Meir ibn Aldabi (Hebrew: מאיר אבן אלדבי) was a writer of the 14th century, son of Isaac Aldabi, “He-Ḥasid” (The Pious), grandson of Asher ben Jehiel, and a descendant of the exiles from Jerusalem. His name (erroneously spelled Albadi, Albalidi, Alrabi, and Altabi) is ascertained from his chief work, Shebile Emunah, wherein a poem is found in which every line begins with a letter of his name, and there it reads “Aldabi.”
2 Shebile Emunah
3 Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography
In the preface to his book occurs the expression, “of the exiles of Jerusalem.” This, together with Aldabi’s statement that he was exiled from his country (Andalusia), caused Graetz to assume that Meir ibn Aldabi was banished to Jerusalem. Graetz failed to take into account Aldabi’s words, “He [God] led me into a waste land,” which he would not have used in reference to Jerusalem.
Aldabi belonged to the class of popular writers who, possessing extensive theological and scientific knowledge, commented upon the assertions of their predecessors with a clear understanding, expressing here and there their own opinions, and presenting some subjects from the standpoint of the Kabbala. Aldabi was also one of those Talmudists whose conception of religion was wholly spiritual and who revered the Cabala: he can not, however, be called a true cabalist. In 1360 he wrote Shebile Emunah (The Paths of Faith), an exhaustive treatise on philosophical, scientific, and theological subjects. To judge from the many editions that appeared from time to time, it was for centuries a favorite book with the educated.
Shebile Emunah (Shevilei Emunah) is divided into ten chapters, which treat respectively of:
The existence of God, His attributes, His immateriality, unity, and immutability, which is not affected by prayer or even by miracles – introducing in each case a cabalistic discussion of the names of the Deity.
The creation of the world, which does not necessitate any change in God or any plurality in His nature; an explanation of the Biblical account being given, followed by a dissertation on the seven climates or zones of the earth as then conceived, the spheres, the stars, the sun and moon and their eclipses, and on meteorology.
Human embryology and the generative functions.
Human anatomy, physiology, and pathology.
Rules for health and long life.
The soul and its functions.
The exaltation of the soul, which, throug