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Vercelli, he for a short
time followed a mercan-
tile career. In 1835 he
went to the University of
Parma, and later to that
of Pisa, but he had to leave
the latter on account of a
duel in which he wound-
ed a fellow student whom
he had challenged for hav-
ing made an insulting re-
mark about the Jews.
Having passed his exam-
ination as doctor of law,
he went in 1839 to Paris.
The university ideals of a
David Levi. united, free Italy had

found a strong follower
in Levi, who had become a member of the Irre-
dentist society La Giovane Italia. In Paris he be-
longed to the circle of Italian patriots; and, on
returning to Italy, lie soon became one of the lead-
ers in the political movement for the secession of
northern Italy from Austria and for the union of all
the Italian states.

Settling in Venice, Levi took part in the Lom-
bardic rebellion against Austria of 1848-49. In 1850
he removed to Turin. After the Franco-Italian-Aus-
trian war of 1859, when the Italian provinces of
Austria were united with the Italian kingdom (1860),
he was elected to the Italian assembly at Florence,
where as a member of the Liberal party lie cham-
pioned the cause of equality of rights and religious
freedom. He was a member of the National As-
sembly until 1879, when, being defeated, he retired
from politics.

Levi wrote many poems, especially during his
sta}' at Venice, and a large number of political and




war songs, among these the well-known ode to Pope
Pius IX., who in 1846, upon his election to the
papal chair, was hailed as liberator, but who in 1849
changed his jtolitical views and became strongly re-
actionary. Through all Levi's works his great love
for Italy and for Judaism is evident.

Levi was tlie author of: "Patria ed Affetti "
(Venice, 1849), a collection of poems; "Gli Martiri
del 1799 "(Turin, 1850), a drama; " Martirio e Re-
denzione " {ib. 1859); "Del Navarra a Magenta" {ib.
1866; revised ed., 1884, with a fantastic allegorical
dialogue as a second part); "Vita di Pensiero"
(Milan, 1875); "Vita d'Azione" (Turin, 1882); "II
Semitismo " (ib. 1884) ; " La Mente di Michelangelo "
{ib. 1890); "Giordano Bruno" {ib. 1894).

Levi's principal work, however, is the great
drama " II Profeta." Its theme Levi describes in his
introduction as follows: "I intend to hold a mirror
before my contemporaries, in which they maj' see
their errors, faults, and mistakes, and thereby learn
to despise them ; at the same time placing before
them a high ideal, which the}"^ should strive to live
up to." To this end he selected the story of Jere-
miah. The drama treats in five acts of the war be-
tween Zedekiah and Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah
foresees the fall of Jerusalem, if the people do not
give up their worship of Baal, repent of their sins,
and return to the onl}' true God. Jeremialt the
prophet and Ananias, the priest of Baal, respect-
ively exhort and try to persuade the king and
the Jews to follow them. Ananias is successful;
Jeremiali is thrown into prison ; and Jerusalem falls
when attacked by the invading army. The Temple
is destroyed, and the Jews are led into captivity.
Jereiniah's prophecy is fulfilled.

When Jeremiah is thrown into prison his daughter
Racliel falls into the hands of Ananias, who tries to
win her for himself. His suit proving unsuccessful,
he orders her to be sacrificed to Moloch, when God
intercedes. Lightning kills Ananias, and RacJtel is
liberated by her lover, Emanuel. The last words of
Ananias are: "Uno lufinito hai vinto " (end of Act
3). Emanuel joins the ranks of the defender of Je-
rusalem, is mortally wounded, and dies in the arms
of his beloved. Spiritually Jewdom has conquered
over heathendom, and Rachel has returned pure
to her lover; but physically Jewdom is defeated.
Rachel loses her lover and must go into exile ; tliis
exile will, however, purify not the Jews alone, but
through them the world, and will prepare man for
a better future.

The dialogue which follows the drama in the 1884
edition has very little connection with it. It is sus-
tained by Emanuel, the representative of prophet-
ism, and by Ahamierns, the representative of man-
kind, and treats mainlj^ of Rome.

Bibliography: S. H. MarRiilies, DicliUr und Patriot, Berlin,
1896; Levi's own works. Vita di Pensiero and Vita d'Azi-
one, as above.
s. F. T. H.

