Abraham Abulafia

Rabbi Abraham Abulafia AKA Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia aka אברהם בן שמואל אבולעפיה‎ aka “Raziel” aka “Secrets of God” aka Zechariah aka Abulafia of Sargossa aka Abufalah the Saraquisti aka Ezra ben Solomon

Spain 1240 - after 1291

Comments

Rabbi; founder of the “the Kabbalah of Names” school of QBLH; mediation and chanting of Hebrew Alphabet and Godnames; major Qabalist; revelation in 1285; one of the key Qabalistic Rabbi, whose work is still an inspiration today; Messianic teacher; Messiah claims not well received; Chariot Mystic; search for the Ten Lost Tribes; 248 his special number; The Path of the Names rather than the Path of the Sepheroth (Creation) or Redemption (prayer and good deeds); The WORK of the Chariot aka Maaseh Merkabah; inspired the Visconti-Sforza Tarot deck; Evil is separation from God’s balance between Strength and Mercy. The Tree of Knowledge and Tree of Life were “distinguished” by Adam’s sin, which may mean they were the same Tree (ONE) transformed by his actions into a lesser form; In what may have been a source for Abraham Von Worms aka Abraham the Jews' Book of Abramelin, as where permutations of the Divine NAME are put into a grid of “ Tzeruf” combinations (from the Wisdom of Combinations or “ Hochmah ha-Tseruf ”) @ 1200. In Chaye Ha-Olam Ha-Ba aka Life in the World to Come, 1280, he used circles similar to the “volvelles”, wheels with letters inside wheels of Raymond Lull, @ 1250, as we as charts of two letter combinations of the God-name for chanting and meditation; variations on Tetragramaton; “seventy-two name of God” derived from Exodus 14:19-21; 3 realities, the one Perceived by our Senses, the one Conceived by our Mind & the one Received from God; discusses the NAMEs which should never be erased, nor burnt, but buried; Angel NAMEs and functions, Raphael for Healing, Gabriel for sex or discipline, Samael “in the North” over sickness and death, Metatron, the Guardian associated with Shaddai; when he went to preach to Pope Nicholas III, Pope ordered him arrested and burnt at the stake, but the Rabbi used a Divine NAME to strike him down with apoplexy in 1280 before the burning, and they let him go; Messianic believed he was messenger to the people of the “Isle of Power” aka the “Isle of Mirror” aka Sicily; his “left-handed” approach didn't symbolically use the Commandments as Ritual, nor focus on G-D as a distant Being, but almost Shamanic trance to result in “gladness to your soul and trmebling to your body, like one who rides rapidly on a horse, joyful, while the beast strains beneath”; the Uno Mystica trance;

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Connections

Teachers

His own Holy Guardian Angel or “Agent Intellect aka Intellectual Apprehension; Maimonides; Hillel Ben Eliezer ; Eleazar Ben Judah of Worms aka Eleazar of Worms; Sa'adya Gaon; Hillel ben Samuel ben Eliezer of Verona, @ 1220 – 1295; Yehuda Halevi aka Judah ha-Levi, aka Rav Yehuda HaLevi Ashlag author of “Cuzari”; Aristotle; Plato; Socrates, who said “Know Thyself”; Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Fassi aka Qutbur Rabbani, Sufi; Unknown Gnostic, author of the Books of IEOU; Baruch Tugarmi aka Baruch Togarm, author of Keys to Kabbalah; Isaac the Blind, father of Qabalah; Azriel of Gerona aka Azriel Ben Menahem Ben Solomon aka Ezra, father of Speculative Qabalah;perhaps Joachim of Fiore; Todros ben Joseph Abulafia ha-Levi, author of Shaʻar ha-razim aka שער הרזים & The Book of Matching Puzzels aka ספר גן המשלים והחידות; Rabbi Eleazar ben Shamo`a; Rabbi Barukh Togarmi, author of the commentary on Sefer Yetzirah (Ms Paris 770, fol. 1a-6b) aka This Is The Book of the Keys of Kabbalah; Shmuel Abulafia, his father; Rabbi Todros of Rome, lion-tamer with The NAME; Nehemiah ben Shlomo of Erfurt aka the Prophet of Erfurt aka Rabbi Nehemiah ben Shlomo ha-Navi, author of the Sefer ha-Navon, a commentary on the Seventy Names of Metatron & pillar of Righteousness ; Ibn 'Arabi of Murcia; Abu Bakr ibn Tufayl, author of Hayy ibn Yuqtan aka The Living Son of the Enlightened; Hillel of Verona; Isaac of Bedresh aka Beziers; Averroes; Sabbatai Donnolo; Jacob of Segovia; Yehudah he-Hasid the Ashkenazi; Eleazar the Ashkenazi; Eleazar ha-Darshan Ashkenazi (perhaps the same?) aka Moshe Azriel ben Yehudah ha-Darshan? ; Isaac of Bedresh; Yehudah ha-Levi of Spain; Herodotus; his translator Frater Salimbene; [[Rabbi Abraham Aben Ezra, especially Sefer Safah Berurah; Zerahyah ben Sha'altiel Hen; Hillel ben Shmemuel;

