Select manuscript from this collection: B26  B250 B252  S58  29/80
Country of Location:
Country of Location
Switzerland
Location:
Location
Zürich
Library / Collection:
Library / Collection
Braginsky Collection
Shelfmark:
Shelfmark
B251
Manuscript Title:
Manuscript Title
Abraham Abulafia (1240–after 1291), Hayyei ha-Olam ha-Ba ("Life of the World to Come")
Caption:
Caption
Parchment · 81 ff. · 18.7 x 13.7 cm · [Italy] · [14th/15th century]
Language:
Language
Hebrew
Manuscript Summary:
Manuscript Summary
The Spanish kabbalist Abraham Abulafia (1240- after 1291) advocated a concept of Kabbalah that had little or nothing to do with the well-known schools of thought. He considered Kabbalah neither as a form of gnosis nor as a kind of theosophical theory that concentrates on the Sefirot, the emanation of the Divine Being. Instead he attempted to attain a state of prophetic-mystical ecstasy, based on his conviction that the experience of the prophets was an ecstatic experience and that all true mystics were prophets. This work of his was especially popular and circulated under the titles Hayyei ha-Olam ha-Ba ("Life of the World to Come"), Sefer ha-Shem ("Book of the Divine Name") or Sefer ha-Iggulim ("Book of Circles"); in this manuscript, however, it is called Sefer ha-Shem ha-Meforash ("Book of the Ineffable name"). The manuscript presents ten inscriptions in concentric circles in red and black ink, as well as 128 only in black ink. They contain detailed instructions for mystical meditation. While contemplating these circles, one should recite the 72-lettered name of God, which is arrived at by combining the numerical values of the letters in the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, of the Patriarchs, and the nine letters of the words shivtei yisra’el ("the tribes of Irasel"). The reader should "enter" each of the triple black and red circles at the point where an "entrance" is designated by means of a small pen stroke. (red)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
DOI (Digital Object Identifier
10.5076/e-codices-bc-b-0251 (http://dx.doi.org/10.5076/e-codices-bc-b-0251)
Permanent link:
Permanent link
http://e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/bc/b-0251
IIIF Manifest URL:
IIIF Manifest URL
IIIF Drag-n-drop http://e-codices.unifr.ch/metadata/iiif/bc-b-0251/manifest.json
How to quote:
How to quote
Zürich, Braginsky Collection, B251: Abraham Abulafia (1240–after 1291), Hayyei ha-Olam ha-Ba ("Life of the World to Come") (http://e-codices.unifr.ch/en/list/one/bc/b-0251).
Online Since:
Online Since
12/18/2014
External resources:
External resources
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Rights
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e-codices · 11/27/2014, 18:08:53

Im Judentum gab es immer zwei einander widersprechende Haltungen gegenüber der Kabbala. Die eine möchte das Studium und die Praxis der jüdischen Mystik als esoterisches System auf einen kleinen Kreis Eingeweihter beschränken, die andere versucht ein grösseres jüdisches Publikum zu erreichen. Einer der bedeutendsten Kabbalisten im mittelalterlichen Spanien war Abraham Abulafia (1249–nach 1291). Er betrachtete die Kabbala weder als eine Form der Gnosis noch als eine Art theosophischer Philosophie. Sein Konzept der Kabbala hat wenig oder nichts mit den bekannten Richtungen zu tun, die sich auf die Sefirot konzentrieren, die Emanationen des göttlichen Wesens. Stattdessen versuchte Abulafia einen Zustand prophetisch-mystischer Ekstase zu erreichen, ausgehend von seiner Überzeugung, dass die Erfahrungen der Propheten ekstatischer Natur und alle wahren Mystiker Propheten gewesen seien. Diese Auffassung rief heftige Widerstände hervor, die der ausserordentlichen Popularität von Abraham Abulafias Lehre jedoch keinen Abbruch taten.
Besonders populär waren seine kabbalistischen Handreichungen, vor allem das Chajje ha-olam ha-ba («Das Leben in der Welt des Jenseits»), bekannt auch unter den Bezeichnungen Sefer ha-Schem («Buch des göttlichen Namens») oder Sefer ha-iggulim («Buch der Kreise»). Das Exemplar der Braginsky Collection fand auch unter dem Namen Sefer ha-Schem ha-meforasch («Buch des unaussprechlichen Namens») Verbreitung. Das Manuskript zeigt zehn in konzentrischen Kreisen verlaufende Inschriften in Schwarz und Rot sowie 128 nur in Schwarz. Sie enthalten detaillierte Anweisungen für die mystische Meditation. Bei der Betrachtung dieser Kreise sollte der 72 Buchstaben zählende Name Gottes rezitiert werden, der durch eine Kombination des Zahlenwerts der Buchstaben in den Namen der zwölf Stämme Israels, der Patriarchen und der neun Buchstaben des Wortes Schiwte Jisra’el («Stämme Israels») zustande kommt. Der lesende Betrachter sollte jeden der dreifachen schwarz-roten Kreise an der Stelle «betreten», die durch einen kleinen Federstrich gewissermassen als «Eingang» bezeichnet ist.

Aus: Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 112.

e-codices · 11/27/2014, 18:03:11

Judaism has always reflected two opposing attitudes toward Kabbalah. The first seeks to limit the study and practice of Jewish mysticism to a limited circle of students as an esoteric system, while the second wants to reach out to larger Jewish audiences. In medieval Spain one of the most important kabbalists was Abraham Abulafia (1240–after 1291). Abulafia did not consider Kabbalah to be a form of gnosis, or a theosophical theory; his conceptions of Kabbalah have little or nothing to do with the well-known kabbalistic schools that concentrate on the Sefirot, or the structure of the Divine being. Instead, through certain mystical techniques and experiences, Abulafia attempted to achieve a state of prophetic-mystical ecstasy, inspired by his conviction that the experience of the prophets was an ecstatic one and that all true mystics are prophets. Abulafia met with fierce opposition, but that did not prevent his doctrine from becoming extremely popular.
Particularly important among his many works are his kabbalistic manuals, the best known of which is Hayyei ha-Olam ha-Ba (Life of the World to Come). It is also known as Sefer ha-Shem (Book of the [Divine] Name), Sefer ha-Iggulim (Book of Circles), or, as in the Braginsky manuscript, Sefer ha-Shem ha-Meforash (Book of the Ineffable Name). This work contains ten circles executed in red and black ink and 128 slightly different circles executed in black, which are, in fact, detailed instructions for mystical meditation. The seventy-two-lettered Name (arrived at by a combi- nation of the numerical value of the letters in the names of the twelve tribes, the Patriarchs, and the nine letters of the words shivtei yisra’el [the tribes of Israel]) is recited while contemplating these circles, in which different Divine Names are broken down into new structures by means of combinations of letters. The reader is supposed to enter each circle at its “entrance,” slightly to the right of the top of the circle, indicated in the larger circles in black and red by a small twirled pen stroke. During these exercises the mystic is advised by Abulafia to withdraw into a house where one’s voice cannot be overheard.

From: A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 48.

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Schöne Seiten. Jüdische Schriftkultur aus der Braginsky Collection, Hrsg. von Emile Schrijver und Falk Wiesemann, Zürich 2011, S. 112-113.

A Journey through Jewish Worlds. Highlights from the Braginsky collection of Hebrew manuscripts and printed books, hrsg. E. M. Cohen, S. L. Mintz, E. G. L. Schrijver, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 48-49.

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