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Bidding Information
Lot #    12718
Auction End Date    12/20/2005 1:03:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Kelah Pithei Hokhmah: Pithei Hokhmah ve-Daat
Title (Hebrew)    ' ;
Author    R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto (Ramhal)
City    Warsaw
Publisher    Meir Jehiel Halter
Publication Date    1888; 1884
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   84; 77 ff., octavo, 215:137 mm., light ag estaining. A good copy bound in later boards.
   Two related kabbalsitic works explicating Lurianic Kabbalah by R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto (Ramhal). The first work, Kelah (=138) Pithei Hokhmah a systematic theosophical exposition of the Lurianic Kabbalah. Luzzatto's tendency in this work is to minimize the mythological aspects of Isaac Luria's teachings and to emphasize the theosophical aspects. He developed his own interpretation of the main features of Luria's mythology and interpreted them as symbols, not as actual events. The idea of the zimzum, God's withdrawing into Himself prior to the emanation of the divine Sefirot, was explained by Luzzatto as an act of divine justice, reflecting God's wish to establish a contact with the created world, whereas originally, in Luria's Kabbalah, this event was a mythological necessity. (Luzzatto's interpretation, by the way, was widely accepted, and even the early Hasidim adopted it). It has an important introduction entitled Derekh Ez ha-Hayyim, which explains the religious merits of kabbalistic study. Kelah Pithei Hokhmah is dated 1888. The second title, Pithei Hokhmah ve-Daat, dated 1884, is described on the title page as part two of Kelah Pithei Hokhmah.

R. Moses Hayyim Luzzatto (Ramhal, 17071746) was a kabbalist, writer of ethical works, and Hebrew poet; leader of a group of religious thinkers, who were mainly interested in the problems of redemption and messianism. R. Luzzatto was born in Padua, Italy, into one of the most important, oldest, and most respectable families in Italian Jewry. Regarded as a genius from childhood, he knew Bible, Talmud, Midrash, halakhic literature, and classical languages and literature thoroughly. His main teachers were R. Isaac Cantarini, who taught him poetry and secular sciences, and R. Isaiah Bassan, who taught him mainly Kabbalah and became his friend and protector. Ramhals achievements, personality, and great knowledge of mysticism made him a leader of a group of young men in Padua, many of whom came there to study at the city's famous university. Probably the most important event in Luzzatto's personal life occurred in 1727. While he was immersed in kabbalistic speculations, he suddenly heard a divine voice, which he believed to be that of a maggid (i.e., a divine power inclined to reveal heavenly secrets to human beings). From that moment, the Maggid spoke to Luzzatto frequently and he noted these revelations, which comprised his kabbalistic writings for a few years. Most of them have not survived; only a few are known and have been published. His most important and best-known book is the classic ethical work Mesillat Yesharim.

   BE peh 997; EJ
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Kabbalah:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica