** Chovos HaLevavos - Duties of the Heart **

by Rabeinu Bachya ibn Paquda zt'l
free english translation with select classic commentaries
mirrored from dafyomireview.com/384 (with permission)

Note: If one has time to read only one of the gates, I recommend #4, the Gate of Trust in God. But Gates 1-3 are the heart of the entire book.

Original Hebrew With Commentaries Gates 1-4 | Gates 5-10from hebrewbooks.org
Original Hebrew OCR Text Gates 1-10formatted html
~~~~~~ English Translation ~~~~~~
Letter of Approbation by Rabbi Mordechai Kornfeld
 
Author's Introduction
   
English translation by Rabbi Yosef Sebag, Jerusalem 2015
#1 Shaar HaYichud - Unity of God
    introduction to God
English translation by Rabbi Yosef Sebag, Jerusalem 2015
#2 Shaar Bechina - Gate of Examination
    waking up. essential foundations.
English translation by Rabbi Moses Hyamson, New York, 1925
#3 Shaar Avodas HaElokim - Gate of Service of God
    more on waking up. more essential foundations.
English translation by Rabbi Moses Hyamson, New York, 1925
#4 Shaar HaBitachon - Gate of Trust in God
    the most necessary of all things in the service of G-d
English translation by Rabbi Yosef Sebag, Jerusalem 2015
#5 Shaar Yichud HaMaase - Gate of Devotion
    introduction to falsehood and the evil inclination
English translation by Rabbi Yosef Sebag, Jerusalem 2015
#6 Shaar HaKnia - Gate of Submission
    "the beginning and root of repentance"
English translation by Rabbi Yosef Sebag, Jerusalem 2015
#7 Shaar HaTeshuva- Gate of Repentance
    the conditions and requirements of repentance
English translation by Rabbi Yosef Sebag, Jerusalem 2015
#8 Shaar Cheshbon Hanefesh - Spiritual Accounting
    exercises for internalizing the book
English translation by Rabbi Yosef Sebag, Jerusalem 2015
#9 Shaar HaPerishus - Gate of Abstinence
    cultivating self control and total focus
English translation by Rabbi Yosef Sebag, Jerusalem 2015
#10 Shaar Ahavas Hashem - Gate of Love of God
    the ultimate goal of the book
English translation by Rabbi Yosef Sebag, Jerusalem 2015

About the Translator: Rabbi Yosef Sebag studied in various yeshivas under great Torah scholars such as Rabbi Dov Shwartzman zt'l (~2 years), Rabbi Nachman Bulman zt'l, Rabbi Nissan Kaplan (~5 years). He also completed a degree in physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and was a research associate in nuclear physics for some time before heading off to yeshiva.

The Chovos Halevavos is the crown jewel of all the post-talmudic ethical works. It was originally translated from Arabic by Chacham Yehuda ibn Tibon zt'l. The commentaries wrote that Chacham Tibon was a singular, master translator who was able to translate the book in such a way that the full depth and all the allusions to different facets and multiple interpretations were preserved, as Maimonides (who knew Arabic) wrote: "I recognized in your words that your heart plumbed the depths of the matter and uncovered the hidden secrets" (Masoret edition pg.58). As is known, the torah way is to condense volumes of information in very few words, carefully crafting ambiguities to allow for different allusions and interpretations for the one who contemplates them, as the Talmud expounds (Sanhedrin 34a) "Is not My word like fire, and like a hammer that shatters a rock into pieces?" (Jer.23:29) - As the rock splits into many fragments, so one verse may convey many meanings. For this reason, the HSebrew is difficult to understand and was studied mainly by high-level Torah scholars. I have translated select commentaries to help bring out some of its depth.
 
Bonus: The Marks of Divine Wisdom (modern extension to shaar bechina)


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