Midrash: bv nOtMH IT n3»DD^ TW tUV 

natMH nso nsh\ nj'BD 1 ? bwrnn dik bv qua nvrfc mn o^iya nrvts* dik 


very frequently met with in the works of philosophic 
writers. So Ibn 'Aknin, D"3D"in n«HWi pip, II, 450: 
^>3inn n ma mei>ea ntny n^w <JB>n pom ...dwd w rtKbvn 
wn pDD CBJm...nrBDn rvahff Kin '3. The same, but more 
elaborately, he says in his "IDID "iBD, 173. The whole 
discussion of Ibn 'Aknin in the J^obes is found 
almost verbally in Palquera's £2>BJn 1DD, c. 3, a work 
which is wholly based on Avicenna's Compendium of 
Psychology mentioned before.* 1 Palquera uses the met- 
aphor also in c. 15 of the same work as also in some of his 
other works.' 2 The Italian author Hillel b. Samuel (thir- 
teenth century), 33 the Karaite Aaron b. Elijah (fourteenth 
century), 84 and the Christian scholastic Thomas Aquinas 
quote it in the name of Plato. 3 " 

oy rh vr>v mown dim n» bi inns? n» b»k uw mh pioen -pn by nait 
stois ~avrh [n]3B»n» Svun D>n 3^3 ru»»D3 ron ntopa -fan m«m spn 
'i3i i3»rA ratm rvjxni. 

31 See Steinschneider, Hebr. tibersetzungen, 18, n. 1226 and p. 989, 
No. 5. 

82 See his DlSnn 1TUK, /QR., 1910, p. 471, where the simile is quoted 
as a D'Jimpn bvK), by which the Brethren of Purity are to be understood; 
see above, note 4; comp. also )Uip| »"1S, Hanau 1716, p. 140-166, and Stein- 
schneider, Hebr. Bibliogr., XIII, 30. 

35 »Ejn ^lDJn, 3b, 15b, 160. 

34 D'TI 5*5? , c - I0 8, beginning. 

35 oee tyein Sj? IORD in the collection ntWifllBn, 2: *|lA DJ53T B>BJD 
}1bSb»B DWIWU y>11DB> 103 PIS^ m»n 1D31 flJ>BDf> )BDfl 103. The 
editor wrongly ascribes the treatise to Ibn Gabirol; see Steinschneider, 
Hebr. Vbersetsungen, 22, n. 144. Prof. I<ouis Ginzberg communicates to 
me the following passage from the flltim of Joshua Ibn Shu'aib (fourteenth 
century), section N1N1, ed. Constantinople 1523, fol. 27, col. c. : bYlt 03111 

rui'tyn notwn ...btrw* 'osno m bspv pso jw fw* van mp moitwio 
m«n «iiJ3 n»3i rtts^ntro otroi d* n'Kipjn o'on oipoo roon n'j«. 

Ibn Shu'aib only proves hereby that he was not well-informed on the 
subject. For pseudo-Bahya and others see Goldziher, Kitab, 50. The 
quotation there from Bahya b. Asher*s commentary on Genesis fully agrees 
with the passage in Ibn 'Afcnin's 1D10 1B0, 173, referred to above. 


Somewhat similar to the above group of metaphors is 
the one in which the soul is conceived of as a rider and the 
body as the steed. The world appears here as a race- 
track, on which the wise are the winners." The same 
simile is used by Al-Gazzali, Ethics, 156: 1D3 Kin CSJn 
DlDn 1D3 fium cnan . Elsewhere in the same work (p. 
I34)" 1 he compares the body to a chariot which conveys the 
soul to its celestial abode : "inyn 13 IC'K £*B3n n33"iD Kin f\un 
^bv ^aCD bit , a metaphor found very frequently also in 
the writings of Avicenna. 38 Among Jewish writers mention 
may here be made of the anonymous authors of the Kitab 
ma'dni al-nafs" and of the fragmentary commentary on 
Canticles 40 referred to above. Shem Tob Palquera says: 41 

no^iy bit nabf> -nyci trs^ 33-id nvnb win rv!>3n. Very 
remarkable in this connection is a passage in a later 
Midrash in which the Messianic verse "lion bv 33m 'JJ> 

88 'Ifywan es-fafa, ed. Dieterici, 457: .wiJIj <f>\j$Q Jui-lj 

Jjl-Jo L)jUa)\} - 1 -> ,J> 4" W J >J>\)& I comp. Dieterici, 
Anthropologic, 17, 43, 127 f. 

