Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Salomon ibn Gabirol, aka Solomon ben Judah or Avicebron

Spanish Jewish Talmudic Scholar, Andalusian Hebrew Poet and Philosopher

"A little will suffice him who desires only what he actually needs."

"A wise man's question is half the answer... Inquiry is man's finest quality."

"Envy is a blemish of the mind; it is to the mind what disease is to the body."

"Every animosity may be healed save that whose source is envy."

"He cannot be termed wise who reflects after he has erred, but he who reflects before."

"Be not ashamed to learn truth from any source."

"Bear patiently with the truth, however unpalatable."

"He who values his own dignity will hold the world in little esteem."

"It was asked of the sage, In what one virtue are all the rest comprised? Patience, was his answer. And in what single vice are all the others concentrated? Vindictiveness."

"Listen and you will learn."

"No wealth can surpass contentment."

"None so poor as he who is discontented with his lot."

"Not the eye but the heart is blind."

"Nothing sharpens the intellect like moral instruction."

"Nothing will mitigate our sufferings more than patient endurance."

"He who knows when to speak will also know when to be silent."

"Patience gives peace, haste regret."

"Patience is the invulnerable shield of the defenseless."

"Patience reaps peace, and rashness regret; the former riches, the latter poverty."

"The fool imputes his faults to others, the wise man confesses his, the righteous avoids either."

"The most effective antidote to temptation; shut the eyes."

"The space of a needle's eye suffices for two friends, while the universe itself is not wide enough for two enemies."

"The wise will remain serene in the face of trouble... Wisdom leads to tranquillity, gold and silver to anxiety... Tranquillity is the summit of felicity."

"There is no transgression too serious for my forgiveness."

"There is no truer index to intelligence than good behavior."

"Too much levity lessens respect."

"Trust not in your wisdom, unless you can master your desire."

"What is the noblest pedigree? Loving kindness to men."

"Which is the greatest virtue? Patience with other's vices."

"Worry over what has not occurred is a very serious malady."

"A man's worth is estimated according to his knowledge."

"An unworthy victory is a defeat."

"Care corrodes more than poison."

"Cast not pearls to the swine, for they are valueless to them; intrust not wisdom to him who seeks it not, for he is inferior to the brute, and wisdom is more precious than pearls."

"Custom governs all things."

"He who asks for more than he needs merits a refusal."

"If you can't have what you want, want what you can have."

"Keep your secret to yourself and it is your captive; disclose it and it is your captor."

"Man in pursuit of worldly gain may be compared to a thirsty man within reach of briny waters: the more he drinks, the thirstier he is."

"Man is wise only while in search of wisdom; when he imagines he has attained it, he is a fool."

"My friend is he who will tell me my fault in private."

"Silence is the sister of complaisance."

"The absence of the ignorant is never regretted."

"The end of wisdom is peace and tranquillity, whilst that of gold is grief and vexation."

"The exhortation of the wise, unaccompanied by practice, falls on the heart as rain on stone; and he whose words are at variance with his deeds disgraces himself; hence, words which come not from the heart can never penetrate the ear."

"The height of intellect is distinguishing between the real and the impossible, and submission to what is beyond one's power."

"There is no distinction between Thy divinity, Thy unity, Thy eternity, and Thy existence; for it is all one mystery."

"There is no greater riches than health."

"Who does not patiently subdue his mourning prolongs his grief."

"Who seeks more than he has hinders himself from enjoying what he has."