Sepher Kabbalah Ma’asi’ioth [“The Book of Practical Kabbalah”]

AUCTION 9 | Tuesday, March 28th, 2000 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art

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Lot 361

Sepher Kabbalah Ma’asi’ioth [“The Book of Practical Kabbalah”]

Hebrew manuscript in Aschkenazic rabbinic script with words highlighted in square script, occasional use of “angelic” script (Kethav Melachim). Title within historiated border with animals and flora, historiated end piece. Numerous charts and talismanic illustrations, including one of a human form holding a sword, with kabbalistic interpretations for each part of the body ff. 60. Lightly browned, scattered stains, light marginal worming, small hole on f.60. Contemporary blind-tooled morocco boards, repaired. 8vo

Germany/Poland: 1805

Est: $6,000 - $7,000
A Fascinating Compendium of Charms, Remedies and Protective (“White”) Magic. Practical kabbalah, which was for the most part, purely motivated, is preoccupied with the manipulation of the spherical powers to affect the physical, not the spiritual world. Such magical operations are not considered impossible in the kabbalah. Indeed, they are not categorically forbidden, although numerous kabbalistic writings stress that only the most perfectly virtuous individuals are permitted to perform them, and even then, never for their private advantage, but only in times of emergency and public need. Jewish “White” magic worked largely through the manipulation of the sacred, esoteric names of God and the Angels. Those who knew its secrets, were known as “Ba’alei Shem”. This particular compendium, the scribe informs us, was received through the passage of tradition including R. Joel Ba’al Shem; one of the great masters of practical kabbalah, and R. Tevele Katz of Frankfurt. It contains remedies for all kinds of sicknesses, and incantations on how to understand the languages of birds, how to interpret the ways of ghosts, how to rid oneself of an enemy, how to exorcise a house, how to create a Golem, how to conquer fear of dogs, how to see at night, how to calm a crying baby, how to impregnate a woman and how to cure alcoholism, list of the medicinal powers of different minerals