81 Comp. also ib., 128, bottom (.V&ih liiyi na3ia S\Ufl) and the 
passage quoted above, note 14. 

88 See Mehren, Les Rapportslde la philosophie d'Avicenne avec Vlslam, 
Louvain 1883, p. 15. 

88 See that work, p. 63, 1. 20; 71rVpVlB 1.10' 'tSk DIKsAtO *H ]13nB 
rhya TB31"ft rhin <•£>» DIBSkS ; comp. Goldziher ad locum, p. 50. Abraham 
Ibn Ezra on Exod. 1, 1 says: flVH 113JW ... 3^> Klpft rUV^fl DIND J1BIM 
f6 nJIE'Sin nasiafl 3^n (comp. also his commentary on Deut. 6, 5, and on 
Isa. 66, 14); similarly Judah Halevi, Kuzari, II, 26 (B-BjS 1W8"in MjriBn). 
The purpose of these authors, however, is not the application of the simile, 
but the designation of the heart as the organ in which the soul resides. For 
details on this matter see Kaufrnann, Sinne, 63, n. 70. 

*° Steinschneider's Festschrift, 58, bottom. 

41 Blhrtft lYlJK, JQR., 1910, p. 471; comp. Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibliogr., 
XIII, 30 f- 


(Zech. 9, 9) is interpreted as a reference to the poor soul 
riding the body. 42 The original source of this group of 
similes is Plato's Phaedo.*' 

The spirit of mediaeval gloom and asceticism manifests 
itself in another group of metaphors in which the body is 
likened to a prison or dungeon,** a grave from which the 
soul escapes only at the moment of death," an unburied 
corpse carried on a bier by the soul." Again the body is 
an idolater, a heretic, a hypocrite, a fool, Satan, devil, 
a courtesan, with whom the soul, an inexperienced stranger" 

42 !TMK tmn, ed. Buber, Vienna 1894, I, 159. The Midrash offers 
two interpretations as follows: fit 'JJ? 'fmXO 1V3K1 'JJM MOO pTPIO '3 y S'SO 

innn by van aaiin b"i non by aam »jy wid jai spin m i^mi vein 
tfnyn nunrv atpi t|u*i n« tnun aSjn? "ran Sp aam trne nw ik 

S|U2n t|Un \0 n"apn 1JW; comp. Goldziher, Kitab, 47, n. 2. Jedaiah 
ha-Penini of Beziers, oSlJ? nJTD, c. 16, beginning, uses the same metaphor, 
warning the intellect against the allurements of the "braying ass" ( tftiyi 
T\TmX nana "It?** 13in»). His commentator Moses Ibn Habib justifies this 
upbraiding of the body by a reference to a passage in b. Berakot 30 (miBB'B 
lyU "110D rulBWl) which he interprets in the same way. In Bahya's nnaifl 
it is the body that is termed fjni JVaK >3J? Vl ; comp., on the other hand, 
his Duties, V, 5, where, following the Talmud, Nedarim 326 (see above, p. 
454), he applies pOD to the soul; comp. Kohel. rab., 4, 13. 

48 See Dieterici, Macrocosmos, 14; comp. also Phaedrus, 246 A, where 
the soul is described as a charioteer (rivloxoc). 

44 jrV*Ua*j Kjfi^' 'tywan, ed. Dieterici, 451; comp. Dieterici, Welt- 
seele, 32 f., Macrocosmos, 97. 

45 'Ilywan, 513, 586; Dieterici, Weltseele, 91, 189, Anthropologie, 126. 
48 Dieterici, Anthropologic, 131. 

47 The idea of the soul being a stranger in this world is a favored 
theme also with Jewish authors; see for instance Bahya, Duties, III, 2: bsViVtf 

o»aj?n n>s>un n^iya nw Mini jvtyn o^iyn p iuj >jnn osy Kin 
and a little further: maa Sam ian vfn pma iS f»* '"im Km >jsa Satpni; 

comp. also ib., IV, 4, ed. Konigsberg 1858, p. 101 (tPDJrt D11J la*? ty nty'l 


in this world, is brought in contact, who takes advantage 
of the stranger's inexperience and by her demoralizing 
power brings him to ruin." All this found expression also 
in Jewish mediaeval literature. To collect all passages 
bearing on the subject would be a tiresome and unprofitable 
task. Bahya Ibn Pakuda's Bxhortation (nrow) alone 
contains nearly all the epithets of the body enumerated 
above," while the famous moralizing Examen Mundi ( nyru 
dSuJ ) of Jedaiah ha-Penini offers a still richer collection 
of such terms. The figures of the prison, grave, corpse, 
and the like, which occur frequently also in the works of 
Philo, were a favorite with the liturgical poets. 50 