LEVI, DAVID: Hebraist and author; born in
London 1742; died 1801. He was destined by his
parents for the rabbinate; but the design was aban-
doned, and lie was apprenticed to a shoemaker.
Subsequently he set up in business for himself as a
hatter; but, meeting with considerable losses, he



Levi, David
Levi ben Gershon



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



26




abandoued this business and tunit'd liis attuutiou to
dressing tlie material for men's hats. Meantime lie
continued to pursue liisstudiesin Hebrew, especially
in the Propliets.

From 17«3 to 1797 Levi was busily engaged in
issuing a seriesof works (a list of which is given be-
low) dealing with Jewish theology, grammar, and
ritual. He rendered great services to the London
Jews in translating their prayers into English and in
vindicatini;- tlicir faith against the onslaughts of Di'.

Priestley and Thomas
Paine. His works pre-
sent a remarkable in-
stance of industry and
]K'rseverance under ad-
verse conilitions. Dur-
ing the latter part of
his life he followed the
business of a printer.

Among Levi's liter-
ary works were : " Rites
and Ceremonies of the
Jews "(London, 1783);
•'Lingua Sacra" (3
vols., 1785-87), a He-
brew dictionary and
granunar ; letters to
Dr. Pi-iestley (1787-89)
in reply to the latter's
"Letters to tlie Jews"; "Tlie Pentateuch in He-
brew and English" (1789). He wrote also "Trans-
lations of the Hebrew Prayers and Services into
English " (1789-93), which lie imdertook at the re-
quest of the representatives of the Portuguese Jews ;
"Dissertations on the Prophecies" (vol. i. 1793). In
controversy with believers and unbelievers he wrote
"Letters to i\Ir. TIalhcd on the Subject of the Proph-
ecies of Brothers" (17i*o) and "Letters to Thomas
Paine, in Answer to His ' Age of Reason ' " (New
York, 1797). Here he attemjits to show that the
divine mission of the Propliets is fidly established
by the present dispersion of the Jews. In 1794
he pul)lished a translation of the Seder service.

Levi was also poet in ordinar}- to the synagogue,
and furnished odes when required on several public
celebrations, as, for instance, on the king's escape
from assassination in 1795.

BiBi.iOfjRAPiiY : Jrif. CIniiii. Sept. :!. Id. 189ti; Lysons, Kiiri-
rioin iif Liiiidiiii. Suppli'iiifiit. p|). 4:*)-4:iI ; Kxirnpraii M(i(ia-
ziiif. May. K'.iil; Miwairs i,f H. (Jnlilsmiil ; riccinllo,
Shflchviftif Aimb>-J<:ui.sli Histurn, pp. :.'28, :.':.'!} ; l)iit.Niit.
Biiifi.

' G. L.

LEVI, EUGENIA: Italian authoress; born
Nov. 21, isOl, at I'adua; educated in that city, and
in Florence and llanovei'. In 1885 she was aji-
pointed i.rofcssor at the Royal High School for
Young Ladies at Florence.

She lias written many cs.says and studies for the
Italian journals and has |)ublislied the following
works: "Rieorditi," anthology of Italian jjrosaists
and i)oets from Dante Aligliieri to Giosue Carducci
(Florence, 1888; 5th ed. 1899); "Dai Nostri Poeti
Vivenii" (Florence, 1891; 2d ed. 1896); "DaiGior-
nale di Lia" (Rome, 1892); " Ranmientiamocci "
(Florence. 1893); "Dante . . . di Giornoiu Gioruo"



(ib. 1894; 3d ed. 1898), a collection of quotations
from Dante; "Pensieri d'Amore " {ib. 1894; 3d ed.
1900); "Fiorita di Canti Tradizionali del Popololta-
]iano"(«i. 1895); " Deutsch," a translation of stand-
ard German works {ib. 1899).

s. F. T. II.

