(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Kabbalah : its doctrines, development, and literature"

OL 1 1 

BM 

175 

. ES 

G49 

19;: 



:v 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924075115380 



CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 




3 1924 075 115 380 



THE KABBALAH 

Its Doctrines, Development, and Literature 



By 
CHRISTIAN D. GINSBURG Ll.D. 



Second Impression 



London 

GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS LIMITED 

Broadway House: 68-74 Carter Lane E.G. 

1920 



Reprinted verbatim from the first 
edition which contained (pp. 1-82) 
entitled " The Essenes." 



TO 



PERCY M. DOVE, ESa, F.I.A., F.S.S., &&, 

I AFFECTIONATBLY INSCRIBE THIS ESSAY, 

AS AN EXPBESSION OF MY HIGH REGARD FOB HIM, BOTH 
AS A FRIEND AND A CHRISTIAN GENTLEMAN. 

CHRISTIAN D. GINSBUBO. 



THE KABBALAH. 



A SYSTEM of religious philosophy, or more properly of 
theosophy, which has not only exercised for hundreds of years 
an extraordinary influence on thu mental development of so 
shrewd a people, as the Jews, but has oapdvatod the minds of 
some of the greatest thinkers of Christendom in the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries, claims the greatest attention of 
both the philosopher and the theologian. When it is added 
that among its captives were Baymond Lully, the celebrated 
scholastic, metaphysician and chemist (died 1815) ; John 
Beuchlin, the renowned scholar and reviver of oriental litera- 
ture in Europe (bom 1455, died 1528) ; John Picus di 
Mirandola, the famous philosopher' and classical soholcr 
(1463-1494) ; Cornelius Henry Agrippa, the distinguished 
philosopher, divin« and physician (1486-1535) ; John Baptist 
von Helmont, a remarkable chemist and physician (1577- 
1644) ; as well as our own countrymen Bobert Fludd, the 
famous physician and philosopher (1574-1637), and Dr. 
Henry More (1614-1687) ; and that these men, after rest- 
lessly searching for a scientifio system which should disclose 
to them " the deepest depths " of the Divine nature, and show 
them the r6al tie which binds all things together, found the 
cravings of their minds satisfied by this theosophy, the 
claims of the Kabbalah on the attention of students in. litera- 
ture and philosophy will readily be admitted. The claims 
of the Kabbalah, however, are not restricted to the literary 
o 



84 

man and the philosoplier : the poet too yiill find in it 
ample materials for the exercise of his lofty genius. How 
can it be otherwise with a theosopb^ which, we are assured, 
was bom of God in Paradise, was nursed and reared by 
the choicest of the angelic hosts in heaven, and only held 
converse with the holiest of man's , children upon earth. 
Listen to the story of its birth, growth and maturity, as told 
by its followers. 

The Kabbalah was first taught by God himself to a select 
company of angels, who formed a theosophic school in Para- 
dise. After the' fall the angels most graciously communicated 
this heavenly doctrine to the disobedient child of earth, to 
furnish the protoplasts with the means of returning to their 
pristine nobility and felicity. From Adam it passed over to 
Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who emigrated 
with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a portion of 
this mysterious doctrine to ooze out. It was in this way that 
the Egyptians obtained some knowledge of it, and the other 
Eastern nations could introduce it into their philosophical 
systems. Moses, who was learned in all the wisdom of 
Egypt, was first initiated into it in the land of his birth, but 
became most proficient in it during his wanderings in the 
wilderness, when he not only devoted to it the leisure hours 
of the whole forty years, but received lessons in it from one 
of the angels. By the aid of this mysterious science the 
lawgiver was enabled to solve the difiiculties which arose 
during his management of the Israelites, in spite of the pil- 
grimages, wars and the frequent miseries of the nation. He 
covertly laid down the principles of this secret doctrine in 
the first four books of the Pentateuch, but withheld them 
from Deuteronomy. This constitutes the former the man, 
and the latter the woman. Moses 'also initiated the seventy 
elders into the secrets of this doctrine, and they again trans- 
mitted them from hand to hand. Of all who formed the 



85 

unbroken line of tradition, David and Solomon were most 
initiated into the Kabbalah. No one, however, dared, to write 
it down, till Simon ben Jochai, who lived at the time of the 
destruction of the second Temple. Having been condemned 
to death by Titus, Babbi Simon managed to escape with his 
son and concealed himself in a cavern where he remained 
for twelve years. Here, in this subterranean abode, he occupied 
himself entirely with the contemplation of the sublime Kab- 
bclah, and was constantly visited by the Prophet Elias, who 
disclosed to him some of its secrets which were still concealed 
from the theosophical Rabbi. Here, too, his discipled re- 
sorted to be initiated by their master into these divine 
mysteries ; and here, Simon ben Jochai expired with this 
heavenly doctrine in his mouth, whilst discoursing on it to 
his disciples. Scarcely had his spirit departed, when a 
dazzling light filled the cavern, so that no one could look at 
the Babbi ; whilst a burning fire appeared outside, forming as 
it were a sentinel at the entrance of the cave, and denying 
admittance to the neighbours. It was not till the light inside, 
and the fire outside, had disappeared, that the disciples per- 
ceived that the lamp of Israel was extinguished. As they 
were preparing for his obsequies, a voice was heard from 
heaven, saying, " Come ye to the marriage of Simon b. Jochai, 
he is entering into peace, and shall rest in his chamber ! " A 
flame preceded the coffin, which seemed enveloped by, and 
burning like fire. And when the remains were deposited in 
the tomb, another voice was heard from heaven, saying, " This 
is he who caused the earth to quake, aud the kingdoms to 
shake ! " His son, B. Eliezer, and his secretary, R. Abba, as 
well as his disciples, then collated R. Simon b. Joohai's 
treatises, and out of these composed the celebrated work 
called Sohar (IHT) i.e., Sj)lendour, which is the grand store- 
house of Eabbahsm. 

From what has been said, it will be seen that the followers 



of this secret doctrine claim for it a pre-Adamite existence. 
and maintain that, ever since the creation of the first man, 
it has been received uninterruptedly from the hands of the 
patriarchs, the prophets, <fec. It is for this reason that it 
is oallei' Kabbalah (rT?3p from ^3p to receive) which prima- 
rily denotes reception, and then a doctrine received by oral 
tradition. The Kabbalah is also called by some Secret 
Wisdom (rnr/Oi nODrr), because it was only handed down 
by tradition through the initiated, and is indicated in the 
Hebrew Scriptures by signs which are hidden and unintelli- 
gible to those who have not been instructed in its mysteries. 
From the initial letters of this name, this theosophic system 
is also denominated Grace (l"n=n"inD3 nD3n).V Vague and 
indefinite as this name may seem to the uninitiated, inasmuch 
as it conveys no idea whatever of the peculiar doctrines of the 
system, but simply indicates the manner in which they have 
been transmitted, it is nevertheless the classical and acknow- 
ledged appellation of this theosophy. The difference between 
the word Kabbalah {T02p receptio) and the cognate term 
Massorah (iTilDD traditio, firom 1DD to transmit) — which 
denotes the traditionally transmitted various readings of the 
Hebrew Scriptures — is, that the former expresses the act oj 
receiving, which in this technical sense could only be on the 
part of one who has reached a certain period of life, as well 
as a certain state of sanctity, implying also a degree of secrecy ; 
whilst the latter signifies the act of giving over, surrendering, 
without premising any peculiar age, stage. of holiness, or 
degree of secrecy. The name, therefore, tells us no more 
than that this theosophy has been received traditionally, 
To ascertain its tenets we must analyze the system itself oi 
the books which propound it ; and to this task we now 
betake ourselves. 