There is another category of metaphors intimately 
related to those under discussion. The Arabs as well as 
the Jews often substitute the world for the body. Thus 
the world, too, aside from being represented as an ocean 

TD"iya ), VIII, 3, last Meditation; Goldziher, Kitab, 44, n. 1. Jedaiah ha- 
Penini's oSlJ? fUTO abounds in phrases expressing the same thought. The 
soul is "kidnaped from the king's palace" and made to "live among strangers" 
(D>13J J'3 11 A ... ")^a »S3'rt naiJj), a "traveler on the road taking 
lodging in an inn" (]177 flfltaJ 1T11N3, ib., c. 14-15), and so forth; comp. 
Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibliogr., XIII, 13; Goldziher, Kitab, 47, n. 1, 3; see 
also "warn "fjon J3, c. 20. 

M Dieterici, Anthropologic, 131 f. The reader can rest assured that our 
authors do not fail to give the soul the good advice not to heed the jugglery 
of the woman-body, who, they assure, if treated with indifference by her 
intended victim, will soon desist from her coquetry (ib., 132). 

" Aside from the lengthy description of the body as a deceiver and 
seducer the author calls it also "UDQ, D31B "UB1 DKDJ «|1JI, K 1 ?! 1^> fljn tth 
D313n, mSOai 1D18Q ID (= heretic) , and the like; comp. also his 
Duties, V, 5, beginning. Jedaiah, c. 14, in allusion to Gen. 40, 15, puts in 
the mouth of the soul 1133 THK latf; ft 15 he uses 1D«a and bBH JV3 
=r dungeon. 

M See the numerous references in Steinschneider's Polemische und 
opologetische Literatur, 298, n. 21, and Hebr. Bibliogr., XIII, 12 f.; comp. 
also Magazin fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums, III, 190, n. *. 


and as a race-track (see above) it is also spoken of as a 
courtesan," a prison, 52 a fortress, a workshop," a harvest- 
field, where death is the reaper," and a shaky bridge." 
Jewish literature bristles with parallels." Sometimes the 
authors conceive also of the soul as a spiritual world, or, 
the world to come, and then soul and body appear as two 
opposed worlds, or, in a bolder figure, as two women-rivals. 

51 An Arabic proverb quoted by O. Bardenhewer, Hermetis Trisme- castigatione animae, Bonn 1873, p. 28, reads: » »_> <U?e.$U'4)l 


"The world is a prostitute, 

one day she is with a spice-dealer, 

another with a horse-healer" (baifar — veterinarian). 

Comp. '131 n'jnea pern rvjtys -pen npus hjs ntsoi 1 ? nj>n' run? nTitra ?3n 

(in JMaSn, II, 383); Dukes, O'Onp bm, 47, No. 27; Menahem Meiri, on 
Prov. 7, 23. It should be noted that the Arabic "dunya," world, as well as 
the Hebrew 7311 (and JDt), denote also, as in the above instances, worldly 
blessings, fortuna; comp. the description of the world (nature) as a woman 
in the Arabic text apud Bardenhewer, J. c, 8, § ir, and especially 071 J? fUTD, 
c. 10, end. 

82 Dieterici, Anthropologic, 144. 

" 'Ihwan, 449; Dieterici, Weltseele, 30. 

54 Dieterici, Anthropologic, 43, 127 f.; comp. 'Ihin, 457: O'j*-0 ty&Jl 


M Dieterici, Logik, 169. 

•" Some references are given by Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibliogr., IX, 169, 
top, XIII, 12 f., 30 f. The eighth chapter of the D71J> fl3'P13 begins with 
the words: 1'7J? »1J3 J71J7") "KM ]Qim ... t|jm D' D71JH1; comp. Chotzner, 
JQR., VIII, 419; Palquera, niSyan, 71: 13 »'» HB3 D71Jf?l HT KW D»n mi 

'i3i Di«n n« nnsKnn nit^nm nnipno, and ibn Hisdai, i>nm ibon ja, 

c 14:13 13IW1 7«1 V7V nay IBM ntn D7l}?n. The latter sentence is quoted 
also in JlJ'f! >1S, ed. Hanau 1716, p. 70, top, and by Moses Ibn Habib 
in his commentary on D71J? flSTia, 336. 