LEVI fiEN GERSHON (RaLBaG, ( cmmonly
called Gersonides ; known also as Leon de Bag-
nols, and in Latin as Magister Leo Hebraeus) :
French pliilosoi^her, exegete, mathemalician, and
physician; born at Bagnols in 1288; died April 20,
1344. Abraham ZacutoC Yuhasin,"ecl. Filipowski,
]i. 224) states that Levi died at Perpignan in 1370;
but the exact date of his death is given as above bj'
Petrus of Alexandria, who translated in 1345 a note
by Levi on the conjunction of Saturn Avith Jupiter
(see Steinschneider in "Ilebr. Bibl.'" vii. 83-84).
"Gershuui," the Hebrew equivalent of "Gersoni-
des," was first used to designate Levi b. Gershon
by David Messer Leon {r. 1500). Levi was a de-
scendant of a family of scholars. According to
Zacuto (/.c. ), his father was Gershon b. Solomon,
the author of " Slia'ar ha-Shamayim " (but see Stein-
schneider, "Ilebr. Uebers." p. 9, and Gross, "Gallia
Judaica," p. 94); according to Zacuto (^<".). I'"i
Yal.iya ("Shalshelet ha-Ivabbalali," p. 83, AVarsaw,
1889), Conforte ("Kore ha-Dorot," p. 19a), and Azu-
lai ("Shem ha-Gedolim,"i.), Nahmanides was Levi's
maternal grandfather. As Levi himself, in his com-
mentary on the Pentateuch (on Ex. xxxiv. 9), quotes
Levi ha-Kohen as his grandfather, and as Levi b.
Gershon is not known to have been a priest, this
Levi ha-Kohen was apparently his mother's father.
It was therefore suggested by Carmoly (Jost's " Aii-
nalen," i. 86) that Nahmanides was the maternal
grandfather of Levi's father. Levi was doubly re-
lated to Simon b. Zemah Duran. Besides being a
cousin of Judah Deleslils, Duran's grandfather, he
married the hitter's sister (Duran, "Tashbez," i..
No. 134; see Steinschneider, "Hebr. Bibl." ^c).

Very little is known of Levi's life beyond the fact
that he lived now in Orange, now in Avignon, now
in a town called in Hebrew 31TXn "l'y = "the city
of hys.so]) " (comp. Isidore lioeb in " R. E. J." i. 72
i't scr;., who identifies the last-named town with
Orange). In spite of Ben Adret's ban on those
who taught philosophy to the young, Levi was
early initiated into all its branches; and he was
not thirty years old when he began to write the
•• Milliaiuot Adonai," the philosophical work which
brought him so much renown. Isaac de Lattcs
(Preface to " Sha'are Ziyyon ") writes: "The great
prince, our nuister Levi b. Gershon, was the author
of many valuable works. He wrote
His Versa- a coinmentaiy on the Bible and the
tility. Talmud; and in idl branches of sci-
ence, especially in logic, physics, meta-
]ihysics, mathematics, and medicine, he has no equal
on earth." Though a distinguished 'I'almudist, Levi
never held a rabbinical ollice. He earned a liveli-
hood most probably by the practise of medicine.

In his commentary on the Bible, Levi makes
frecpient comparisons of Hebrew and Arabic
words, while lie speaks of Latin as the language
of tiie Christians (conunentary on I Sam. xvi. 6).
Neubauer (" Les Ecrivains Juils Fran(,ais." ]>. 249)



1^



'W.



too O'sSnTm jrvsixjS inn anio rT-o ir7»-«

Sr n-ri ::*^XJ n:53 p nt o:? "jciiTr^an^ a';^^^;

7\i^ ^ 0*0" onnjTitj"^;} ISO nao-) aw'W v^»
-"Jim ^^■^> ':3« «')?' iO« "J-p Trir^^ r''^^

rx5'7rr>Ai!a'7')7i"an

-iS nS WIS!






S» "COST nSx3 cnr w' ^^5 sJ "■^"ii.'^i ■ 2"J"wn")S
"^j "j-j^xjS o'TiW T^n^T'o o';jr:JJ i["i,nr^S3 v3

rri"):; "^nS oSgTWT sn rnn:o'W'o:3')pnnji'

■-:5n ciTS7nn3-:nSawrp?ir)'S3-in7ic-;pra

;-'©c'ip%3if^"0''^s«''3-'o*s'^ •";^%;7i:>
j.rrTtpa rr^rnrc-nr -;(•■» en -ip: r '-J^ri-j

n cTpra -^Ss "'0?;?l?> yis^ ?^*:^ c.'li :nn*cc;:5n
'in? pSnr -sort' 0^5 loe*-;) •) -cm r*? p.-ir-'D

?pla7):')jnc?i7*''i'^' c:'':i7nsc'»S crh c^j
no?ici «'«' rins-c;':'?' -J -i^t T^^ ^'^"''
c'TOlo '^^Sa o'Jnn;i:^ on?i"00 yj-n -jis^.)
r^ niorv rat? ?^'- ^^l") w^'"^^ V*^ ^"^i'

'ran -^sn^a ">'»^ V''^ ^o^rS iSnf^i p"?"