The cardinal doctrines of the Kabbalah are mainly designed 
to solve the grand problems about (I) The nature of the 



87 

Supreme Being, (II) The cosmogony, (III) The creation of 
angels and man, (IV) The destiny of man and the universe, 
and (V) To point out the import of the Eevealed Law. 
Assenting and consenting to the declarations of the Hehrew 
Scriptures about the unity of God (Exod. xx, 3 ; Deiit. iv, 85, 
39 ; vi, 4 ; xxxii, 39), his incorporeity (Exod. xx, 4 ; Deut. iv, 
15; Ps. xiv, 18), eternity (Exod. iii, 14; Deut. xxxii, 40; 
Isa.xli, 4; xliii, 10; xliv, 6; xlviii, 12), immutability (Mai. iii, 
6), perfection (Deut. xxxii, ' ■, 2 Sam. xxii, 31 ; Job xxxviii, 
16; Ps. xviii, 31), infinite goodness (Exod. xxxiv, 6; 
Ps. XXV, 10; xxxiii, 5; c, 5 ; cxlv, 9), the creation of the 
world in time according to God's free will (Gen. i, 1), the 
moral government of the universe and special providence, and 
to the creation of man in the image of God (Gen. i. 27), the 
Kabbalah seeks to explain the transition fron» the infinite to 
the finite ; the procedure of multifariousness from an absolute 
unity, and of matter from a pure intelligence ; the operation 
of pure intelligence upon matter, in spite of the infinite gulf 
between them ; the relationship oi the Creator to the creature, 
so as to be able to exercise supervision and providence. It, 
moreover, endeavours to show how it is that the Bible gives 
names and assigns attributes and a form to so spiritual a 
Being ; how the existence of evil is compatible with the 
infinite goodness of God, and what is the Divine intention 
about this creation. 

Jn our analysis of the Kabbalistio doctrines on these grand 
problems, we shall follow the order in which they have been 
enumerated, and accordingly begin with the lucubrations on 
the Supreme Being and the Emanations. 

I. The Supreme Being and the doctrine and classification 
of the Emanations, or Sephiroth. 

Being boundless in his nature — which necessarily implies 
that he is an absolute unity and inscrutable, and that there 
H 



88 

is nothing without him, or that the t6 irav is in him, *— God is 
called En Soph CTID r») = firt/poc Endless, boundless? 
In this boundlessness, or as the En Soph, he cannot be com- 
prehended by the intellect, nor described in words, for there 
is nothing which can grasp and depict him to us, and as such 
he is, in a certain sense, not existent (])>*), because, as far as 
our minds are concerned, that which is perfectly incompre- 
hensible does not exist.^ To make his existence perceptible, 
and to render himself comprehensible, the En Soph, or the 
Boundless, had to become active and creative. But the En 
Soph cannot be the direct creiitor, for he has neither will, 
intention, desire, thought, language, nor action, as these pro- 
perties imply limit and belong to finite beings, whereas the En 
Soph is boundless. Besides, the imperfect and circumscribed 
nature of the creation precludes the idea that the world was 
created or even designed by him, who can have no will nor 
produce anything but what is like himself, boundless and 

yin I'HW in toa lu-i ib ■<tm 'b '» »)») inaii pi) toi -nmn on' vh t)iD ^'h '3 n , 1 
i;ta3' ifflM tn J>M1 DID ]<H1 niM J'« •p'n «xx>, Commentary of the ten Sephiroth, 
ed. Berlin, p. 4 a. This doctrine,' however, that everything is in the Deity is 
not peculiar to the Kabbalah, it has been propounded by the Jews from lime 
immemnrial, before the Kabbalah came into existence, as may be seen from the 
following passage in Vie Midrash.^ *' The Holy One. blessed be he, is the space 
of the universe, but the universe is not his space (D^Wn ]W dVi)> bv) Toypa •l"ipn 
^Dlpo). B. Isaac submitted: from the passage Dip ^nbM n313?0 (Deut. xxxiii, 27), 
we do nut know whether the Holy One, blessed be he, is the habitation of the 
universe or the universe his habitation ; but from the remark nnM n3?ip ^^IM Lord 
Hum art tlm duiclling place (Ps. xo, 1^, it is evident that the Holy One, blessed 
be he, is the dwelling place of the universe, and not the universe his dwelling 
place." (Bereshith Rabbai § Ixviii.) To the same effect is the remark of Philo, 
" God himself is the space of the universe, for it is he who contains all things." 
(De SomnitB, i.) It is for this reason that God is called Dipo or Dipon = o rdirof , 
hais, and that the Septuagint renders 'ijl b«-ns' 'rts nMIN-'l (Exod. xxiv, 10), by 
Brtt elfov rdv tottov, oi! AarlfKU i StAf , which has occasioned so much difficulty 
t? interpreters. 

13 pi i3n^iD3 Mbi «no3m pmn«iH')T wi m\»'m-q im no vyrwt x'ji'jfT vh 2 
I'M npH {Sohar iii, 233 6.) To the same effect is the ancient expository work 
on the doctrine of the Emanations which we quoted in the preceding note, comp. 
DMT 'i2\» ni •ftw rro'ien nnrt«3 miaj nwii»rm »im mo )'« 'inp ta.-io ijimn no 
i:on pn J'M "juj 'tan «in, Commentary on the ten Sephiroth, ed. Berlin, p. 3 a. 

nswoi 1OT k'ji naiunn h^i yon m^i mi3 ubi )in lb c '3 loib j's-mo rM'.o »t 3 
ihid., i a. 



89 

perfect. On the other hand, again, the beautiful design dis- 
played in the mechanism, the regular order manifested in the 
preseryation, destruction, and renewal of things, forbid us to 
regard this world as the offspring of chance, and constrain us 
to recognize therein an intelligent design.* We are, therefore, 
compelled to view the En Soph as the creator of the world in 
an indirect manner. 

Now, the medium by which the En Soph made his exist- 
ence known in the creaiion of the world are ten Sephiroth ° 
(ZnTSD) or intelligences, which emanated from the Bound- 
less One (^1D '|'i<) in the following manner :— At first the 
En Soph, or the Aged of the Aged {V\>T\V\ ^P'nV) or the 
Holy Aged (J^iy^p Kp'W), as he is alternately called, sent 
forth from his infinite light one spiritual substance or intelli- 
gence. This first Sephira, which existed in the En Soph from 
all eternity, and became a reality by a mere act, has no less 
than seven appellations. It is called — I, the Crown QPO), 
because it occupies the highest position ; II, Jhe Aged (Np'/li*), 
because it is the oldest or the first emanation — aud this name 
must not be confounded with the Aged of the Aged, which, as 
we have seen, is the appellation of the En Soph ; III, (he Pri- 
mordial Point (n3Wi«1 ^m^^\>:i), or the Smooth Point (HTipj 
nOIU'B). because, as the Sohar tells us, " When the Concealed 
of the Concealed wished to reveal himself, he first made a single 

picn 7S mo nmn o m to atjrA ar ic'jw niriii jv3 -iita xin o ■mMn ds i 
Vaon, Commentary on the ten Sephirotl],p. 2 6. Again, says tlie same Buthority, 
miDWro "xm (o'jisn) Kino nm obisri n-n nwn uno Nsojn ^iisnc -ionh d«i 
,mpDa nxnan nnTi p dm wnnji jv3 «';© isMn a«i • • ■ • 1:013 Nino mm mrn 
jawpno on itd ^si ,110 oni «• a'>ra;n '3 c'xi-i iwi ,-nD -h )'w mpnj nan ist tai 
DimnnD on itd toi, D'teano on itd tei, ihid., p. 2. 

S Both the etymology aud the exact meaning of tVic word th'ED (plural mi'2D) 
are matters of dispute. R. Azariel, the first KJvbbalist, derives it from 120 to 
mimhcr, whilst the later Kabbalists derive it nlternntely from TED Saplilr, from 
■jM 1133 Dncco D'Dicn (Ps. xix, I), aiul from the Greek aipalpai, aud are not at 
all certain whether to regard the Sephiruth as principles {apxal), or as siihstiiiiccs 
{iwotrraaus), or as potencies, powers (Ivvafuic), or as IntdligeKt worlds (Kiiir/toi 
voijnicoi), or as attributes, or as entities (niQSV), or as organs of the Deitij (O'ta). 



90 

point : the Infinite was entirely unknown, and diffused no 
light before this luminous point Tiolently broke through into 
vision;" (Sohar,i, 15 a). lY, the White Head (miin Kt&n) ; 

V, the Long Face, Macroprosopcn (^^3^* T"»**), because tho 
whole ten Sephiroth represent the Primordial or the Heavenly 
Man (HN'tj; Dfl*), of which the first Sepkira is the head; 

VI, The hiscrutable Height (n^^D Dll), because it is the 
highest of all the Sephiroth proceeding immediately from the 
En Soph. Hence, on the passage " Go forth, O ye daughters 
of Zion, and behold the King of Peace * with the Crown ! " 
(Song of Solomon iii, 2) the Sohar remarks, " But who 
can behold the King of Peace, seeing that He is incom- 
prehensible, even to the heavenly hosts ? But he who 
sees the Crown sees the glory of the King of Peace." 
{Sohar ii. 100 4.) And, VII, it is expressed in the Bible by the 
Divine name Ehejeh, ot I Am (nTIN Exod. iii, 4), because it is 
absolute being, representing the Infinite as distinguished from 
the finite, and in the angelic order, by the celestial beasts of 
Ezekiel, called Ghajoth (/IVn). The first Sephira contained the 
other nine Sephiroth, and gave rise to them in the following 
order : — At first a masculine or active potency, designated 
Wisdom (HD^n), proceeded from it. This Sephira, which 
among the divine names is represented by Jah (H' Isa. xxvi, 4), 
and among the angelic hosts by OpJianim (D^3S)i< Wheels), 
sent forth an opposite, i. e. a feminine or passive, potency, 
denominated Intelligence {7\T1), which is represented by 
the divine name Jehovah (mn'), and angelic name Arelim 
(D''7K^^*), and it is from a union of these two Sephiroth, 
which are also called Father (K3N) and Mother (^*0l*), that 
the remaining seven Sephiroth proceeded. Or, as the 
Sohar (iii, 290 a) expresses it, " When the Holy Aged, 

6 The Sohar, like the Talmud, generally renders the words nobtj -po King 
Solomon ; while verses in the Song of Songs, by irVi xn'jirJ n t/tfya the King to 
wham peace belongs. 



91 

the Concealed of all Concealed, assumed a form, he pro- 
duced everything in the fonn of male and female, as the 
things could not continue in any other form. Hence Wisdom, 
which is the beginning of development, when it proceeded 
irom the Holy Aged, emanated in male and female, for 
Wisdom expanded, and Intelligence proceeded from it, and 
thus obtained male and female— viz.. Wisdom, the father, and 
Intelligence, the mother, from whose union the other pairs of 
Sephiroth successively emanated." These two opposite po- 
tencies — viz.. Wisdom (nOD^TT) and Intelligence (HJ^S) — are 
joined together by the first potency, the Crown (^rO) ; thus 
yielding the first triad of the Sephiroth. 

From the junction of the foregoing opposites emanated again 
the masculine or active potency, denominated Mercy or Love, 
(IDn), also called Greatness (n'?n3), the fourth Sephira, 
which among the divine names is represented by El (/N), 
and among the angelic hosts by Ghashmalim (DvDiyn, Comp. 
Ezek. i, 4). From this again emanated the feminine or 
passive potency, Justice (ri), also called Judicial Power 
(rni3J), the fifth Sephira, which is represented by the divine 
name Eloha (H/X), and among theangels by Seraphim (C'BlIf, 
Isa. vi, 6) ; and from this again the uniting potency. Beauty or 
Mildness (/TlSD/1), the sixth /SejoAjVa, represented by the divine 
name Elohim (DTI/K), and among the angels by Shinanim 
(D'JNJty, Ps. Ixviii, 18). Since without this union the exist- 
ence of things would not be possible, inasmuch as mercy 
not tempered with justice, and justice not tempered with 
mercy would be unendurable : and thus the second trinity 
of the Sephiroth is obtained. 

The medium of union of the second trinity, i. e. Beauty 
(m>*3/l), the sixth Sephira, beamed forth the masculine or 
active potency. Firmness (HSJ), the seventh Sephira, corre- 
sponding to the divine name Jehovah Sabaoth {tVH^yi HliT), 
and among the angels to Tarshishim {WWWM^, Dan. x. 6) ; 



92 

this again gave rise to the feminine or passive potency, Splen- 
dour (Tin), the eighth Sephira, to which answer the divine 
name Elohim Sabnoth (niN32: DTl'jN), and among the angels 
Betiei Elohim (DTl'jt* 03, Gen. vi. 4) ; and from it again, 
emanated Foundation or the Basis (TID*), the ninth Sephira, 
represented by the divine name El Chai (^rt 7K), and among 
the angelic hosts by Ishim {WV^, Ps. civ. 4), which is 
the uniting point between these two opposites — thus yielding 
the third trinity of Sephiroth. From the ninth Sephira, the 
Bads (110^) of all, emanated the tenth, called Kingdom 
(Tvd^ti), and Shechinah (nJOIf), which is represented by the 
divine name Adonai ("'3'^^^), and among the angelic hosts by 
Cherubim (DOT13). The table on the opposite page exhibits 
the different names of the Sephiroth, together with the several 
names of God and the angels, which correspond to them. 

From this representation of each triad, as consisting of a 
threefold principle, viz., the two opposites, masculine and 
feminine, and the uniting principle, the development of the 
Sephiroth, and of life generally, is symbolically called the 
Balance (iibpr\J2), because the two opposite sexes, are com- 
pared with the two opposite scales, and the uniting Sephira 
is compared with the beam which joins the scales, and indi- 
cates its equipoise. 

Before we enter into further particulars about the nature, 
operation, and classification of these Sephiroth, we shall give 
the Sohar's speculations about the Supreme Being, and its 
account of the origin of the Sephiroth, and their relationship 
to the Deity. 

The prophet Elias having learned in the heavenly college 
the profound mystery and true import of the words in Isa. 
xl, 25, 26, " To whom will ye liken me, and shall I be equal ? 
saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold' 
who CD) hath created these things (n'?X)," revealed to K. 
Simon b. Jochai that God in his absolute nature is unknown 



9a 






ill I 






Is 

no 











Is" 

COS 

SH 
uo 

Km 

Ha 
a-«! 

1DS5 
H 



3 



9 g 

3 e 



O 

2 



(3. 
fc 



EC 

n 
o 
O 



° r ^ S 

» F 6 ^ 

'f 91 2 a 

& i E F 




I 



rf E § g P « H g .. 



N 



i-io4m^u3coE»ao 



a 13 



^ I 



=^ ii -a 



<a 3 M 



^$ 



94 

and incomprehensible, and hence, in a certain sense, non- 
existent ; that this Who (^'?^» unknotsn subject) had to 
become active and creative, to demonstrate his existence, and 
that it is only by these (H^K) works of creation that he made 
himself known to us. It is therefore the combination of the 
unknown Who CD) with these visible (n'?N) works that 
showed him to be God (D'H^N which is produced by trans- 
posed, i. e. D\ and united with n'?K). Or, as it is in the 
language of the Kabbalah ; — 

" Before he gave any shape to this world, before he pro- 
duced any form, he was alone, without a form and resemblance 
to anything else. Who then can comprehend him how hs 
was before the creation, since he was formless ? Hence it is 
forbidden to represent him by any form, similitude, or even 
by his sacred name, by a single letter or a single point ; add 
to this the words ' Ye saw no manner of similitude on the 
day that the Lord spake unto you" (Deut. iv, 15) — i.e. ye 
have not seen anything which you could represent by any 
form or likeness— refer. But after he created the form of the 
Heavenly Man ( T\K7y mi<), he used it as a chariot (n231D) 
wherein to descend, and wishes to be called by this form, which 
is the sacred name Jehovah. He wishes to be known by his 
attributes, and each attribute separately ; and therefore had 
himself called the God of Mercy, the God of Justice, 
Almighty, God of Sabaoth, and the Being. He wishes 
thereby to make known his nature, and that we should see 
how his mercy and compassion extend both to the world and 
to all operations. For if he had not poured out his light upon 
all his creatures, how could we ever have known him ? How 
could the words be fulfilled, ' The whole earth is full of his 
glory ' (Isa. vi, 3) ? Woe be to him who compares him with 
his own attributes ! or still worse with the son of man whose 
foundation is in the dust, who vanishes and is no more ! 
Hence, the form in which we delineate him simply describes 



06 

each time his dominion over a certain attribute, or over the 
creatures generally. We cannot understand more of his 
nature than the attribute expresses. ' Hence, when he is di- 
vested of all these things, he has neither any attribute nor 
any similitude or form. The form in which he is generally 
depicted is to be compared to a very expansive sea; for 
the waters of the sea are in themselves without a limit or 
form, and it is only when they spread themselves upon the 
earth that they assume a form (1VD1). We can now make 
the following calculation : the source of the sea's water and 
ihe water stream proceeding therefrom to spread itself are two. 
A great reservoir is then formed, just as if a huge hollow had 
been dug ; this reservoir is called sea, and is the third. Tha 
unfathomable deep divides itself into seven streams, resembling 
seven long vessels. The source, the water stream, the sea 
and the seven streams make together ten. And when the 
master breaks the vessels which he has made, the waters 
return to the source, and then only remain the pieces of these 
vessels, dried up and without any water. It is in this way 
that the Cause of Causes gave rise to the ten Sejihirdth. The 
Crown is the source from which streams forth an infinite 
light : hence the name En Soph ("IID ]'N) = infinite, by which 
the highest cause is designated : for it then had neither form 
nor shape, and there is neither any means whereby to com- 
prehend it, nor a way by which to know it. Hence it is 
written, ' Seek not out the things that are too hard for thee, 
neither search the things that are above thy strength.' 
(Ecclus. iii, 21.) He then made a vessel, as small as a point, 
like the letter ', which is filled ftom this source (i.e. the En 
Soph) . This is the source of wisdom, wisdotff itself (J\OSin), after 
which the Supreme Cause is called ' wise God.' Upon this he 
made a large vessel like a sta, which is called Intelligence 
(nj*3) : hence the name ' intelligent God.' It must, how- 
ever, be remarked that God is wise, and through himself, for 
I 



wisdom does not derive its name through itself, but through 
the wise one who fills it with the light which flows from him, 
just as intelligence is not comprehended through itself, but 
through him who is intelligent and fills it with his own sub- 
stance. God needs only to withdraw himself and it would be 
dried up. This is also the meaning of the words, ' the waters 
have disappeared from the sea, and the bed is dry and parched 
up.' (Job xiv, 11.) The sea is finally divided into seven 
streams, and the seven costly vessels are produced, which are 
called Greatness (nVllJ), Judicial Strength (mUJ), Beauty 
(mjon), Firmness (HitJ), Splendour (Hiri), Foundation 
(IID*), and Kingdom (niD/D). Therefore is he called the 
Greater the Merciful, the Mighty, the Glorious, the God of 
victory, the Creator, to whom all praise is due, and the Founda- 
tion of all things. Upon the last attribute all the others are 
based as well as the world. Finally, he is also the King of the 
universe, for everything is in his power ; he can diminish the 
number of the vessels, and increase in them the light which 
streams from them, or reduce it, just as it pleases him." 
{Sohar, i, 43 b, d3 a, section HX) 

In another place again the same authority gives the following 
description of the Deity and the emanation of the Sephiroth. 
" The Aged of the Aged, the Unknown of the Unknown, has a 
form and yet has no form. He has a form whereby the universe 
is preserved, and yet has no form, because he cannot be com- 
prehended. When he first assumed the form [of the first 
Sephira"], he caused nine splendid lights to emanate from it, 
which, shining through it, diffused a bright light in all 
directions. Imagine an elevated light sending forth its rays 
in all directions. Now if we approach it to examine the rays, 
we understand no more than that they emanate from the said 
light. So is the Holy Aged an absolute light, but in himself 
concealed and incomprehensible. We can only comprehend 
him through those luminous emanations (niTBD) which 



97 

again are partly visible and partly concealed. These consti- 
tute the sacred name of God." {;Idra Suta, Sohar, iii, 288 a.) 

Four things mnst he borpe in mind with regard to the 
Sephiroth. I. That they were not created by, but emanated 
(7SM3) from, the En Soph ; the difference between creation and 
emanation being, that in the former a diminution of strength 
takes place, whilst in the latter this is not the case.'' II. That 
they form among themselves, and with the En Soph^ a strict 
unity, and simply represent different aspects of one and the 
same being, just as the different rays which proceed from the 
light, and which appear different things to the eye, form only 
different manifestations of one and the same light. III. 
That since they simply differ from each other as the different 
colours of the same light, all the ten emanations alike partake 
of the perfections of the En Soph ; and IV, that, as emana- 
tions from the Infinite, the Sephiroth are infinite and perfect 
like the En Soph, and yet constitute the first finite things.' 
They are infinite and perfect when the En Soph imparts his 
fulness to them, and finite and imperfect when the fulness is 
withdrawn from them, so that in this respect these ten 
Sephiroth exactly correspond to the double nature of Christ, — 
his finite and imperfect human nature and his infinite and 
perfect divine nature. 

In their totality and unity these ten Sephiroth are not only 
denominated the world of Sephiroth (JllTBDn D/iy) and 
the world of Emanations (/IITSK D/TV), but represent 
and are called the Primordial or Archetypal Man (DIN 
IIDTp = wpwroyoyoc), and the Heavenly Man (n>*^>y DIN). 
In the figure, the Crown ("IJ13) is the head; Wisdom (nDDH), 
the brains ; and Intelligence (Hty^), which unites the two and 

WH1 i:nD ]''mbi:io niVsMn rra • • • • lonnni loosnn n300i'toi:» rwia ta 'J,7. 
iDn, Commentary on tlje ten Sephiroth, 2 6; 4 a-. 

m en imiaVarro nan rscno c^jpn nmD3 -orrn rrn o^wn m cne niTSDn 3 
]iiDn3i rrabiDna 'jwo'i ns cna w "'3'! icn na ona w cno sown »3orni s'jw 



98 

produces the first triad, ie the heart or the understanding — 
thus formiag the head. The fourth and fifth Sephiroth, i.e., 
Mercy ("JDn) and Justice (TTTS), are the two arms of the 
Lord, the former the right arm and the latter the left, one 
distributing life and the other death. And the sixth Sephira, 
Beauty (/^^tSJ^), which unites these two opposites and 
produces the second triad, is the cheat; whilst the seventh 
and eighth Sephiroth, — i.e.. Firmness (nS3) and Splendour 
(Tin), of the third triad, — are the two legs ; and Foundation 
(T)D*), the ninth Sephira, represents the genital orgam, 
since it denotes the basis and source of all things. Thus 
it is said " £yery thing will return to its origin just as it 
proceeded from it. All marrow, all sap, and all power are 
congregated in this spot. Hence all powers which exist 
originate through the genital organs." (Sohar, iii, 290 a.) 
Kingdom (ilWD), the tenth Sephira, represents the harmony 
of the whole Archetypal Man. The following is the archetypal 
figure of the ten Sephiroth. 

It is this form which the prophet Ezekiel saw in the 
mysterious chariot, and of which the earthly man is a faint 
copy. Moreover, these Sephiroth, as we have already re- 
marked, created the world and all things therein according to 
their own archetype or in the likeness and similitude of the 
Heavenly Man or the World of Emanations. But, before 
we propound the Kabbalistic doctrine of the creation of the 
world, it is necessary to describe a second mode in which the 
trinity of triads in the Sephiroth is represented, and to 
mention the appellations and offices of the respective triads. 

Now in looking at the Sephiroth which constitute the first 
triad, it will be seen that they represent the intellect ; hence 
this triad is called the Intellectual World ('jStt'ia dw). 
The second triad, again, represents moral qualities ; hence 
it is designated the moral or Sensuous World (tt'JIlD D^V) : 
whilst the third triad represents power and stabilitg, and 



MBVK 




09 



hence is designated the Material World (J^SQIDn WW). 
These three aspects in which the En Soph manifested himself 
are called the Facet (^S^K and ]^91!t1S = irpdaunroy, the two 
words are identical, the former being pure Aramaic, and the 
latter from the Greek). In the arrangement of this trinity 
of triads, so as to produce what is called the Kabbalistio 
tree, denominated the Tree of Life (D'^FT "^Tj), or simply the 
Tree (P'H), the first triad is placed aboTe, the second and 
third are placed below, in such a manner that the three 
masculine Sephiroth are on the right, the three feminine on 
the left, whilst the four uniting Sephiroth occupy the centre, 
as shown in the following diagrams : — 

1. 




100 
a. 

The FNt>i.Ess. 




The three Sephiroth on the right, representing the principio 
of mercy (^D^), are called the Pillar of Mercy (NTD^ KlIDD 
IVrn N11DV) ; the three on the left, representing the 
principio of rigour {\'r\), are denominated the Pillar of 
Judgment (nj^TV iVTiay N'jKOttTt NIDD) ; whilst the four 
Sephiroth in the centre, representing mildness (D^Dnn), 



101 

are cnlled the Middle Pillar (X/l^yitDNl KniDJ'). Each 
Sephira composing this trinity of triads is, as it were, a trinity 
in itself. I, It has its own absolute character ; II, It receives 
from above ; and III, It communicates to what is below it. 
Hence the remark, "Just as the Sacred Aged is represented 
by the number three, so are all the other lights {Sephiroth) 
of a threefold nature." {So/tar, iii, 288 b.) Within this 
trinity in each unit and trinity of triads there is a trinity of 
units, which must be explained before we can propound the 
Kabbalistic view of the cosmogony. 

We have seen that three of the Sephiroth constitute uniting 
links between three pairs of opposites, and by this means 
produce three triads, respectively denominated the Intellectual 
World, the Sensuous or Moral World, and the Material World, 
and that these three uniting Sephiroth, together with the one 
which unites the whole into a common unity, form what is 
called the Middle Pillar of the Kabbalistic tree. Now from 
the important position they thus occupy, these Sephiroth are 
synecdoehically used to represent the worlds which by their 
uniting potency they respectively yield. Hence the Sephira, 
Crown ("1^3), from which the Sephiroth, Wisdom (n03n) 
and Intelligence (rUO), emanated, and by which they are 
also united, thus yielding the intellectual World, is by itself 
used to designate the Intellectual World (WaiOrt d!?W). 
Its own names, however, are not changed in this capacity, 
and it still continues to be designated by the several appel- 
lations mentioned in the description of the first Sephira. 
The sixth Sephira, called BEAUTy (mi*3n), which unites 
Sephiroth IV (IDn, Love) and V (irtS, Justice), thus yield- 
ing the Sensuous World, is by itself used to denote the 
Sensuous World, and in this capacity is called the Sacred 
King (Nl^np ND^D), or simply the King (ND^D) ; whilst 
the Sephira called Kingdom (mO^a), which unites the 
whole Sephiroth, is here used to represent the Material World, 



102 

instead of the ninth Sephira, called Foundation pID'), and 
is in this capacity denominated the Queen (i»n37D) or the 
Matron (N/1^3nt3D). Thus we ohtain within the trinity 
of triads a higher trinity of units, — viz., the Grown (tJIS), 
Beauty (mX3n), and Kingdom (n'0'?a),— which represents 
the potencies of all the Sephiroth. 

II. The Creation or the Kabbalisfic Cosmogony. 

Having arrived at the highest trinity which comprises all 
the Sephiroth, and which consists of the Grown, the King, 
and tlie Queen, we shall be able to enter into the cosmogony 
of the Kabbalah. Now, it is not the En Soph who created 
the world, but this trinity, as represented in the combination 
of the Sephiroth ; or rather the creation has arisen from the 
conjunction of the emanations. The world was born from the 
union of the crowned King and Queen ; or, according to the 
language of the Kabbalah, these opposite sexes of royalty, who 
emanated from the En Soph, produced the universe in their own 
image. Worlds, we are told, were indeed created before ever 
the King and Queen or the Sephiroth gave birth to the present 
state of things, but they could not continue, and necessarily 
perished, because the En Soph had noi: yet assumed this 
human form in its completeness, which not only implies a 
moral and intellectual nature, but, as conditions of develop- 
ment, procreation, and continuance, also comprises sexual 
opposites. This creation, which aborted and which, has 
been succeeded by the present order of things, is indicated in 
Gen. xxxvi, 31 — 40. The kings of Edom, or the old kings 
as they are also denominated, who are here said to have 
reigned before the monarchs of Israel, and are mentioned as 
having died one after the other, are those primordial worlds 
which were successively convulsed and destroyed ; whilst the 
sovereigns of Israel denote the Ejng and Queen who emanated 
from the En Soph, and who have given birth to and perpetuate 
the present world. Thus we are told : — 



103 

" Before the Aged of the Aged, the Concealed of the Con- 
cealed, expanded into the form of King, the Crown of Crowns 
[i.e. the first Sephira'], there was neither beginning nor end. 
He hewed and incised forms and figures into it [i.e. the 
crown] in the following manner : — He spread before him a 
cover, and carved therein kings [i.e. worlds], and marked out 
their limits and forms, but they could not preserve themselves. 
Therefore it is written, 'These are the kings that reigned 
in the land of Edom before there reigned any king over 
the children of Israel.' (Gen. xxxvi, 31.) This refers to 
the primordial kings and primordial Israel. All these ■were 
imperfect: he therefore removed them and let them vanish, 
till he finally descended himself to this cover and assumed a 
form." (Idra Rabba, 8oha/r, iii, 148 a.) 

This important fact that worlds were created and destroyed 
prior to the present creation is again and again reiterated in 
the Sohat.^ These worlds are compared wifh sparks which 
fly out from a red hot iron beaten by a hammer, and which 
are extinguished according to the distance they are removed 
from the burning mass. " There were old worlds," the Sohar 
tells us, " which perished as soon as" they came into existence : 
were formless, and they were called sparks. Thus the smith 
when hammering the iron, lets the sparks fly in all directions. 
These sparks are the primordial worlds, which could not 
continue, because the Sacred Aged had not as yet assumed 
his form [of opposite sexes — the King and Queen], and the 
master was not yet at his work." {Idra Suta, Sohar, iii, 292 b.) 
But since nothing can be annihilated — " Nothing perisheth 
in this world, not even the breath which issues from the 

9 The notion, however, that worlds were creatca and destroyed prior to the 
iresent creation, was propounded in </w Micbrash Jong before the existence of 
the Kabbalah. Thus on the verse, " And God saw everything that he had 
made, and behold it was very good " (Gen. 1, 31), R. Abahu suhmits inM ■^"<^ 
p -KM iw r» \r<iv> -» pnnrn nydrw irnr pnrroi nio'ns lou rm n'(3pn« ]n3o 
*l rif «^ V^ '^ •Pin from thus we see that the Holn One, blessed be he, had 
successively created and destroyed sundry worlds before he created the present 
vwld, and when he created the present world he said, this pleases me, the previous 
ones 4:>l 'wt please me. (Bereehith Bahba, section or Farsha iz.) 



104 

month, for this, like everything else, has its place and dea- 
tinfttion, and the Holy One, blessed be his name ! turns it 
into his service;" {Sohar, ii, 110 b.) — these worlds could not 
be absolutely destroyed. Hence when the question is asked 
— ' Why were these primordial worlds destroyed ?' the reply 
is given — "Because the Man, represented by the ten Sephiroth, 
was not as yet. The human form contains every thing, and 
as it did not as yet exist, the worlds were destroyed." It is 
added, " Still when it is said that they perished, it is only 
meant thereby that they lacked the true form, till the human 
form came into being, in which all things are comprised, and 
which also contains all those forms. Hence, though the 
Scripture ascribes death (niO*')) to the kings of Edom, it only 
denotes a sinking down from their dignity, i.e., the worlds up to 
that time did not answer to the Divine idea, since they had 
not as yet the perfect form of which they were capable." 
{Idra Rahba, Sohar, iii, 185 b.) 

It was therefore after the destruction of previous worlds, 
and after the En Soph or the Boundless assumed the Sephiric 
form, that the present world was created. " The Holy One, 
blessed be he, created and destroyed several worlds before the 
present one was made, and when this last work was nigh com- 
pletion, all the things of this world, all the creatures of the 
universe, in whatever age they were to exist, before ever they 
entered into this world, were present before God in their true 
form. Thus are the words of Ecolesiastes to be understood 
' What was, shall be, and what has been done, shall be done.'" 
f Sohar, \\\, 61 b.J "The lower world is made after the 
pattern of the upper world ; eirery thing which exists in the 
upper world is to be found as it were in a copy upon earth ; still 
the whole is one." flbid ii, 20 a. J 

This world, however, is not a creation ex nihilo, but is 
simply an immanent offspring and the image of the King and 
Queen, or, in other words, a farther expansion or evolution of 



105 

the Sephiroth which are the emanations of the En Soph, This 
is expressed iu the Sohar in the following passage — " The 
indivisible point [the Absolute], who has no limit, and who 
cannot be comprehended because of his purity and brightness, 
expanded from without, and formed a brightness which served 
as a covering to the indivisible point, yet it too could not be 
viewed iu consequence of its immeasurable light. It too 
expanded from without, and this expansion was its garment. 
Thus everything originated through a constant upheaving agi- 
tation, and thus finally the world originated." {Sohar, i, 20 a.) 
The universe therefore is an immanent emanation from the 
Sephiroth, and reveals and makes visible the Boundless and 
the Concealed of the Concealed. And though it exhibits the 
Deity in less splendour than its parents the Sephiroth, because 
it is further removed from the primordial source of light, yet, 
as it is God manifested, all the multifarious forms in the 
world i>oint oat the unity which they represent j and nothing 
in it can be destroyed, but everything must return to the 
source whence it emanated. Hence it is said that " all things 
of which this world consists, spirit as well as body, will return 
to their principal, and the root from which they proceeded." 
{Sohar, ii, 218 b.) " He is the beginning and end of all the 
degrees in the creation. All these degrees are stamped with 
his seal, and he cannot be otherwise described than by the 
unity. He is one, notwithstanding the innumerable forms 
which ore in him." {Ibid i, 21 a.) 

Now these Sephiroth, or the World of Emanation ( D7iy 
/YlVsK), or the Atzilutic World, gave birth to three worlds 
in the following order : — From the conjunction of the King 
and Queen {i.e., the ten Sephiroth) proceeded — I. The World 
of Creation, or the Briatic World (n^nnn dw), also 
called The Throne (^<'D^^^), which is the abode of pure 
spirits, and which, like its parents, consists of ten Sephiroth, 
or Emanations. The Briatic World, again, gave rise to. 



lOG 

II. The World of Formation, or the Jetziratic World 
iryyTTS D^TV), which is the habitation of the angels, and also 
consists of ten Sephiroth ; whilst the Jeiziratic World, again, 
sent forth. III. The World of Action, or the Assiatie World 
(n^ffiWT Q'?'\y), also Called the World of Keliphoth (D^W 
J11S*bpn), which contains the Spheres (Dv^bj) and matter, 
and is the residence of the Prince of Darkness and his legions. 
Or, as the Sohar describes it — " After the Sephiroth, eaA for 
their use, God made the Throne {i.e., the World of Creation), 
with four legs and six steps, thus making ten {i.e., the dec&de 
of Sephiroth which each world has). . . . For this Throne 
and its service he formed the ten Angelic hosts (('.«., the 
World of Formation), Malachitn, Arelim, Chajoth, Ophanim, 
Chashmalim, Elim, Elohim, Benei Elohim, Ishim, and 
Seraphim (D'''?« Ubvwr] DOBW JlVn a*'?«n» OOsVo 
Dtsntt^ tl^lH D''n'7« '33 UrbVi), and for their service, 
again, he made Samael and his legions (i.e., the World of 
Action), who are, as it were, the clouds upon which the angels 
ride in their descent on the earth, and serve, as it were, for 
their horses. Hence it is written — ' Behold the Lord rideth 
upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt.'" (Isa. xix, I.) 
{Sohar ii, 43 a.) There are, therefore, four worlds, each of 
which has a separate Sephiric system, consisting of a decade 
of emanations. I. The Atzilatic World, called alternately 
the World of Emanations (ni'?'Sl« D^y), the Image (Wpm 
= eiKav with *7 prefixed), and the Heavenly Man (C*TN 
nt*^y), which, by virtue of its being a direct emanation 
from Grod and most intimately allied with the Deity, itf 
perfect and immutable. II. The Briatic World, called the 
World of Creation {r\Vi'''\:xr\ d'jW) and the Throne («'D11D), 
which is the immediate emanation of the former, and whose 
ten Sephiroth, being further removed from the En Soph, are 
of a more limited and circumscribed potency, though the 
substances they comprise are of the purest nature and without 



107 

any admixture of mattar. III. The Jetziraiic World, called the 
World of Formation (rrCSTT D!?iy) and tlie World of Angels 
(K*3l*7D), which proceeded from the former -world, and 
whose ten Sephiroth, though of a still less refined substance 
than the former, because further removed from the primordial 
source, are still without matter. It is in this angelic world 
where those intelligent and uucorporeal beings reside, who are 
wrapped in a luminous garment, and who assume a sensuous 
form when they appear to man. And IV. The Assiatic World, 
called the World cf Action (H^K^yn D^y) and the World of 
Matter {TWShp'n UTfSf) which emanated from the preceding 
world, the ten Sephiroth of which are made up of the grosser 
elements of all the former three worlds, and which has sunk 
down in consequence of its materiality and heaviness. Its 
substances consist of matter limited by space and perceptible 
to the senses in a muldplioity of forms. It is subject to 
constant changes, generations, and corruptions, and is the 
abode of the Evil Spirit. 