who constantly quarrel with one another. So Gazzali, 
Ethics, 157: D'JtKDn niaa wa Kin -inxm ntn obivn bew jn 
D^an dhd Jinan nri_n> }Dt i>a 13 nnv wai aunsi rnt» ioai 
mnsn. Gazzali is probably the source of Bahya:" 
epxpn nnsn nxnn -ie>sa nm tie's Nan D^ipni ntn D^ipn nosi 
n<xm. The sentence seems to be of Hindoo origin as it 
occurs also in the romance "Prince and Dervish,'"" which 
was translated from Arabic into Hebrew under the title 
TW.Ti lbt>n p by the same Abraham Ibn Hisdai who 
translated the aforementioned work of Gazzali, There, c. 
14, the sentence reads as follows : ntn oWn ^fc»D "iriN idki 
mnan own man msn ana'a* ba nnv 'ne6 Kin d^ynv 59 
Immanuel of Rome (^KUDV nnanD, Makama 19), rimes: 
nnx <ne>a xam ntn ctayn nma mty nan vn -ib>k oann -idki 
mnxn spvpnc iy nnxn nyin *6 rnaaa -opm nnaeo nnxn 6 *. 
Ibn Hisdai provides the two women with the names 
of Hannah and Peninnah (I Sam. 1), Hannah figur- 

" Duties, VIII, 3, beginning of the 25th Meditation. Bahya's depend- 
ence upon Gazzali has been proved by A. S. Yahuda, see Goldziher, RBJ., 
1904, p. 154 ff. 

M See Steinschneider, Hebr. Obersetzungen, 864 f. 

"* Moses Ibn Habib, 26a, bottom, drew, according to Steinschneider, 
Hebr. Bibliogr., XIII, 30, n. 12, upon Ibn Hisdai. Ibn Habib's version, 
however, is somewhat different (MflKn HOtPn nn«n DyShff J103). The 
sentence is quoted also by Samuel tpmhi (1346); see Steinschneider, ib., p. 

60 The ed. pr., Brescia 1491, and ed. Lemberg 1870, p. 149, bottom, 
have erroneously S]'pB»HtP for S|'XpnB> which is the reading of ed. Con- 
stantinople. Saul b. Simon who first published Palquera's JU'il 'IS (Cremona 
IS57) and claims to have reproduced its contents from memory (see this 
Review, 1910, p. 173, n. 42) has embodied in his memory numerous passages 
from Immanuel's work. Thus the whole lengthy passage in Immanuel's 
Makamas, from which the above sentences are taken, is reproduced literally, 
with a few omissions, in the JU'H '"IS , ed. Hanau 7a. There, too, the 
reading is E|'ptMW . The work ought to be republished from the original 
MS. found in the collection of the late David Kaufmann. 


ing, of course, as the better of the two." Immediately 
before the sentence just quoted Ibn Hisdai quotes the say- 
ing of a wise man 82 that this world is the paradise of the 
wicked and the prison of the righteous : J'DH pj> nm ttajjn 
pDKDfi nDSDl. This, too, is found in the works of Al- 
Gazzalf and Immanuel." Joseph Ibn Saddik, who is also 
to be mentioned here, has ( Jtsp D^W, 76, bottom) : nDtai 
owin ri33i Q^pib viDn m sine> dSwn bv "tow. Ibn Hisdai 
is also the source for Immanuel's 'tow an ion wv 
son cfnvn ." In TMm "|bon p , /. c, the sentence reads : 
xan Dbiyb jwip run D*?wn o:. m 

The Arabic Humanists often conceive of the body also 
as a covering, as the outside protection of something more 
precious that is placed within. Thus they frequently com- 
pare the soul in the body to an embryo in the mother's 
womb, the chick in the egg, the pearl in the shell, or the 

w Comp. "Dukes, Beitr'dge, II, 103, addition to p. 56 (in Steinschneider's 
Hebr. Obersetzungen, 867, n. 117, erroneously "36"), who refers to a 
similar conception in the Hitopadesa. 

" The Brethren of Purity attribute the sentence to the Prophet; see 
Dieterici, Anthropologic, 144; Steinschneider, Hebr, Bibliogr., XIII, 13, n. 8. 

" pns 'jtkd, 218: 'jot pi \\vtrm nowa mn run dSij«i. The words 

HBWI and i3Vf refer to the righteous and the wicked whom the author had 
described in the preceding pages. 6azzali and Ibn Saddik seem to have 
escaped the notice of Steinschneider, I. c. 

" The older editions have corruptedly )'»»» "\y for J'Bfl PJ > while 
ed. Lemberg, 149, bottom, has ]'0»3n WKI31 1'B'H 11DJ? which gives no sense 
at all. 

« So also in ]WTt nS, /. c. 