'v-JXjSnSaSaSS vi:?? JiS :ii' 'Wto w l*ng

S^ *JS^ ccr-gr^ O-J101 i^-^nr^s 7«t3 '^ S^a
pwaTmnsw 7nn5or^-r^.%'rwoTT'3



Pagk from the 1'[i;st Edition uk Lk\ i kkn (iKrsikin's l'um.mkntakv to thk Pknt.vtkicii, Mantua, Before 1480

(.Eroiii the Sulzberger collectiuu in llie Jewish Theological Semin:iry uf America, New York.)



Lievi ben Gershon



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



28



concludes, contrary to the assumption of Isidore
Wcil("Philosophie Religieuse de L6vi-ben-Gerson,"
p. 15, Paris, 1868), that Levi knew Latin well, but
not Arabic.

Although Levi lived in Provence, where, uuder
the protection of the popes, the Jews suffered less
than in other provinces of France, yet he sometimes
laments over the sufferings of the Jews, which, he
says, "are so intense that they render meditation
impossible" (Preface to "Milhamot"). In an epi-
logue to his commentary on Deuteronomy written
in 1338 (Paris MS. No. 244) he says he was unable
to revise his commentary on the Pentateuch at
Avignon, as he could not obtain there a cojjy of the
Talmud.

Levi was the author of the following philosoph-
ical works: (1) " Milhamot Adonai " (Hiva di Trenta,
1560), mentioned above, begun in 1317
His Works, and finished in 1829 (see below). (2)
Commentary on the Pentateuch (Man-
tua, 1476-80). (3) Commentary on the Earlier
Prophets (Leiria, 1494). The philosophical essence
of these two commentaries was published separately
under the title "To'aliyyot " (Riva di Trenta, 1550
and 1564 respectively). Commentaries (4) on Job
(Ferrara, 1477), (5) on Daniel (n.d. ; n.p.), on Prov-
erbs (Leiria, 1492), (6) on Canticles, Esther, Ecclesi-
astes, and Ruth (Riva di Trenta, 1560); (7) "Sefer
ha-Hekkesh ha-Yashar," a treatise on syllogisms; (8)
commentary on the Middle Commentaries and the
resumes of Averroes, all of them finished about 1321
(the part of this commentary which refers to Por-
phyry's Isagoge to the categories, and to the treatise
on interpretation, was translated into Latin by
Jacob Mantino and published in the first volume of
the works of Aristotle with the commentaries of
Averroes); (9) "Sefer ha-Mispar," called also "Ma-
'aseh Hosheb," a treatise on algebra, which Levi fin-
ished in 1321, when, he says, he was thirty-three;
(10) a treatise on astronomy, originally forming the
first part of the fifth section of the "Milhamot," but
omitted by the editor, who considered it a separate
work (see below); (11) commentary on the introduc-
tion to, and books i., iii.-v. of, Euclid, probably the
work referred to by Joseph Solomon Delmedigo
(.see Gciger, " Melo Hofnayim," p. 12, Hehr.). (12)
" Dillugim," astrological note on the seven constella-
tions, in which Levi refers to his "Milhamot"; (13)
"Meshihah," on a remedy for the gout (Parma MS.
De R().9si No. 1189; Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr.
MSS." No. 2142, 37). Levi wrote also the follow-
ing rabbinical works: (14) "Sha'are Zedek," com-
mentary on the thirteen hermeneutic rules of Ish-
mael b. Elislia, printed in tiie"Berit Ya'akob" of
Jacob b. Abraham Faitusi (Leghorn, 1800). (15)
"Mcl.iokek Safun," commentary on the haggadah in
the fiftli cliapter of Haba IJatra, mentioned by Solo-
mon 1). Simeon Duran C'Milhcmet Mizwah," p. 23).
Neubauer (I.e. p. 253) considers it doubtful whether
tilt" authorship of this work can be correctly as
cribed to Levi. (16) Commentary on Rerakot, men-
tioned by Levi in liis commentary on Deuteronomy.
(17-lM) Two responsa signed by Levi b. Gershon.
one concerning " Kol Nidre " and mentioned by
Joseph Ala.shkar of Tlemr.en, tiie other mentioned by
Isaac de I^attcs (Responsa, i. 88). and its authorship



declared doubtful by Neubauer (^.f.). The Parma
MS. No. 919 contains a liturgical confession begin-
ning ^ntiO ^■^^X and attributed to Levi.

