[Kabbalistic commentary on the Hebrew alphabet]. Attributed to Rabbi Akiva.

AUCTION 87 | Thursday, January 16th, 2020 at 1:00pm
"K2" Online Sale: Hebrew & Judaic Printed Books

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Lot 226
Othioth De’rAbi Akiva.

[Kabbalistic commentary on the Hebrew alphabet]. Attributed to Rabbi Akiva.

Second edition. Printer’s device on title (see: Yaari’s Printer’s Marks no. 16) ff. 12. Lower corner of title removed affecting a few letters on verso, previous owners marks on title, scattered marginalia. Modern calf-backed boards. 12mo Vinograd, Venice 262

Venice: Marco Antonio Giustiniani 1546

Est: $300 - $500
Ascribed to the Mishnaic-era Rabbi Akiva, this work presents Aggadic homilies tinged with Kabbalistic renderings to each letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. The names of the letters, even the individual letters that spell each name of each letter - all are infused with unique mystical value and ethical importance. Much is made of the combinations of letters, especially those forming the names of God. Also discussed is the role of the Angel Metatron as mediator between God and Man. According to Waxman, “this kind of teaching is really in direct opposition to the teachings of Akiva and other scholars of his age, who on the contrary, endeavored to minimize the importance of the angels... and yet, strangely enough, such teachings [are] ascribed to him.” See M. Waxman, Vol. I, pp. 382-3