* In this form the sentence was made use of by Ibn tfabib, /_ C- 22 a> 
top, where, however, the word tM and, perhaps, also a reference to the 
source were omitted in print, rendering the passage unintelligible; see ib., 
260, 33ft (see above, p. 469, note 56) where two other sentences taken from 
Ibn Hisdai are introduced by vbvQZ D3nn ("10XB3) 1»» 1331. 


man in the garment." The comparison of the soul with 
an embryo is not merely the creation of a fertile imagina- 
tion but part of a well defined system. According to these 
authors, when the individual soul is sent down from heaven, 
where she was at one with the universal soul, to join the 
human body, she is made to forget the wisdom that was 
hers in the former abode. 08 She must now regain it 

« 'Ibwan, 599: i^Jl iijic i.'jil ,J»y^ «-i_l jl-^-Vl »i_» 
(")OSS a- . "V'j 4- *JJ. The following is a collection of metaphors given 
by the authors under the superscription JU«i-l« _«Jl <A tL>L.l)ULI cJ 
(on the similitudes of soul and body) ib., 195: ,X_i.L ( \d-u r .!b§\ 

£jf ^\ btfX' jiJ^ dlNS* yjuH iuJfc" ±J~\ 3 

^jjl.. j^^-iJl f^"** jL * i M.J /"'^* <_r*^ ^J>vj)p JuJ-^ 

4_-J^-ij »J^J^ ^^-* 1 '^ Oibj^ "*»-j^> \<»j* i^j^ For brevity's 

sake I give only the contrasts: embryo — womb, boy — school, 
inhabitant — habitation, rider — beast, captain — vessel, king — subject, 

artisan — (his) shop, workman — material, master — pupil ; "and in 

proportion as the body grows old and decrepit, the soul grows young and 
vigorous"; comp. Dieterici, Logik, 142, Macrocosmos, 97, Microcosmos, 184, 
Naturanschauung, 83. 

68 That the soul is deprived of her previous knowledge when entering this 
world is taught already in the Talmud, Niddah 30b: 710^ '«telf '1 VTI 

t)iDO B'30i| neun wki by ib pih iai ... •jcipnif Dpsth inn 'yea nan n'nn 
t>b\yn vvth tav ji>ai ... rbs nwin ^>a mi** jno^ni ... ibid tyi o'nyn 

..jhs minn Sa WO&D1 1«B by ntSlDl »3 "|»S». The anonymous author of 
the Kitab ma'ani al-nafs, who wrote under the influence of the Brethren of 
Purity, refers very often to this passage in support of this (Platonic) theory; 
comp. Goldziher's notes on pp. 28, 56, 62 of that work, where numerous 


through her own efforts in her earthly career. At the 
outset of her career on earth she, therefore, resembles the 
embryo awaiting development and perfection. The em- 
bryonic soul, in virtue of her divine origin, naturally seeks 
to repossess herself of the lost treasures of wisdom and 
grandeur, which she can accomplish only through con- 
stant application to study and search after truth (av&uvqoie) . 
Here, however, she meets with the stubborn resistance of 
her earthly companion. In his low passions and desires 
he tries to divert her from the right path and to drag her 
into the mire of worldly pleasures. If she is strong enough 
to withstand the temptations and subdues the enemy, mak- 
ing him subservient to her higher aims, she fulfills her 
mission on earth, and on the day of death, departing from 
the body, she returns to her celestial home, where, in re- 
ward of her long struggles and sufferings, she is admitted 
to the galaxy of angels that surround the throne of God. 
The death of the body is, therefore, the birth of the soul," 
the final act in the evolution from embryo to full maturity. 
If, on the other hand, the soul yields to the seductions of 
the body, neglects her higher duties, and indulges in sensual 
desires, she has failed in the purpose for which she was 
sent. On departing from the body she is denied admittance 

parallels from Arabic sources are given, to which the Pseudo-Theology of 
Aristotle, edited by Dieterici, Leipzig 1882, p. 95 f., may be added; see also 
the work Sill nj33t«, part III, c. 2, ed. Warsaw 1876, p. 42; Jellinek, Bet 
ha-Midrash, I, 154. 

• tiazzali who did not care much for the Brethren of Purity and once 
stigmatized them as the lowest class of philosophic popularizers (comp. 
Goldziher, REJ; XUX, 160), labors under the same conceptions. In his 
Ethics, 219, he clearly says: n'JE' fllS N1H MtMl; comp. the long parable in 
Palquera's CpaD 4s, and Steinschneider, Hebr. Obersetsungen, 40, n. 281. 


to the heavenly spheres and doomed to eternal wanderings 
between heaven and earth.™ 

