Peirush al Sepher HaBahir [Kabbalistic commentary to Sefer HaBahir]

AUCTION 65 | Thursday, June 25th, 2015 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts, Ceremonial Objects and Graphic Art

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Lot 12

Peirush al Sepher HaBahir [Kabbalistic commentary to Sefer HaBahir]

Manuscript in Hebrew on paper, text written in large square type with commentary in cursive Sephardic hand. ff. 19-399. Just two fragments prior to f. 19, final index page in fragment only, frayed in places, occasional staining and worming. Modern boards. Thick 8vo.

Jerusalem/Izmir(?): 17th/18th century

Est: $1,500 - $2,000
<<An uNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT.>> Commentary to the Sepher HaBahir by one of the leading Kabbalists of the 17th century. Only one other copy of this commentary is extant, located in the Gaster Collection (no. 996), where it is attributed to R. David Chavilio. Although based on the Kabbalah of the Ar’i za’l, in chap. 59 the author incorporated the commentary of the RaMa’K to the 32 Paths of Wisdom from his Pardes Rimonim. R. David Chavilio (d. 1661) studied Kabbalah under R. Binyamin Halevi in Safed. He attained great spiritual heights to the degree that it was said of him he merited to have a “magid” (see Chid’a, Shem Hagedolim). A number of other Kabbalistic treatises were written by Chavilio, including a commentary on Sepher Yetzirah - mentioned in the present manuscript (p. 38b) - as well as other works, now lost. Forced to leave Eretz Israel in 1652, he moved to Izmir, Turkey, where he died in 1661. See Binyamin Halevi, Sha’arei Chemda (2011) p. 246; G. Scholem, Zion, vols. 13-14 (1948-49) p. 61. <<COMMENTARIES TO THE ESOTERIC SEPHER HABAHIR ARE MOST UNCOMMON.>>