GIKATILLA, Joseph (1248-c. 1325). Sha'arei Orah (commentary on the Sefirot). MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[Central Europe, 16th century]
4o (185 x 145 mm). 129 leaves. Brown ink. Several Ashkenazic semi-cursive scripts. With marginal annotations. (Cropped with loss of marginal annotation, slightly soiled and stained, otherwise good condition.) Modern blind and gold-tooled red morocco, two modern and two older paper flyleaves at back and front.
Sha'arei Orah is a detailed explanation of kabbalistic symbolism and the designations of the Ten Sefirot. One of the fundamental texts of kabbalistic literature, it has been published several times and exists in dozens of manuscripts. First printed at Riva di Trento 1561 (Vinograd, Thesaurus, p. 665, no. 34) and Mantua 1561 (Vinograd, Thesaurus, p. 463, no. 84).
Moses Halfoune (stamped). New York, JTS Mic. 3867, the tale of the martyr Rafael Levi in Metz, was copied by an Anshel ben Moses Isaac Halfoune. This manuscript was copied in 1750 and Moses was zts"l. Another copy of the same work in New York, JTS Mic. 1546, bears the stamp of Moses Halfoune. The Halfounes are a family in Metz, twice mentioned in articles on the Jews of Metz in REJ 7, p. 115, and REJ 50, p. 121 (spelled there Halfoune). In a Pinkas Chevra Kadisha of Metz, New York, JTS Mic. 5396, it is stated that Moses ben G. Halfoune died on 25 Adar 5506 and was laid to rest near the grave of his wife Reichle who had died the previous Shavuot. A Gimple Halfoune died in Tevet 5506 (= 1746), but it is not clear whether he is the 'G.' who was Moses' father.
REFERENCES: Neubauer, no. 131, p. 37; Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jerusalem, F 4793.