These ideas are not original with the Brethren of 
Purity. They are of common occurrence in Neo-Platonic 
literature. Various Jewish writers, some even older than 
the authors of the Encyclopaedia, move along the same 
lines. What is of special interest to us here is that even 
the similes themselves, peculiar as they are, were made 
use of by Jewish writers. Thus in Bahya's Duties, III, 
9, we read : nnflKfi jd nvon nfi'bpai ibm p k^bo po Dm 
which is literally the same as quoted above from the works 
of the 'Ihwan.™ For the contrast of schoolboy and school 
I do not know of any direct parallel in Jewish literature." 
The underlying idea, however, namely that the soul was 

™ The thought is also familiar in the Talmud; comp. Shabbat 1526: N'3fl 

wyv) bv\ ... mssn kds nnn nitiw o'pns to jnatM iai« itytm 'i 
o^iyn «HD3 toij? in« i«tei oSiyn tpoa toij? "irtK i*6ai) nisSim jiidoit 

(nr? Pit JflBOT ppSpOl ; comp. also Sifre, KltM, 40, DD3B, 139; iCpAeJ. rafr., 
3, ai ; Saadia, Emiinot, ed. Cracow, 137 (whose version of the passage agrees 
more with Abot dirabbi Nathan, c. 12), and especially Goldziher, Kitab, 53 f-. 
notes on pp. 65, 66, who quotes also Isaac Israeli (end of ninth century) 
and passages from the Zohar. See also Schorr, pi^nD, VIII, 19- The last 
pages of Ibn Saddils's JBJ) O^ip are devoted to the presentation of this theory; 
see Horovitz, Psychologic, 198 if. It should be noticed that in "pOPI }3 
TT3H1, c. 35, the same views are expounded by the Dervish to the docile Prince. 

jedaiah, nSij? rwrn, c. 14 (nnn ona nnAja wk D'Ssna n'rvntra 

niX'T nvnnnS) may also be referred to; comp. Ibn Uabib, ad locum. The 
whole matter is closely connected with the theory of the pre-mundane exist- 
ence of the soul; comp. Ginzberg, Die Haggada bet den Kirckenv&tern, Berlin 
1900, p. 23, 36; Goldziher, /. c, 49. 

n See the Arabic text just quoted; Dieterici, Anthropologgie, 17, 44, 

n For the metaphor man and garment see above, p. 463, note 26, the 
quotation from Palquera's VpiO and p. 465, note 35, the quotation from 
tmii man (Aquinas). 


sent down to this world for study and introspection, so 
as to merit by her own efforts the reward that is intended 
for her in the world to come, is taught also by Jewish 

Of a more general character is the conception of the 
body as a cloud obstructing the light of the sun (soul)" and 
can be met with in various forms also in the works of 
Jewish authors.™ Special emphasis was laid on the personi- 
fication of the soul as a dove which is ensnared in the 
mazes of the body.™ A similar idea is expressed by the 
author of the commentary on Canticles, in Steinschneider's 
Festschrift, texts, p. 50, 1. 6 from below : JiDNOn MP KnitfiDl 
^»sdk ^k Km-iKj 3N"iJ6ni annnn 3&o!n xnpia diind po fiDDino 
TM 'in mm 'iwK "ba dukd^ni. "The soul is compar- 
able to a dove which is placed between a peacock that is 
above her and a raven that is under her, the latter pulling 
her repeatedly downward and the former upward."" 

In conclusion it must be stated that while in nearly 
all the instances discussed above the Jewish authors appear 
to have followed Arabic models, there is a considerable 
number of metaphors scattered in haggadic and midrashic" 

** The authors are too numerous to be quoted. Saadia expounds this 
idea in the fourth chapter of his Emunot; comp. Horovitz, Psychologic, 45 f„ 
particularly Goldziher, Kitab, 47 f. 

74 Dietericl, Anthropologic, 131 f. 

75 Comp. Bahya, Duties, VIII, 3, 14th Meditation: D3BTI )» »DK )>»n 

'131 flKtfl, which is entirely in the style of the 'IhwSn; the commentary on 
Canticles, /. c, 50, 1. 8, from bottom, 56, 1. 14 ff.; Pseudo-Empedocles in 
Kaufmann's Studien iiber Salomon Ibn Gabirol, 22, top: miit HTOP VfDiT] IDS 

rh bit t|um tiurr?... 

'• Discussed by Goldziher, Kitib, 49 f.; Der Islam, I, 25. The simile 
quoted above, p. 464, note 30, is conceived under another aspect and does not 
belong here. 

" Comp. Kohel. rab. 2, 14, § 2. 

