Manual of Practical Kabbalah and Magic.

AUCTION 33 | Tuesday, June 20th, 2006 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Including Hebrew Printed Books, Manuscripts, & Autograph Letters

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Lot 201

Manual of Practical Kabbalah and Magic.

Hebrew manuscript on paper, in an Italian hands, with cursive hand of formulae in Italian. Many diagrams and talismanic illustrations. * Accompanied by an English translation of most of the manuscript. ff. 33. Later boards. 4to

(Italy): (1697)

Est: $7,000 - $9,000
A Fascinating Compendium of over two hundred charms, remedies and protective (“White”) Magic. Practical kabbalah is essentially 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 and indeed, they are not categorically forbidden, although numerous kabbalistic writings stress that only the most 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 was based largely upon the manipulation of the sacred, esoteric names of God and the Angels. Those who knew its secrets, were known as “Ba’alei Shem.” The present manual of practical kabbalah contains remedies for all kinds of sicknesses, AS WELL AS incantations as to how to attract lovers, gain financial success, give birth without pain, cure forgetfullness, become invisible, gain vigor and exorcise evil spirits. It also includes Messianic speculations: The first citation on f. 1a contains a question and an enigmatic reply said to have been received from Heaven by R. Sherira Gaon concerning “The Wondrous End.” f. 9a provides a citation in the name of R. Moses Zacut that the Messiah will appear in 1726. A number of incantations reflect upon the social milieu of Italy and the relationship of the Jewish population to gambling: f.29a contains an illustrated incantation to win at cards with detailed instructions. Although the majoity of the remedies provided are of a Jewish origin, remedy no. 188 on f. 23b refers to a method of killing your enemy “taught to me by a certain priest (galach echad)”