Before leaving this doctrine about the creation and the 
relationship of the Supreme Being to the universe, we must 
reiterate two things. I. Though the trinity of the Sephiroth 
gave birth to the univeilse, or, in other words, is an evolution 
of the emanations, and is thus a further expansion of the 
Deity itself, it must not be supposed that the Kabbalists 
believe in a Trinity in our sense of the word. Their view on 
this subject will best be understood from the following 
remark in the Sohar — " Whoso wishes to have an insight into 
the sacred unity, let him consider a flame rising from a burn- 
ing coal or a burning lamp. He will see first a twofold 
light, a bright white and a black or blue light; the white 
light is above, and ascends in a direct light, whilst the blue 
or dark light is below, and seems as the chair of the former, 
yet both are so intimately connected together that they con- 
stitute only one flame. The seat, however, formed by the 



108 

blue or dark light, is again connected with the burning 
matter which is under it again. The white light never 
changes its colour, it always remains white ; but various 
shades are observed in the lower light, whilst the lowest 
light, moreover, takes two directions — above it is connected 
with the white light, and belout with the burning matter. 
Now this is constantly consuming itself, and perpetually 
ascends to the upper light, and thus everything merges into a 
single unity ("TH HTW^ -^VipiMi «'713l Sohar, i, 61 «).'« 
And II. The creation, or the universe, is simply the garment 
of God woven from the Deity's own substance ; or, as Spinoza 
expresses it, God is the immanent basis of the universe. For 
although, to reveal himself to us, the Concealed of all the 
Concealed sent forth the ten emanations called the Form of 
God, Form of the Heavenly Man, yet since even this 
luminous form was too dazzling for our vision, it had to 
assume another form, or had to put on another garment which 
consists of the universe. The universe, therefore, or the 
visible world, is a further expansion of the Divine Substance, 
and is called in the Kabbalah " the Garment of God." Thus 
we are told, " when the Concealed of all the Concealed wanted 
to reveal himself, he first made a point [«>. the first Sephira], 
shaped it into a sacred form [*.*. the totality of the Sephiroth], 
and covered it with a rich and splendid garment that is the 
world." {Sohar, i, 2 a). 

III. The Creation of Angels and Men. 

The different worlds which successively emanated from the 
En Soph and from each other, and which sustain the relation- 
ship to the Deity of first, second, tliird, and fourth generations, 
are, with the exception of the first {i.e., the World of Ema- 
nations), inhabited by spiritual beings of various grades. 



10 The question, however, about the doctrine of the Trinity m other passagfes 
of the Sohar will be discussed more amply in the sequel, where we shall point 
out the relation of the Kabbaldi to Christianity. 



109 

" God animated every part of the firmament with a separate 
spirit, and forthwith all the heavenly hosts were before him. 
This is meant by the Psalmist, when he says (Ps. xx^iii, 6) 
' By the breath of his mouth were made all their hosts.' 
{Sohar, iii, 68 a.) These angels consist of two kinds — good 
and bad ; they have their respective princes, and occupy the 
three habitable worlds in the following order. As has already 
been remarked, the first world, or the Archetypal Man, in whose 
image everything is formed, is occupied by no one else. The 
angel Metatron (11"1I3tOD) occupies the second or the Briatic 
World (nxn^ D^iy), which is the first habitable world ; he 
alone constitutes the world of pure spirits. He is the garment 
of niy i.e., the visible manifestation of the Deity ; his name 
is numerically equivalent to that of the Lord. '(Sohar, iii, 
231 a.) He governs the visible world, preserves the unity, 
harmony, and the revolutions of all the spheres, planets and 
lieavenlybodios, and is the Captain of the myriads of the an- 
gelic hosts" who people the second habitable or the Jeiziraiic 

11 The Kabbalistic description of Melatmv is taken from the Jewish angelology 
of a much older date than this theosophy. Thus Ben Asai and Bun Soma already 
regard tlui divine voice, the Xoyos (D'nbn ^ip) as Metatron. (Beresh. Jinh., Parsha t.) 
He is ealled t!ie Great 7'cach.er, the Teacher of Teachers (»n N1ED), and it 
is for this reason that Enoch, who walked in c'oae communion with God, and 
taught mankind by his holy example, is said by the Chaldee paraphrase of 
Jonathan b. Uzziel, to ' have received the name Metnlron, tJie Great Teacher ' 
after he was triinsplnuted. (Gen. v, 34.) Metatron, moreover, is the Presence 
Angel (crren ys), the Angel of the Lord that was sent to go before Israel 
(Exod. xxiii, 21) ; he is the visible manifestation of the Deity, foi in him is the 
name of tlie Lord, i.e., his name and that of the Deity are identical, inasmuch as 
they are of the same numerical value (viz. :— no and JliBBO are the some 
according to the exegetical rale called Gematria, - 10 + T 4 + f .100 = 314; 
] 50 + 1 fl + I 200 + a9-|-ICi9 + 40=.314. See Hashi on Exod. xxiii, 21, 
'■TO MHTiOJl pipDO in Dil)3 lowo Jiicco m 'nnM is'niaT and Saiiluidrim 38 b). 
So exalted is AXetatron's position in the ancient Jewish angelology, that we are 
told that when Elisha b. Aboja, also called Acher, saw this angel who occupies 
tlie first position after the Deity, he exclaimed, ' Peradventure, but far be it, there 
are two Supreme Powers' (fi nvian Tie Dl'rai on ndc Talmud, Chagii/a, 16 o). 
The etymology of jniBCp is greatly disputed ; hut there is no doubt that it is to be 
derived from Metatou, messenger, outrider, u^ay maker, as has been shown by 
Elias Levita, and is maintained by Cassel (Ersch und (Sfruher's EncyklopHdie, 
section ii, vol. xxvii, s. v. ; Judek, p. 40, note 84). Sachs (BeitrOge xur Sprach- 
mid AUertltifmrforsehung, vol. i, Berlin 1852, p. 108) rightly remarks that this 
etymology is fixed by the passage from Siphra, quoted in KapUer-VaPlierath, 
c. X, p. 34 b hKW p» to in»im rpoo'j pnooo rrj»: t^i'v^ ■;« isis« the finger of 
(rod was the messenger or guide to Motes, and sitowed him all tlie land of Israel, 



no 

World (JVf^ thMf), and who are divided into ten ranks, 
answering to the ten Sephiroth. Each of these angels jp set 
over a different part of the universe. One has the control of 
one sphere, another of another heavenly body ; one angel has 
charge of the sun, another of the moon, another of the earth, 
another of the sea, another of the fire, another of the wind, 
another of the light, another of the seasons, &c. &c. i and 
these angels derive their names from the heavenly bodies they 
respectively guard. Hence one is called Venus (HJU), one 
Mars (D'01«0), one the substance of Heaven (D^Otyn DSy), 
one the angel of light (7J<nW), and another the angel of 
fire (7t*'^^J.) (Comp. Sohar i, 42, &e.) The demons, con- 
stituting the second class of angels, which are the grossest and 
most deficient of all forms, and are the shells (JTlSvp) of being, 
inhabit the third habitable or Assiatic World (n'tPi^D^W). 
They, too, form ten degrees, answering to the decade of Sephi- 
roth, in which darkness and impurity increase with the descent 
of each degree. Thus the two first degrees are nothing more 
than the absence of all visible form and organisation, which 
the Mosaic cosmology describes in the words IHll inn before 
the hexahemeron, and which the Septuagint renders by adparoc 
Ka\ aKaTaaKcvaoToc. The third degree is the abode of the dark- 
ness which the book of Genesis describes as having in the 
beginning covered the face of the earth. Whereupon follow 
seven infernal halls (r\T>yr\ Wif) = Hells, occupied by the 
demons, which are the incarnation of all human vices, and 
which torture those poor deluded beings who suffered them- 
selves to be led astray in this world. These seven infernal 
halli are subdivided into endless compartments, so as to 

The terminn'ion p has been appended to iTDao tnobtain the same numerical value, 
as ntt). The derivation of it from iitra &p6vog, because this angel is imme- 
diately under the divine tUroue (w**Di^3 ) , which is maintained by Frank (Kabbala, 
p. 43), Graetz (Gnosticismus, p. 44) and oOiers, has been shoTU by Frankel 
(fieilH-hiifl, 1846. vol. iii, p. 113), and Cassel {Ersch uud Griiber's Encyklof. 
section ii, vol. ixvii, p.. 41), to be both contrary to tie form of the word and to 
the description of Metatron. 



