View full screen - View 1 of Lot 61. SEFER HA-KAVVANOT (THE BOOK OF MYSTICAL INTENTIONS), RABBI HAYYIM VITAL, SCRIBE: RABBI MOSES MANDIL, JERUSALEM: 1747.
61

SEFER HA-KAVVANOT (THE BOOK OF MYSTICAL INTENTIONS), RABBI HAYYIM VITAL, SCRIBE: RABBI MOSES MANDIL, JERUSALEM: 1747

Estimate:

8,000 - 12,000 USD

SEFER HA-KAVVANOT (THE BOOK OF MYSTICAL INTENTIONS), RABBI HAYYIM VITAL, SCRIBE: RABBI MOSES MANDIL, JERUSALEM: 1747

SEFER HA-KAVVANOT (THE BOOK OF MYSTICAL INTENTIONS), RABBI HAYYIM VITAL, SCRIBE: RABBI MOSES MANDIL, JERUSALEM: 1747

Estimate:

8,000 - 12,000 USD

Lot sold:

22,680

USD

SEFER HA-KAVVANOT (THE BOOK OF MYSTICAL INTENTIONS), RABBI HAYYIM VITAL, SCRIBE: RABBI MOSES MANDIL, JERUSALEM: 1747


596 pages (8 1/8 x 6 1/4 in.; 205 x 158 mm) (collation: i9 [i1 removed], ii-iii10, iv8, v-x10, xi8, xii-xvii10, xviii12, xix-xxi8, xxii7 [xxii5 removed], xxiii-xxiv8, xxv10, xxvi-xxviii8, remainder indeterminate) on paper; original (?) foliation in pen in Hebrew characters in upper-outer corners of recto (foliation: 1-230, 230-297); modern pagination in pencil in Arabic numerals in center at foot (cited); written in Eastern square (titles, incipits, and emphasized words) and cursive (text body) scripts in dark brown ink; single-column text of twenty-four to thirty lines per page; ruled in blind; justification of lines via dilation or contraction of final letters and insertion of space fillers; episodic vocalization of selected words; frequent headers; catchwords at foot of each page; strikethroughs, corrections, and marginalia in various hands. Enlarged incipits and emphasized texts; dots often arranged in an upside-down triangular formation to indicate the close of a topic; excised Tetragrammaton pasted on p. 38; tables on pp. 38, 293; tapering text on pp. 57, 164, [274], 306, 354, 492, 544, 563, 596. Slight scattered staining and dogearing; some dampstaining in outer margins and gutters, occasionally affecting legibility of text; corners rounded; short tears in upper edges of pp. 67-68, 139-140, 261-262, 279-280, 295-296, outer edges of pp. 141-142, and lower edges of pp. 277-278; long tear in gutters of pp. 199-200; natural paper flaw in pp. 289-290; small nicks in outer edges of pp. 451-462; pp. 451-596 loose at foot; tears extending from gutters into text on pp. 499-502, affecting a few words; some damage in gutters of pp. 595-596. Original blind-tooled half-leather over board, bumped, scratched, torn, slightly wormed, and worn, especially around edges; remnants of two clasps on fore-edge; paper tickets with title and shelf mark lettered in ink on spine, the former mostly torn; headband partially exposed; original paper pastedowns and rear flyleaf.


A fundamental text of Lurianic Kabbalah, with distinguished Baghdadi provenance.


Rabbi Isaac Luria Ashkenazi (1534-1572) is unequivocally recognized as the most important kabbalist of the sixteenth century. While living in Safed, he attracted an elite group of disciples to whom he transmitted a revolutionary esoteric theology that diverged sharply from the kabbalistic systems that had preceded it. The most prominent of these students by far was Rabbi Hayyim Vital (1542-1620) who, shortly after his master’s passing, began teaching extensively from the voluminous notes on Luria’s kabbalistic discourses that he had compiled. For more than twenty years, Vital edited and organized his notes into three successive editions. The first of these passed to his son Rabbi Samuel (1598-ca. 1678), who reedited the material and organized it into eight she‘arim (gates). This recension of Vital’s oeuvre, which came to be referred to as Shemonah she‘arim (Eight Gates), attained canonical status among many kabbalists, particularly Sephardim and those living in the Land of Israel, some of whom distrusted any other compilation of Lurianic Kabbalah.


The present lot is a copy of the sixth gate, Sha‘ar ha-kavvanot (here styled Sefer ha-kavvanot), which treats the Lurianic mystical intentions required during the prayers recited throughout the year, on weekdays, Sabbaths, and holidays, as well as when performing their associated rituals. The scribe, Rabbi Moses Mandil, was apparently a student of Rabbi Hayyim Ibn Attar (1696-1743) affiliated with his Keneset Yisra’el yeshiva in Jerusalem and is known to have copied at least seven other kabbalistic manuscripts in the years 1742-1760. The Sassoon volume became the property of several important Baghdad-based rabbis, including Sason Shindookh (on whom, see next lot), Abdallah Somekh, and Elijah ben Moses Hayyim, the father of the Ben ish hai (on whom, see lot 36).


Provenance

1. “The humble Sason [ben] Mordechai [ben] Moses [Shindookh], may my Rock and Redeemer keep me” (f. 1r)


2. “And I am the last redeemer, the humble Abdall[ah ben] Abraham [ben] Joseph Somekh, may my Rock and Redeemer keep me” (f. 1r)


3. “Given to me as a gift, the humble Elijah [ben] Moses Hayyim, of blessed memory” (f. 1r)


Literature

Yosef Avivi, Kabbalat ha-ari, vol. 2 (Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute, 2008), 691-696.


David Solomon Sassoon, Ohel Dawid: Descriptive Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London, vol. 1 ([Oxford]: Oxford University Press; London: Humphrey Milford, 1932), 439 (no. 171).

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