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LURIANIC KABBALAH - Collection of five treatises, bound in one volume, relating to Kabbalah as interpreted and developed by Isaac b. Solomon Luri Ashkenazi (1534-72), his disciples and post-Lurianic scholars. Italy, late-17th - mid-18th century.
LURIANIC KABBALAH - Collection of five treatises, bound in one volume, relating to Kabbalah as interpreted and developed by Isaac b. Solomon Luri Ashkenazi (1534-72), his disciples and post-Lurianic scholars. Italy, late-17th - mid-18th century.

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LURIANIC KABBALAH - Collection of five treatises, bound in one volume, relating to Kabbalah as interpreted and developed by Isaac b. Solomon Luri Ashkenazi (1534-72), his disciples and post-Lurianic scholars. Italy, late-17th - mid-18th century.

MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER. Chancery 2o, chancery 4o, royal 4o and 8o (263 x 190 mm. and smaller). Collation: 14; 24 (1-2 blank) 342, 4-516 616(14-16 cancelled) 714 (13 blank, -14 blank); 94 10-116 124 (4 blank); 1312 142 (2 blank); 158 (6-8 blank). 151 leaves (faulty modern foliation in pencil, counting flyleaves, followed below). At least five different Italian paper stocks. Ashkenazic cursive scripts, unvocalized, single column.

BINDING. 18th-century Italian paper boards (joints and edges worn, sewing somewhat loose), uncut.

PROVENANCE. This important volume of Lurianic Kabbalah consists of five codices by at least eight scribes, written over a span of some fifty years and bound together towards the third quarter of the 18th century. There is no evidence of early ownership otherwise -- Berlin, Akademie für die Wissenschaft des Judentums (1919-34), library stamp -- Lipa Schwager (1882-1961), bookseller's entry -- Schocken MS. 15943.

CONTENTS. Fols. 3-6 (2o) Extracts from the preface to Rabbi Hayyim Vital's Etz Hayyim and other brief texts, including two anonymous responsa concerning halakhot on kashrut of meat slaughtered by unscrupulous shochetim and on a case of marriage to a friend's nursemaid.

Fols. 9-109 (4o and 2o), by several scribes. This anonymous treatise on emanation according to Lurianic Kabbalah, divided into 121 chapters (ofanim), is the main text in the volume. It appears to be unpublished and only one other copy of the work has been located (Moscow, State Library, Gunzburg MS. 474, fols. 105-166). The author names Isaac Luria and Menahem Azariah of Fano as sources for his theories and quotes from the latter's Kanfei Yonah and Yonat Elem. He also mentions another work of his own, Yemin Mosheh on the Kabbalah of Moses Cordovero, now apparently unknown.

Fols. 111-130 (large 4o) Sha'ar ha-Nevuah ve-Ruah ha-Kodesh by Jacob b. Hayyim Zemah, often appended to works by Hayyim Vital; also, extracts from various Kabbalistic treatises, including Vital's.

Fols. 132-145 (small 4o and 8o) Extracts from Hayyim Vital's Etz Hayyim, with glosses by Moses Zacuto, Benjamin Vitale Coen and others.

Fols. 146-150 (large 4o) Kabbalistic extracts from Emek ha-Melekh (Valley of the King) by Naphtali Hirtz b. Jacob Elhanan (first published in Amsterdam, 1648).

CONDITION. Although this volume was clearly assembled for use by an 18th-century Italian Kabbalist, it is in very good condition, apart from minor staining.
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