Tlie following works are erroneously attributed
to Levi b. Gershon: commentary on Averroes' " De
Substantia Orbis," which seems to have been writ-
ten by Moses of Narbonne; "Awwat Nefesh," a
commentary on Ibn Ezra's commentary on the Pen-
tateuch (comp. Ben Jacob, "Ozar ha-Sefarim," ji. 31);
"Magen Yeshu'ot," a treatise on the Messiah; " Ye-
sod ha-Mishnah" (Wolf, "Bibl. Hebr." iii. 6.50); rit-
ual institutions ("takkanot"; Parma MS. De Rossi
No. 1094); commentary on Bedersi's "Behinat
'01am."

Some description may be given here of Levi's astro-
nomical treatise. It has been said that this was

originally included in the " Milhamot. "
His As- It is probably the one referred to
tronomy , under the title " Ben Arba'iin Ic-Binah "

by Abraham Zacuto ("'Tekunnat Ze-
kut," ch. vi.), in allusion to Levi's being forty years
old when he finished it. Steinschneider (in Ersch
and Gruber, "Encyc." section ii., part 43, p. 298)
calls it simply " Sefer Tekunah." It consists of I'd^
chapters. After some general remarks on the use-
fulness of astronomy and the ditlieulties attending'
its study, Levi gives a description of an instrument
which he had invented for precise astronomical ob-
servations and which he calls "megalleh 'amukkot."
In the ninth chapter, after having devoted to this
instrument two poems (published by Edelmann in
"Dibre Hefez," p, 7), he exposes the defects of the
systems of Ptolemy and Al-Bitruji, and gives at.
length his own views on the universe, supporting
them by observations made by him at different tinies.
He finished this work Nov. 24, 1328, but revised it
later, and completed it by adding the results of ob-
servations made up to 1340. The ninety-ninth chap-
ter includes astronomical tables, which were com-
mented on by Moses Botarel. This work was
highly praised l)y Pico de Mirandola, who f re([uently
quoted it in his " Disputationes in Astrologiam."
Its importance is al.so apparent from the fact that
tiie part treating of the instrument invented by
Levi (ch. iv.-xi.) was translated into Latin by older
of Pope Clement VI. (1342). Later the whole work
was translated into Latin, and the beginning was
published by Prince Boncompagni (" Atti dell' Aca-
deinia dei Nuovi Lincei," 1863, pp. 741 et seq.).

Bini.iOfJRAPHY : Griitz, Gcsch. 3d ed., vil. 31.5-322; Gross, Gallia
Jndnica, pp.O-t tf scq.: Miink, ^^f'^lallqrs, jip. 407-.')<)l ; I)t> Kossi,
Dizionario. i. 12ti rt nci;.; Ucnan-Neubauer, Lr.-i kcriraiiis
Jnifn Frniu;ni.-<. pp. 24ii 21)S ; Steinschneider, Cat. Jiiull. cuis.
ItMIT-Kil."); {ilrn[. in Krscti unii (init)fr, /•y'ocKf . secliim ii.,part
4;!, pp. '^X^-'■W : iihm. in liiTliner's 3/a(/(7zi)i. xvi. 1.37 it xir/.;
Idem, in Mi-Miznili utiii-Mn'arab, iv. 40 et w/.; Idem,
llrbr. I'll)! r.''. p. 27 it pa.tMm.

M. Ski,.

As Philosopher : The jiosition of Levi i)cn



Gersiion in Jeui.sh philosophy is uniciue. Of all tlie
Jewish Peripatetics he alone dared to vindicate the
Aristotelian system in its integrity, regardlessof the
conflict existing between some of its doctrines and
the principal dogmas of Judaism. Pos.sessed of a
highly developed critical sense, Levi sometimes dis-
agrees with Aristotle and a.sserts his own views in
opposition to those of liis master. Averroes: but
when, aftiT having \\('ighed the jiros and cons of a



29



THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA



Levi Den Gershon



doctrine, he believes it to be sound, lu; is not, iifraid to
profess it, even wlieu it is directly at variunco willi
an accepted dogma of Jewish theology. "The
Law," he says, "can not prevent us from consider-
ing to 1)0 true that which our reason urges us to be-
lieve" (Introduction 1o the "Milhamot," p. 6).

