Prayers to the God of Aristotle’s Metaphysics: Tefillot Siyyum for Chapters of Book Δ of Aristotle’s Metaphysics

in Zutot
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Abstract

In one incomplete manuscript of Aristotle’s Metaphysics with Averroes’ Long Commentary, a scribe has inserted short prayers, which seem to fit the genre of tefillot siyyum, to be read by the reader of the text upon completion of certain chapters of Book Δ of the Metaphysics. These prayers are thematically related to the content of Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Averroes’ commentary and accordingly suggest a philosophical interpretation of Judaism, God and the creation of the world that has as its centre-point metaphysics, as understood by Aristotle and his most important commentator, Averroes.

Prayers to the God of Aristotle’s Metaphysics: Tefillot Siyyum for Chapters of Book Δ of Aristotle’s Metaphysics

in Zutot

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8

Note that the ends of chapter 1‘principle’ (התחלה) and chapter 5 ‘necessary’ (הכרח) are marked with תם המאמר ‘the treatise has been perfected.’ These are not prayers. Nevertheless ‘principle’ i.e. ‘first’ and ‘necessary’ especially ‘necessary existent’ are sometimes used to describe God.

18

See Halper‘Revision and Standardization’ 121–124.

40

The very common concluding formula‘strong be the author and bold the reader,’ also appears, e.g., at the end of a Hebrew translation of Averroes’ Middle Commentary on Aristotle’s Categories copied in 1336 (cf. Vatican ebr. 337 fol. 25v) and a manuscript of Maimonides’ commentary on the Mishnah (orders Zera’im to Nezikin) (Vat. ebr. 465 fol. 274v).

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