** See Levit. rab., 4, % 8. 


literature, which seem to have originated with the Jews. 
A collection of these similes, however, was not within the 
scope of the present article. Only a few that bear some 
semblance to similes treated already may be pointed out in 
passing. Thus in Levit. rab., 34, § 3, it is reported of Hillel 
that when he left his disciples he used to say that he is 
going to attend to his guest in the house. On being asked 
whether he is troubled with guests every day he answered, 
Is not that poor soul a guest in the body? to-day she is 
here, to-morrow she may be gone.' 9 

Mediaeval authors often allude to the soul as a bird kept 
prisoner in a cage or flying about seeking rest. A. similar 
conception is found already in Sanh. 92a, Levit, rab., 4, § 5 : 
T1K3 nmifi mints IISS . w The Kabbalists designate the 

79 no 1 ? son *en jh «av mbu us »<n k'jdsn ikS kmsiSj? kpbj jnm 

K3n N'fl fl<7. This passage bears strong resemblance to the popular 

sentence 12p3 in»l JKS Dl>n, which occurs in injUl l^DH )3 , c. 16, 
and, curiously enough, also in a later Midrash; see Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch, 
I, 23, and Buber, NrYUKT »1BD, 82. 

80 Possibly it is this conception of the soul as a bird that underlies 
Ezekiel 13, 18-21; see Dudley (as above, note 4), p. 29, n. 25, and especially 
Steinschneider, Rangstreit-Literatur, 58, n. 1, who considers this conception 
as the basis for the custom to open a window at the moment of a person's 
death, so that the soul may fly out. Prof. Ginzberg refers me to the Midrash 
on Psalms, ed. Buber, p. -102: tbifath D'BJS tys SJH J<03 noil ITBIM 

ofnya ntsaitrai inotw n«si< jb» mkboi irvwn aim rvnSni \hi*a mwp 

n«n DIKtP niOlSnn jn pi (comp. also Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch, 
V, 45, and p. XXI, top). Here the soul appears as a kind of 
flying locust, or a grasshopper, a figure which may be of Greek 
origin; see e. g. Plato's Phaedrus, 248 Ei Pseudo-Theology of Aristotle, 
10, Dieterici's German translation, 198. The Greek ifivxV means also 
butterfly, which, because of its rising from the larva, may have been 
taken as a symbol of life and immortality. The Kabbalist Eleazar of Worms 
(thirteenth century) in his work tPBSil nDSn , which was published anony- 
mously (Lemberg 1876), refers to this Midrash by SlflS VW3B; see ib., 
id (O'BJS ffo K»l ni»B> 'n rb V> tPBjn) and 6b. The work, to which 
Prof. Schechter called my attention, is a fantastic glorification of the soul, 
interspersed with kabbalistic mysteries which yield but little for our purpose; 
comp. Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibliogr., XVII, 53; Brull, Jahrbiicher, V, 198. 


souls as "holy birds that fly about chirping and praying for 
the holy people of Israel." Thus the Zohar in a lengthy 
exposition on the subject (section pi>3, p. 392) interprets 
the verse ma nxxo "nev M (Ps. 84, 4) as referring to the 
souls of the righteous that find shelter in the most hidden 
palace of the divine presence which is called niBX )p n . On 
certain days of the year, particularly in the months of 
Nisan and Tishri, these souls leave their holy retreat every 
morning and, fluttering above the various divisions of 
paradise, praise the Lord and pray for the life of all 
mankind." Jedaiah ha-Penini, D^IP firm, c. 15 says: 
pirn 'lie v ra mwp maiun -riant ids ins torn, and Zerahiah 
ha-Yewani, "lCTi 'D, c. 12 beginning: srtjn ...nown '3 $m 
Up ?« 31K" tabta* icsai rmxoa K'Bnjn." 3 The metaphor was 
common, however, also among the Arabs. The historian 

81 ^« nhyn mnm inSit n»n^>« nn«n t6 vv ' 1 « ton to'ao >6a>n 
•yibs jp. 

» 2 twwa »vk i<ottsn fovi ... K'pnn jin»nn yh» n<a n»sn iibs D3 
KruiT fw tai by pnn«i ... inotwa pnn pj'tn 'itwi »»vi ]o»3 »bi» ]wte\ 
ttrav kbisbs Rinni kibxi kids ^>aa tDXDjra inssn urns tni in Sa 

KD^J? '«m KC3 '32 "rl ty KHl'ttl n"3p1. This passage of the Zohar is the 
basis for an Aramaic - prayer in the Polish ritual, provided for the first twelve 
days of Nisan (D'K'tMn 'li'), which I used to recite as a boy and which 
reads as follows: ]'B»ip 1'DBIM by Sl"I3n "nDn3 Ol'Il "WW ... JW1 »m 

V"»2i Ama* «B»*ip «oy by i>kSsoi 1'natwai i'dsbsoi pess I'twnnm 
D»rf>8 nnm «A py rvby lonmn »ts»ip mn«^ >tt>np >ibs nsn *>»jmi D<3an 

'131 "in7lt. Zunz remarks somewhere that the Jews sometimes sing logic, lament 
in mathematics, and pray metaphysics. The above prayer may serve as an 
illustration of the latter part. 