Students

Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla; Joseph Karo; Moses ben Jacob Cordovero; Rabbi Moses Zinfa of Burgos, who focused on The Inverse Tree of Evil, Sitra Ahra; Rabbi Isaac of Acre aka Isaac ben Samuel of Acre (1250-1340), met 1305; Jakob Kohen (could be Jacob haCohen?); Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; Samuel of Medinaceli, disciple; Moses Botarel of Cisneros; Hasdai Crescas; Rabbi Isaac Meyer; Moshe Idel, author of “The Mystical Experience in Abraham Abulafia”; Talib Din ; Sharon Shatil; Yaron Ever Hadani; Alexandru Munteanu; David A. Cooper; Chaim Vital, author of Shaarei Kedusha; Ramban aka Naḥmanides; Yehuda Albotini aka Jehudah Albottono, author of The Ladder of Ascent aka Sullkam Ha Aliyah; Josef ibn Sayah of Jerusalem; Abraham ben Eliezer Halevi of Jerusalem @ 1500, died 1530; Nissim ben Hayyim, ed. of Shaare Tzedek aka Gates of Justice; Rabbi David Cooper, 2010; Shlomo Pines; Johann F. W. Hasler; Shem Tov Sefardi of Leon, author of Sha’arei Tzedek; Flavius Mithridates aka Guillelmus Raimundo Moncada, translated his works; Mithridates ibn Nissim Abul- Faraj; Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; David ben Yehudah he-Hasid; Michael ha-Kohen Balbo ; Moshe Ashkenazi ; Sanford Drob; J. Vahid Brown; Umberto Eco; William Blake; M. H. Landauer; Gershom Scholem; Chuck Furnace; David ben Simra, author of Magen David aka On the Mysticism of the Alphabet @ 1500; Adam Afterman; Rabbi Schalom Shar'abi @ 1775; Diane Wolkstein; David Meltzer; Arthur Green; David Rosenberg; Daniel Matt; Yitzchak Ginsburgh; Jason Aronson, 1991; Avi Solomon; Jerome Rothenberg; Moshe Idel, author of Ascensions on High in Jewish Mysticism; Rabbi Elnathan ben Moses Qalqish; Rabbi Nehemiah ben Shlomo ha-Navi, author of the Sefer ha-Navon, a commentary on the Seventy Names of Metatron; Shlomo Blickstein; Axelrad aka Abraham Ben Alexander of Cologne, who bridged Abulafia's Letter Magick with Chasidism in Keter Shem Tovaka Ma'amar Peloni Almoni aka Ma'amar be-Kabbalah Nevu'it aka Treaties on Prophetic Qabalah; Sharron Shatil; Fabrizio Lanza; Joseph ben Shalom Ashkenazi; David ben Yehudah he-Hasid; Nathan ben Sa'adyah Harar, the author of Sefer Sha'arei Tzedeq, @ 1290; Isaac of Acre; Yehudah Albotini, author of Sefer SuIIam ha-'Aliyah; Elijah ben Shlomo aka the Gaon of Vilnius; Menahem Mendel of Shklov; Jacques Derrida; Nathan ben Sa'adyah Harar, author of Sefer Sha'arei Tzedeq; Shem Tov of Folia; Asher Lemlein; Robert Bonfil; Aharon Jellinek aka Adolph Jellinek ; Israel M. Ta-Shma; Michal Kushnir-Oron ; Yitzhaq Elijah; Yehudah Hayyat aka Judah Hayyat, author of Ma'arekhet ha-Elphut aka System of Divinity; Asher Lemlein; Yitzhaq Elijah of Recanati ; Moshe ben Shimeon of Burgos in Cinfa; Saadia Bar Yitzchak; David Smith, publisher; Rabbi Aharon Berakhiah of Modena, author of Sefer Ma'avar Yaboq, 1626; Ovadiah ben Abraham of Bartenura aka Ovadiah the Prophet, author of The Bartenura, 1445 – @ 1515; Avi Solomon; Antony Hylton;

Friend

Rashba AKA Shlomo ben Aderet aka Solomon ben Abraham ibn Adret of Barcelona, who nevertheless banned some of his writing as too clear!;

Similar – Moses de Leon; Rabbi Yitzhaq ben Yedayah;

Enemies

Nissim ben Abraham, competing prophet; Jehudah Hayataka Rabbi Judah Chayit @ 1500; Pope Nicholas II, 1280 ; Rabbi Solomon ben Adret of Barcelona aka Solomon ben Abraham ben Adereth;

Organizations

The founder of the school of “Prophetic Qabalah” or the Qabalah of NAMEs;

