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Bidding Information
Lot #    22503
Auction End Date    12/23/2008 1:29:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
          
Title Information
Title (English)    Maggid Mesharim
Title (Hebrew)    מגיד משרים
Author    [Kabbalah] R. Joseph Caro
City    Vilna
Publisher    Judah Loeb
Publication Date    1875
          
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
          
Description Information
Physical
Description
   104 pp., 212:178 mm., wide margins, light age and damp staining. A good copy bound in contemporary boards, rubbed.
          
Detailed
Description
   R. Joseph Caro's Kabbalistic diary wherein he relates the revelations made to him by the Maggid in his dreams. R. Caro believed himself to be regularly visited - generally at night - by a heavenly mentor ("maggid") who revealed to him kabbalistic doctrines, as well as rules and predictions for his private ascetic life. This heavenly mentor identified himself as the heavenly archetype of the Mishnah and the Shekhinah, and manifested himself in the form of "automatic speech," i.e., as a voice coming out of Caro's mouth which could be heard by others. The best-known account of this phenomenon is that contained in a letter by R. Solomon Alkabez, recounting such a "maggidic" manifestation during a Shavuot-night vigil in R. Caro's house, probably in Nikopolis. These visitations, which continued for about 50 years, were not experienced in a state of trance, for R. Caro subsequently remembered the messages and wrote them down in a mystical diary. A small part of this diary has survived in manuscript and was subsequently printed under the title Maggid Mesharim (1st, incomplete, ed. Lublin, 1646; 2nd, supplementary, ed., Venice, 1649; 1st complete ed., Amsterdam, 1708). Attempts to deny R. Caro's authorship of the Maggid Mesharim were mainly inspired by the prejudice that this lucid halakhist could not possibly have exhibited such mystical states (seen as irrational, trance-like, or even pathological); the authenticity of the book is, however, beyond doubt.

R. Caro's mystical diary was recast by the editors before it was published in the form of a kabbalistic-homiletical commentary on the Pentateuch. Maggid Mesharim is a major source for a better knowledge of the state of the Kabbalah in the period after the expulsion from Spain and before the great revival in Safed of the new Kabbalah associated with the name of R. Isaac Luria. While not creating a new kabbalistic system or synthesizing earlier doctrines, R. Caro's diary throws much light on contemporary pre-Lurianic kabbalistic discussions, especially the doctrine of the Shekhinah and of the intermediary realms of being between the world of Azilut and the lower worlds.

          
Paragraph 2    ... הובא לבית הדפוס ע"י... מוה' שמואל יצחק בערזיק מאשמענע (המגיה... בנציון בלא"א... ירמיהו עקיבא זצ"ל אלפס מילידי ווילנא). [חלק א-ב].

בשולי השער, ברוסית: על-פי דפוס זאלקווא 1769 [צ"ל: 1770, תק"ל].

          
Reference
Description
   CD-EPI 0162137; EJ; JE
        
Associated Images
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Listing Classification
Period
19th Century:    Checked
  
Location
Russia-Poland:    Checked
  
Subject
  
Kabbalah:    Checked
  
Characteristic
Language:    Hebrew
  
Manuscript Type
  
Kind of Judaica