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Bidding Information
Lot #    22386
Auction End Date    12/23/2008 12:30:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Polemic - Ezer ha-Dat
Title (Hebrew)    עזר הדת
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Isaac ibn Pollegar (Pulgar, Policar
City    London
Publisher    J. Jacobs
Publication Date    1906
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [2], facsimile, 104, [3], xxxi pp. octavo 209:140 , wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in the original boards, rubbed.
   Only edition of this medieval polemic in defense of Judaism against the attack of the apostate and rabid anti-Jewish polemicist Abner of Burgos. This edition, printed from a manuscript, has a detailed English summary by G. Belasco. Ezer ha-Dat (Support of Faith), R. Pollegar’s chief literary work, consists of five sections and has the purpose responding to the criticisms of certain schools of thought against Judaism. In the first and main section, the author sets forth the chief principles of Judaism, such as the superiority of Moses and the Torah, the world to come and the Messiah, and rejects despair over the sufferings of Israel. Combatting the apostate Abner of Burgos, whom he had befriended in his youth, he refutes the latter's christological interpretation of the aggadah by claiming that the aggadot are not binding and need not be taken literally. The second section consists in large part of a dialogue between an opponent of philosophical studies and someone who believes that philosophical studies should be pursued, and concludes with the author's reconciliation of Judaism and philosophy along Averroistic lines. In the third section, R. Pollegar opposes the view, usual in medieval Judaism, that human affairs are guided by the influence of the heavenly bodies, and attacks determinist views such as those expounded by Abner of Burgos. R. Pollegar attempts to solve the problem posed by Abner of the alleged contradiction between human freedom and divine foreknowledge by his theory of the mutual cooperation of the divine and human wills. The source of all action is the divine will. All of man's actions are founded upon the imitation of the divine will by the human. At the moment when human actions are realized, their completion is ordained by the divine will, and at the very same moment they become objects of the human will, which thus imitates the divine will. Since God's foreknowledge and the decision of His will exist within His essence at the same moment, neither precedes man's actions. God's knowledge, however, does not change, since knowledge of particulars originates in His all-embracing knowledge identical with his essence. The fourth section consists of an attack on various kinds of pseudosciences which conflict with true philosophy. This section includes a four-part critique of (a) the philosophizers who do not really know philosophy yet mock religion, (b) the kabbalists, criticized for their language, their belief in their tradition and its authority, and their alleged non-monotheism, (c) those who see nature as an independent force, and (d) believers in sorcery. In the fifth section R. Pollegar praises pure intellectual activity which, he states, can only be fully developed in the next world.

R. Pollegar also composed at least one treatise against astrology, a translation of the third book of Al-Ghazali's Maqa'id al-Falasifa, and a reply to Abner of Burgos known as the Iggeret ha-Harifot ("Epistle of Blasphemies"). He refers to commentaries on Genesis, Psalms, and Ecclesiastes, and also to a work called Musar Banim ("Discipline of Sons"); none of these is extant.

Paragraph 2    להחכם... רבי יצחק פולקר אשר חי במאה הארבע עשרה למספרם. על פי כ"י האלברשטאם No.94 הנמצא בישיבת אהל משה ויהודית בראמסגעט, עם מבוא בלשון אנגלי... הבאותיו לבית הדפוס, אני גרשון בן יוסף בילאסקו...
   BE ayin 320; EJ; CD-EPI 0157058
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
England:    Checked
Polemics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica