HATCHALAT HA-CHOKHMAH and Sefer ha-Cheshek (kabbalistic works). MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[Central or Eastern Europe, 1651-52]
2o (185 x 155 mm). 40 + 31 leaves, with various Hebrew and modern lead pencil foliations. Brown ink. Two different Ashkenazic semi-cursive scripts, with illustrative drawings, angel's alphabets and diagrams. (Some browning, a few small stains, a few edges frayed.) Modern blind and gold-tooled brown morocco, old red stained edges, two modern paper flyleaves at back and front, two additional old flyleaves at the front, on the recto of the second old flyleaf some kabbalistic prayers in a different hand.
Fol. 1r: title of Hatchalat ha-Chokhmah.
Fols. 1v-38v: Hatchalat ha-Chokhmah, compiled by a disciple of Isaac Luria. Seventy-eight chapters. Never printed, but found in many manuscripts.
Fols. 39r-40v: blank.
Fol. r: title Sefer ha-Cheshek.
Fol. v: blank.
Fols. 1r-30r: Sefer ha-Cheshek, a book of charms, amulets and practical Kabbalah based on the magical applications of the Divine Name, probably composed in the same milieu that produced the book Berit Menuchah. Another copy of this work was described in detail by G. Scholem in his corrections to G. Margoliouth's catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the British Museum, in Festschrift fr Aron Freimann (Berlin 1935) p. 51-54. According to Scholem, Perakim le-Toledot Sifrut ha-Kabbalah (Jerusalem 1931) p. 84, note 1, this work ends on fol. 61. Fols. 20r-30r contain additional material of similar content quoting, among others, R. Eleazar ben Judah of Worms (fol. 21r) and R. Simeon Sarfati (fol. 26v).
Fol. 30v: blank.
According to the colophons at the end of each work, the first part was completed on 1 Adar 5411 (= 1651), the second part on 9 Adar 5412 (= 1652).
Daniel Itzig (stamped).
REFERENCES: Neubauer, no. 91, p. 39; Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jerusalem, F 4750.