Lot : 154

Manuscript Collection of early Kabbalistic Works
Prague 1575

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Est. Price: $15,000 - $25,000
Manuscript Collection of early Kabbalistic Works
Prague 1575

Rare historic anthology of kabbalistic manuscripts from the batei medrash of early Spanish kabbalists who lived in the period after the Ramban. Among the manuscripts in this anthology is a monumental kabbalistic work by the illustrious Spanish kabbalist Rabbi Moshe of Burgos upon the Maaseh Hamerkavah described in Sefer Yechezkel.
This anthology was written in 1575, most likely in Prague.
The date appears in the colophon: “Please, G-d, grant me to copy additional holy, exalted and awesome books, to be a help in times of trouble, and gird me with strength, and reinforce my power, and guide me on the heights of battle, and my fingers to the war of Torah, as Hashem spoke in the hands of MoShHe Lo” (Bamidbar 17:5). I have hereby completed it on the week of this parshah [Korach] in the year [5]535 [1575] on Tuesday, the twenty-ninth of Sivan.”
Content of manuscript:
1. Sod HaMenorah HaTehora – Secrets and attributes of the psalm “Lamenatzeach beneginos” inscribed in the shape of a menorah.
The author opens with the introduction “It is a tradition of our forebears that one who reads this psalm with sincerity every day, of the days of Sefiras Haomer, is guaranteed that he will not be harmed by the nations of the world throughout the year… And know that Dovid carried this psalm with him, engraved on his shield, with the Name in gold illustrated in the menorah.” This is an ancient composition whose author is unknown (leafs 1a-4b).
2. “Peirush Merkavah D’Yechezkel HA”A (Hanavi Alav Hashalom) is a lofty kabbalistic work delivered to select kabbalists whom Hashem calls”
This section, from leaf 4b-44a, constitutes the majority of the manuscript. Here, the famed kabbalist Rabbi Moshe of Burgos authored a riveting commentary on the Maaseh Hamerkavah portrayed in Sefer Yechezkel. The present commentary has never been printed in its complete form.
3. Kabbalistic commentary on the passuk, יShmuel ch’ 16) “And one of the lads said, and he said, ‘Behold I saw a son to the son of Yishai Halachmi” (leaf 44b-45a).
4. Kabbalistic commentary on Zecharya’s candles (leaf 45a) by Rabbi Moshe of Burgos.
5. HaKruvim shel Maala (leaf 46a-46b). Part of this work was printed in sefer Kabbalas Ha’achim by Rabbi Yaakov and Rabbi Yitzchak Hakohanim (Jerusalem, 1927) p. 124.
The study of kabbalah gained popularity in Spain and its environs in the generation following the Ramban. One of the greatest kabbalists of the era was Rabbi Moshe ben Shimon of Burgos (b. circa 1220) who absorbed the wisdom of Torah and kabbalah from his spiritual master Rabbi Avraham Abulafia along with his contemporary Rabbi Yosef Gekatilla. He also studied kabbalah under the saintly brothers Rabbi Yaakov and Rabbi Yitzchak Hakohein, who were two of the greatest Spanish kabbalists. The style of the above writings indicates that the texts in this anthology emerged from their beis medrash.
Perhaps the most famous among Rabbi Moshe of Burgos’ compositions is Sefer Likutim miRabbi Hai Gaon (Warsaw, 1798). Rabbi Moshe authored this work, yet attributed it to Rabbi Hai Gaon since a large portion of the wisdom it contained was gleaned from letters written by Rabbi Hai Gaon. This sefer was cherished by the Maggid of Kozhnitz who inscribed numerous glosses and commentary upon the text and printed his work under the title Ner Yisrael.
Prague, 1575. Page Count: 46 leaves.
Description: Neat thin Askenazic cursive writing.
Condition: Good. Bound in new leather binding.
Provenance: Carlebach Family Collection, Hamburg-Lakewood.
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