83 An epigram in insm "fan |3, c, 5. end, reads: -|lfl 1W13 »2ip2 mil 
im ?1^ rotXO! Clteni "13IM nBl nfi, but this is perhaps only an allusion 
to Ps. 124, 7. 

478 the jewish quarterly review 

Al-Mas'udi M relates of the pre-Islamitic Arabs that they 
believed the soul was a bird living in the human body, and 
that when a person dies the soul continues to flutter about 
the grave and to bewail the death of its former compan- 

Highly poetical is the portraiture of man as a lamp 
'enkindled by the Torah which is a spark of God, the body 
representing here the wick, while the soul is compared to 
the oil. 85 So Jedaiah, /. c, c. 15, beginning: ani? NT) minn 
ivj nix naxw npiax vpbn wa oiam wwi -witi a^aco -nono 
ta rvan s6crv Diovm DnoaDna ir nn |»e> wdb>j nbnaj n^ns 
mm. The same metaphor is used by Zerahiah ha-Yewani, 
"ibti 'D, c. 5, as the sixth of his proofs for reward and 
punishment in the hereafter. 8 * Of a somewhat similar nature 
is the exposition of the author of the commentary on 
Canticles, who drew upon Mohammedan sources: D^VD 
nn^N Krra ia^a n^na^x nat? t^k kjvb t^n" 1 v6n Mbd^x jk 
kid "ujj dbj!>n i^ia 5soDbs< W'a in^k n^nabs <a iaj> no nat? 
»a!>K Dpi .iBDJ^so p^l/nn. "Know that the sperm in which 
the embryo assumes existence is to be compared to a wick 
and that the spirit is blown into the former just as the fire 
is communicated to the latter, so that the lamp burns; this 

84 Les Prairies a" or, III, 310; comp. Derenburg in Geiger's Jiidische 
Zeitschrift, VI, 293. The idea that the soul mourns over the dead body is 
common also in rabbinical literature; comp. b. Shabbat i$20, bottom, 
especially p. Yebamot, c. 16, § 3 ; see also "lianfl 'D of Berechiah ha-Nalfdan, 
edited by Gollancz, London 1902, p. 50. 

M Comp. Shem T°b Ibn Shem Tots the commentator of Maimonides* 
Guide, nitrn, section mSfl, end: B»K!W >WI pSl ... VDlh TD1 1DB71 '3 

mn»nB hsn lips n»n» )ats>ni rfanm mm?. 

86 For other similes of this author see ib., end of c. 1. 


is what takes place when the soul joins the sperm at the 
time of coming into existence." 8 ' 

Bahya's representation of the evil spirit as a spider 
that spreads its network around the window gradually ob- 
structing the light of the sun, 88 and, likewise, his comparison 
of the soul with an unpolished metallic plate which be- 
comes bright by friction, 88 seem to be of Arabic origin, 
though I do not know the source at present. 

Of doubtless Jewish origin is the symbolical descrip- 
tion of the human body and its organs as paralleling the 
Tabernacle and its various vessels. Already in the New 
Testament the body is called tabernacle (II Cor. 5, 1. 4; 
Pet. 1, 13-14) ; Jewish mediaeval authors took up the idea 
showing the correspondence in detail. The sources are 
rather numerous and require special treatment. 80 

87 Steinschneider Festschrift, jj, bottom; comp. Kuzari, II, 26: tPBifll 

nVnen twna zrhn wpna 1a ib9>b> ... 'j?ao on nna n« 'a lannn «S; 

so also Dfinash Ibn Tamim in his commentary on the book m'5', London 
1902, p. 71, bottom. 

88 Duties, VIII, 3, 14th Meditation; comp. b. Sukkah 520. 

89 lb., VIII, 4. 

90 See Kuzari, II, 26 (comp. above p. 462) and the reference given by 
Cassel (2) ad locum, p. 129; Abraham Ibn Ezra, on Exod., 26, 1, and 
especially Steinschneider, Hebr. Obersetzungen, 997, n. 1. Some of the 
references in that note are misprinted. Numerous parallels between the 
vessels of the Tabernacle and organs of the human body will be found in the 
KBHn mo, ed. Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrasch, III, 17s f.