Author

A translation of Sefer Yetzirah (“Book of Creation”) aka Perush Sefer Yetsirah 'almoni' / mi-yesodo shel Avraham Abulʻafya (ha-meyuḥas le-Rabi Avraham Ibn ʻEzra) ; yotse le-or la-rishonah ʻal pi arbaʻah kitve-yad be-liṿui mavo, ḥilufe-nusaḥ u-ve'urim bi-yede Yiśra'el Ṿinshṭoḳ; Sefer ha-Yashar (“Book of the Upright/Righteous”); commentaries: three on the Guide of the Perplexed – Sefer ha-Ge’ulah (1273); Mafteah ha-Re'ayon, 1273; Sefer Chayei ha-Nefesh; Sefer Sitrei Torah aka Secrets of the Torah, 1280; Commentaries on Sefer Yetzirah: – Otzar Eden Ganuz, 1285/6, Gan Na'ul, and a third untitled; and a commentary on the Pentateuch – Sefer-Maftechot ha-Torah,1289 ; More influential are his handbooks, teaching how to achieve the prophetic experience: Chayei ha-Olam ha-Ba aka Life in the World To Come, 1280 ;Light of the Intellect aka Or ha-Sekhel aka Or ha-śekhel ṿe-Shomer mitsṿah aka Light of the Mind @ 1285; Sefer ha-Cheshek; Imrei Shefer, 1291; Zeh Sefer Raze ḥaye ha-ʻolam ha-ba; Sefer ḥaye ha-nefesh; Zeh Sefer Imre shefer ; Sefer Matsref ha-śekhel ; ṿe-Sefer ha-Ot aka The Book of The Sign ; Sod Yerushalayim ; the collection Sefer Mafteaḥ ha-raʻyon. ha-Ḥesheḳ, ṿeha-Melamed ; manuals The Book of Eternal Life; The Words of Beauty; “The Book of Combination” (of letters); Meditations on the Divine Name; Get Ha-Shemot aka Divorce of the Names ; Sheva Netivot Ha-Torah aka The Seven Paths of Torah; Sefer Ha-Ot aka The Book of the Sign; Ner Elohim aka Candle of God; Berith Menuhah aka Order of Calmness; Pray Without Ceasing ; Sefer ha-Yashar aka the Book of the Righteous, 1279; Imre Shefer aka Words of Beauty, 1291; Life of the World to Come, 1280; The Serpent Kills or the Serpent Gives; Sepher ha-Othh aka the Book of the Sign; Knowledge of the Messiah and the Meaning of the Redeemer; Sefer Shut Rama; Sefer Igros haRamah; Sefer Lev Nishbar; Ḥaye ha-῾olam ha-ba by Abulafia, 1240-approximately 1292חיי העולם הבא ; Ḥaye ha-nefesh, 1468; Epistle to R. Solomon and the Epistle to R. Abraham, both part of the Seven Paths of the Law; Sejer ha-Hesheq aka Book of Desire; probably Sefer ha-Peliy'ah, possible author of Sefer ha-Temunah aka Sefer ha-Temunot; Ve-Zot Li-Yhudah;

Quotes

  • For a Form, detached from its essence, is defective until it clothe itself in a form which can be conceived by Imagination…
  • “The Receiver of NAMEs of the Sepherah should make an effort to receive the Divine Light from each of them, in accordance with his attributes, abilities and needs. And he should cling to each Sepherah separately, and integrate his desire for Union with each, all together, and he will not be separated from its branch.” (slightly elaborated, CF 5/28/16)
  • “The unified NAME is the mystery of the Torah…and 'that My NAME might be proclaimed in all the Earth' (Ex 9:16) through the transformation of Nature. For the Excellence of His NAME will not be evident to the masses except through that….this can be done by anyone who knows his way about the power of The NAME. (difficult, key passage ahead!) and if he puts his mind to it/concentrates with devotion but yearning/ has imbued his actions with mystical intention (all Yechaven or Qabalistic Kevanot aka kavvanot aka kawwanah or Karaza aka karraza in English).” {Get ha-Shemot pg. 39}
  • “Hold your head evenly, as if it were on the balance pan of a scale, in the manner in which you would speak with a man who was as tall as yourself evenly, face to face”
  • “Build up the 'Double' in imagination, visualization, and project your better attributes into it” “because Man is composed of many powers, it is necessary that he see the influx in his intellect, and the vision is called by the name Intellectual Apprehension. And the influx will further jump into the imagination, and require that the imagination apprehend that which is in its nature to apprehend, and see in the image the corporeality imagined as Spirituality combined with it, and that force will be called Man or Angel or the like”, (from Or ha-Sekhel)
  • “the fourth way is built up in a solid manner, as it is designed beforehand in the24 circles and in its proper vocalization, in order to receive the influx of wisdom and formation [aka Yetzirah] too. . . .The end of the end aims to create a creature [aka livro' beriyah] and to recite over each and every thing. And the essential thing is to be acquainted with the pronunciation of its recitation, since each and every letter is to be recited in one breath, as the spirit of man is going out from the person who recites, loudly. And he shall recite in a remote and pure place, where there is no one [else], and he will succeed”

External References

 

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