The sefer Chovos HaLevavos was written in the 12th century by Rabbi Bachya ibn Pakuda, and is considered the first and foremost mussar sefer. The author’s purpose in writing the Chovos was to bring a generation which had lost touch with it’s heart and soul back to internal spiritual avodah.
Centuries later it is still regarded as indispensable. The Chasam Sofer, centuries later, never failed to learn a portion of the Chovos daily with his students, and it was an integral part of his shiur. Rav Noach Weinberg, zt”l said that he derived all of his key hashkafos from the Chovos, but only after learning through it ten times over.
Chovos HaLevavos was originally written in Arabic, the author’s spoken language. Very soon after it’s first publishing, Rabbi Yehuda ibn Tibon translated the into Hebrew. He took many liberties with the Hebrew language and its grammar in order to preserve the spirit of the original Arabic, which is why it’s such a difficult sefer to learn.Our editions of the Chovos are printed with the three peirushim, from the gedolei acharonim which are medayeik on every word, and every concept. Merely reading through the sefer is in no way comparable to truly learning it up, and the peirushim are indispensable to that goal. The Even Yisrael printing contains all of the peirushim as well as their biographies.
Enjoy this audio series exploring the depths of this classic work line by line.
Table of Contents
This section of the series deals with the Shaar HaBechinah. The purpose of this Shaar is to examine the universe we live in and learn how to uncover the infinite wisdom of our Creator that is hidden within it. See how much we take for granted and how different our lives can be when we learn to discover the hidden messages in our world.
Shaar Avodas Elokim
This section of the series deals with the Shaar Avodas Elokim. The purpose of this Shaar is to give context for our obligation of Divine Service. We have been imbued with innate wisdom and with the prophetic teachings of our Torah. Both of these elements are meant to be used as tools for discovering and integrating the path our Divine Service must take. Listen and explore the vast wellsprings of wisdom contained within this Shaar.