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Ibn Abbas, Judah ben Samuel II


IBN ABBAS, JUDAH BEN SAMUEL II (13th century), religious writer, probably a resident of Spain; to be distinguished from Judah ben Samuel ibn *Abbas, the liturgical poet. In the middle of the 13th century Ibn Abbas composed Ya'ir Nativ ("Enlightener of the Path"), also known as Shevet Yehudah ("Judah's Staff "), a moral treatise, which reflects the influence of *Maimonides, and which the author claims to have written at the age of 20. The work is extant in manuscript (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Bodl. 44). Chapter 15 of this work, which has been printed and translated into German by M. Guedemann (see bibl.), contains pedagogical instructions. According to Ibn Abbas, the student should begin with the study of Bible and Talmud, proceed to the study of ethics and the sciences – medicine, logic, astronomy, and physics, in that order – and finally to the study of metaphysics. Ibn Abbas also lists the outstanding works that he recommends for the study of the various sciences. For example, he suggests that in order to learn the principles of logic the student read the works of Al-*Farābī and *Averroes (A. Hyman, in: Actes du quatrièmecongrès international de philosophie médiévale (1969), 102). This list indicates which authors the Jews of the 13th century regarded as authoritative in the sciences. Ibn Abbas also wrote Minḥat Yehudah, or Mekor Ḥayyim (Ms. Bodl. 44; J.H. Loewe, A Descriptive Catalogue… Louis Loewe (1895), 59).


Steinschneider, Uebersetzungen, 35; M. Guedemann, Das juedische Unterrichtswesen waehrend der spanisch-arabischen Periode (1873), 147–55 (Ger. sect.), 58–62 (Heb. sect.).

[Isaak Dov Ber Markon]

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