Coming after Maimonides, Levi treated only of
those philosophical questions which the author of
tiie "Moreh Nebukini," becauseof his
His Unique orthodoxy, either solved in direct op

Position, position to Aristotchan principles, or
explained by such vague statements
that th(i student was left in tlie dark as to Maimon-
ides' real opinion on the subject. These questions
are: the immortality of the soul; prophecy; God's
omniscience; divine providence; the nature of the
celestial spheres ; and the eternity of matter. To the
solution of these six philosophical problems Levi
<levoted his " Milhamot Adonai." The work com-
prises six main divisions, each subdivided into chap-
tors. The method adopted by Levi is that of Aris-
totle : before giving his own solution of the question
under discussion he presents a critical review of the
opinions of his predecessors. The first main divi-
sion opens with an exposition of the theories of Al-
exander of Aphrodisias, Themistius, Averroes, and of
certain philosophers of his time, concerning Aristot-
le's doctrine of the soul. Aristotle's own treatment
of this subject is, indeed, very obscure; for while
asserting (•' De Anima," ii. 1) that the soul is the first
ontelechy of the organic body, and consequently can
not be separated from it any more than form can be
separated from matter, he maintains {ib. iii. 5) that
of the two elements of the soul, the passive intellect
and the active intellect, the latter is immortal. To
reconcile these two conflicting statements, Alexan-
der of Aphrodisias, in his paraphrase of Aristotle's
book on the soul, makes a distinction between the
material intellect (wrfiAtKOf), which, like matter, has
only a potential existence, and the acqiured intel-
lect (I'orf £7r;/cr;;r(^f), which latter is the material intel-
lect when, by study and reflection, it has passed
from jjotentiality into actuality, and has assumed an
effective existence. The cause of this transition is
the universal intellect, which is God Himself. But
as the relation between God and the soul is only
temporary, divine intervention ceases at death, and
the acquired intellect lapses into nothingness. This
psychological system, in which a mere physical
faculty of a substance that has nothing spiritual
in its essence may by a gradual development be-
come something immaterial and per-

Views on manent, is rejected by Themistius.

the Soul. For him the intellect is an inherent
disposition which has for its sub-
stratum a substance differing entirely from that
of the body. Averroes, in his treatise on the intel-
lect, combines the two systems, and enunciates the
opinion that the intellect is a mere potentiality so
long as it is in the body, but that it becomes an
actual substance as soon as it leaves the body. Ac-
cording to some contemporaries of Levi the intellect
is a faculty which is self-existent.

After a thorough criticism of these various opin-
ions, Levi gives his own view on the nature of the

intellect. The inU'llyc4^. he savs, which is born with



man, is but a mere faculty that has for a substratum
the imaginative soul, this latter being allied to the
animal soul. This faculty, when put in motion
l)y the universal intellect, begins to have an effect-
ive existence by the acquired ideas and conceptions
with which it iclentifies itself; for the act of thinking
can not be separated from the object of the thought.
Tliis identification of the intellect with the intelligi-
ble constitutes the acquired intellect ("sekel ha-
nikneh "), which is to the original faculty what form
is to matter. But does the acquired intellect cease to
exist with the death of the body? This question is
closely connected with that of the nature of univer-
sals. If, as asserted by the realists, nniversals are
real entities, the acquired intellect, which consists
of conceived ideas that have a real existence, may
survive the body ; but if, as maintained by the nom-
inalists, nothing exists but individuals, and nniver-
sals are mere names, immortality is out of the ques-
tion. In opposition to Maimonides ("Moreh," iii.
18) Levi defends the theory of the realists and main-
taiiis thereby the principle of immortality.

The second division of the " Milhamot " is devoted
to philosophy. It was intended to supplement and
correct some statements made by Aristotle in his
unfinished work " De Sensu et Sensibili," which con-
tains two chapters on divination. While Maimonides
{I.e. ii. 32-48) treated only of the psychological side

of the problem, "What are the requi-

On sites of prophecy?" Levi considered

Prophecy, also the metaphysical phase, "Is

prophecy possible ? " ; " Is the admissi-
bility of prescience not absolutely incompatible with
the belief in man's freedom of will? " To answer the
first question there is, according to Levi, no need of
speculative demonstrations. Thati there are men
endowed with the faculty of foreseeing the future
is, he considers, incontestable. This faculty is found
not only in prophets, but also in soothsayers, vision-
aries, and astrologers. He cites the case of a sick
man personally known to him, who, though with-
out any medical knowledge, dreamed of the remedy
which would cure him. Levi himself claimed to
have received in dreams, on many occasions, solu-
tions to puzzling metaphysical problems.

But prescience implies also predestination. This,
however, seems to conflict with freedom of the will.
To refute this objection, Levi endeavors to de-
monstrate that, though all sublunary events are
determined by the celestial bodies, man may by his



Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 8) → online text (page 9 of 169)