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Levi Ben Avraham

Towards the end of the thirteenth century,the Provençal Jewish philosopher R. Levi ben Avraham wrote aunique treatise – an in-depth Hebrew encyclopedia of the sciences and of Judaism entitled LivyatḤen. R. Levi was known already in his lifetime as a leading exponent of the philosophical-allegorical interpretation of the Torah and of rabbinic midrash. In the Jewish part of his encyclopedia he deals with a myriad of topics, including Jewish ethics, prophecy, the reasons for the commandments, the stories of Moses and the patriarchs, the principles of faith, the Work of Creation, the Work of the Chariot, and the interpretation of rabbinic midrash and aggadah. Prior to LivyatḤenR. Levi wrote an encyclopedic poem of over 1000 stanzas in rhymed meter entitled Batei ha-Nepheshve-ha-Laḥashim. This poem is devoted to the same topics in science and Judaism that are later discussed in great detail in his treatise. 

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