Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

Spanish Jewish Talmudic Scholar, Andalusian Hebrew Poet and Philosopher

Author Quotes

Admit thy guilt and seek forgiveness, for the denial of guilt is two iniquities.

Jealousy is cruel as the grave the coals thereof are coals of fire.

There are four types of men in this world: (1) The man who knows, and knows that he knows; he is wise, so consult him. (2) The man who knows, but doesn't know that he knows; help him not forget what he knows. (3) The man who knows not, and knows that he knows not; teach him. (4) Finally, there is the man who knows not but pretends that he knows; he is a fool, so avoid him.

Kings may be judges of the earth, but wise men are the judges of kings.

There are three types of friends: those like food without which you can't live those like medicine which you need occasionally and those like an illness which you never want.

Knowledge indeed leads to deeds, and deeds separate the soul from the contraries which harm it…In every way, knowledge and deeds liberate the soul from the captivity of nature and purge it of its darkness and obscurity, and in this way the soul returns to its higher world.

Thou hast created me not from necessity but from grace.

Many men hoard for the future husbands of their wives

What is the test of good manners? Being able to bear patiently with bad ones.

All men have one entrance into life, and the like going out

Master: The purpose for which all that exists is the knowledge of the world of the divine. . . Student: And what is the fruit that we will achieve with this study? Master: Release from death and adherence to the fountain and source of life.

You are wise, and your wisdom gave rise to an endless desire in the world as within an artist or worker—to bring out the stream of existence from Nothing…He called to Nothing—which split; to existence—pitched like a tent…With desire's span he established the heavens.

And when I was born, I drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth, which is of like nature; and the first voice which I uttered was crying, as all others do.

Matter has no reality apart from its form, for the real derives from form, and therefore matter moves toward the reception of form, in other words, to be released from the sorrow of absence to the pleasure of existence.

Your secret is your prisoner once you reveal it, you become its slave.

As long as a word remains unspoken, you are its master; once you utter it, you are its slave.

One can compare creation to a word, which man utters with his mouth. In man’s expression of the word, its form and meaning are registered upon the hearing of the listener and in his mind. Along the same lines it is said that the exalted and holy creator expresses his word, and its meaning is registered in the substantiality of matter, and matter preserves that meaning, in other words, that created form is imprinted in matter and registered upon it.

As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters

One is punished by the very things by which he sins

But if you should lift yourself to the first universal matter and [are] illumined by its shadow, you will then see the most wondrous of wonders. Devote yourself to this and be filled with love for it, since here lies the meaning for which the human soul exists, and here lies too amazing delight and utmost happiness.

Plan for this world as if you expect to live forever but plan for the hereafter as if you expect to die tomorrow.

Faith is the summit of the Torah.

Shelter me in your shadow, be with my mouth and its word.

For a double grief came upon them, and a groaning for the remembrance of things past

Student: What is the proof that the motion of matter and the other substances is desire and love? Master: Because it is apparent that desire and love are nothing but an effort to join the beloved and be united with it, and matter makes an effort to join form; it follows that its movement comes from love and desire for form.

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ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron
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Spanish Jewish Talmudic Scholar, Andalusian Hebrew Poet and Philosopher