Lot : 37


Otzros Chaim Edited by the Maghreb Kabbalist

Meknes, 1812

Start price: $8,000
Est. Price: $12,000 - $15,000


Otzros Chaim Edited by the Maghreb Kabbalist

Meknes, 1812

Elementary principles and introduction to the wisdom of kabbalah received by Rabbi Chaim Vital from his spiritual master, the Ari za”l . Written in Oriental script by Rabbi Yosef Bahloul of Meknes and features a decorative title page with kabbalistic illustrations.



The title page bears the scribe’s autograph and inscription: “Written here in Meknes in the year…1812 by the youth who engages in sacred work, Yosef son of my wise and scholarly father Rabbi Yehuda Bahloul. May Hashem grant that I and my children should learn it, amen. Uncover my eyes, and I will gaze at the wonders of your Torah.”

It is likely that the scribe Rabbi Yosef Bahloul, was of the Rabbis in Meknes  whose halachic rulings and signature appears in several works of his contemporaries.(see Malchi Rabanan pg 61)



Otzros Chaim B’Arichah Maaravis


The present manuscript of Otzros Chaim is a combination of two sefarim—Otzros Chaim and Mevo She’arim, with the majority drawing from the latter work. It was thus officially named Otzros Chaim B’Arichah Maaravis (Edited by the Rabbis of North Africa) and eventually printed as is in Livorno in 1849. The present sefer differs fundamentally from the original Otzros Chaim printed in Koritz, 1783, which was edited by Rabbi Yaakov Tzemach.


This is a complete manuscript of the sefer and features the annotations of Magrabi kabbalists Rabbi Avraham Azoulay of Marrakech  and Rabbi Avraham ben Musa.

Glosses by Magrabi sages were added by hand in “sidebars”. Some of these passages begin with the letters א”א, an acronym for “Amar Avraham (Avraham said)”, and the signature אב”מ, an acronym for Avraham ben Musa.



Between the title page and body of the sefer, the author included a full-page chart of the Sefiros presented in circles. On the next page, he writes, “This is what I discovered in the manuscripts of the G-dly kabbalist, the pious and humble Moreinu Harav Avraham Azoulay ztvk”l…This is what I found in Safra D’tzniusa” and includes the twenty-two principles of the wisdom of kabbalah presented in Safra D’tzniusa D’Yaakov (Amsterdam, 1669).



Meknes, 1812. Page Count: 1, [6], 2-140 leaves; 287 handwritten sides. Page Size: 21×15 cm. Condition: Water damage to upper margins, miniscule holes in margins; original Moroccan binding. Bibliography: See Hakdamos U’shearim L’Baal HaLeshem p. 59a; Y. Avivi; Binyan Ariel p. 59 note 31.



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