HI 

afford a separate chamber of torture for every species of sin. 
The prince of this region of darkness, who is called Satan in 
the Bible, is denominated by the Kabbalah, Samael{bHQD} 
= angel of ■poison or of death. He is the same evil spirit, 
Satin, the serpent, who seduced Eve.'* He has a wife, called 
the Harlot or the Woman of Whoredom (D'JJUTntt'N), but 
they are both generally represented as united in the one name 
of the Beast (KVn. Oomp. Sohar, ii, 255—259, with i, 35 b.) 
The whole universe, however, was incomplete, and did not 
receive its finishing stroke till man was formed, who is 
the acme of the creation, and the microcosm uniting in 
himself the totality of beings. " The He evenly Adam 
(i.e., the ten Sephiroth), who emanated from tha highest 
primordial obscurity {i.e., the En Soph), created theEiRTHLY 
Adam." {Sohar, ii, 70 b.) "Man is both the import and 
the highest degree of creation, for which reason he was 
formed on the sixth day. As soon as man was created, 
everything was complete, including the upper and nether 
worlds, for everything is comprised in man. He unites in 
himself all forms." {Sohar, iii, 48 a.)" Man was created 
with faculties and features far transcending those of the 
angels. The bodies of the protoplasts were not of that gross 
matter which constitutes our bodies. Adam and Eve, before 
the fall, were wrapped in that luminous ethereal substance in 
which the celestial spirits are clad, and which is neither sub- 
ject to want nor to sensual desires. They were envied by the 
angels of the highest rank. The fall, however, changed it 
all, as we are told in the following passage — " When Adam 

13 The view th&t the serpent which seduced the protoplasts is identical with 
Satan is rot peculiar to the Kabbalah. It is stated in the 7Vi/niui:{ in almost 
the same words rtra SM0D1 Tiv mr\ Mrvjnoa nmn "pAo Min jown «in sin i<r ttwi 
n'aoi TIV J'Bt'OI the evil tplrii, Salan, and llie anyel of death, are tlu same. It 
is propoitnded in tlbc B&raitha that he descends and seduces ; lie then ascends and 
accuseSf and then comes down again and kills. Baba Bathra, 16 a, 

«r.io'';w i!TH • ■ ■ Di»3 WsHM t•fa^ «nm M'T^Virw tei mm jpnnx aiM msn \n 13 



112 

dwelled in the garden of Eden, he was dressed in the celestial 
garment, which is a garment of heavenly light. But when 
he was expelled from the garden of Eden, and became subject 
to the wants of this world, what is written ? ' The Lord God 
made coats of skins unto Adam and to his wife, and clothed 
them" (Gen. iii, 21) ; for prior to this they had garments of 
light — light of that light which was used in the garden of 
Eden." {Sohar, ii, 889 i:) The garments of skm, therefore, 
mean our present body, which was given to our first parents 
in order to adapt them to the changes which the fall intro- 
duced. 

But even in the present form, the righteous are above 
the angels," and every man is still the microcosm, and 
every member of his body corresponds to a constituent 
part of the visible universe. " What is man ? Is he 
simply skin, flesh, bones, and veins ? No ! That which 
constitutes the real man is the soul, and those things which 
are called the skin, the flesh, the bones, and the veins, all 
these are merely a garment, they are simply the clothes of 
the man, but not the man himself. When man departs, he 
puts off these garments wherewith the son of man is clothed. 
Yet are all these bones and sinews formed in the secret of the 
highest wisdom, after the heavenly image. The skin repre- 
sents the firmament, which extends everywhere, and covers 
everything like a garment — as it is written, ' Who stretchest 
out the heavens like a curtain.' (Ps. civ, 8) . . . The 
flesh represents the deteriorated part of the world ; . . the 
bones and the veins represent the heavenly chariot, the inner 
powers, the servants of God. . . . But these are the 

11 That the riiiihteons are greater than the angels is already propounded in the 
Talmud (men 'Dxtea inv uyn D»Vnj Sanhedrim 93 o) ; and it is asserted that 
no one angel can do two things (nirr^ 'no mmt ittm "pAo •(» Bereshiih Babba, 
section 1), for which reason three angels had to be sent, one to announce to 
Sarai the birth of Isaac, the other to destroy Sodom and Goinorrah, and the 
third to save Lot and his family ; whilst a man can perform several duties. The 
superiority of man over angels is also asserted in the New Testament. (1 Cor, vi, 3.) 



113 

outer gannents, for in the inward part ia the deep mystery of 
the heavenly man. Everything here below, as above, is 
mysterious. Therefore it is written — ' God created man in 
his own image, in the image of God preated he him ' (Gen. 
i, 27) ; repeating the word God twice, one for the man and 
the other for the woman. The mystery of the earthly man is 
after the mystery of the Heavenly Man. And just as we see 
in the firmament above, covering all things, different signs 
which are formed of the stars and planets, and which contain 
secret things and profound mysteries, studied by those who 
are wise and expert in these signs ; so there are in the skin, 
which is the cover of the body of the son of man, and which 
is like the sky that covers all things, signs and features which 
are the stars and planets of the skin, indicating secret things 
and profound mysteries, whereby the wise are attracted, who 
understand to read the mysteries In the human face." (So/tar, 
ii, 76 a.) He is still the presence of God upon earth (l*/iy3t£? 
ilMn/l), and the very form of the body depicts the Tetra- 
grammaton, the most sacred name Jehovah (mn*). Thus the 
head is the form of the ^ , the arms and the shoulders are like 
the n, the breast represents the form of the \ whilst the two 
legs with the back represent the form of the second il. 
(Sohar, ii, 42 a.)'* 

The souls of all these epitomes of the universe are pre-exis- 
tent in the World of Emanations,'^ and are without exception 

10 The Earmarthi, who interpreted the precepts of Islamiem ollegorically, also 
mamtained that the hamau body represents the letters in the name of God. 
When standing the hnnian body represents an Uli/, -when kneeling a LAm, and 
vhen prostrated on the ground a Hi, so that the body is like a book in which 
may he read the name Aixah. De Sacy, Introduction i lExpoit ie la Selifion 
de» Driae; pp. 86, 87. Comp. Frank, Die Kabbala, p. S3. 

16 The pre-existence of the hnman souls in the celestial regions was believed 
by the Jews before the Kabbalah came into vogue. We 6nd this doctrine in the 
Book of Wisdom (viii, 30) ; in Josephus, where we are told that the Essenes 
believed ' that souls were immortal, and that they descended fi'om the pore air, 
uvuirMKtaBai &ainp tlpKraXg rolf a&nan, to be chained to bodies' (<fc Belt. 
Jttd. ii, 13) ; by Fhilo, who says ■ the air was full of them, and that those which 
were nearest the earth Kariaaiv iK!t9tiaoiuvat ffti/ian 9vtiT0t[, descending to 
be tied to mortal bodies, wcAwipoitovn aiBift return back to bodiest being 



114 

destined to inhabit human bodies, and pursue their course 
upon earth for a certain number of years. Hence we are told 
that, " When the Holy One, blessed be his name, wished to 
create the world, the universe was before him in idea. He 
then formed all the souls which are destined fDr the whole 
human race. All were minutely before him in the same form 
which they were to assume iu the human body. He looked 
at each one of them ; and there were some among them which 
would corrupt their way upon the earth." (Sohar, i, 96 b). 
Like the Sephiroth from which it emanates, every soul 
has ten potencies, which are subdivided into a trinity of 
triads, and are respectively represented by (I) Tlie Spirit, 
(notyj), which is the highest degree of being, and which 
both corresponds to and is operated upon by The Crown 
(nn3), representing the highest triad in the Sephiroth, 
celled the InteUectual World; (II) The Soul (mi), 
which is the seat of good and evil, as well as the moral 
qualities, and which both corresponds to and is operated 
upon by Beauty (,JT)NSJ1), representing the second triad 
in the Sephiroth, called the Moral World ; and (III) The 
Cruder Spirit. (K'BJ), which is immediately connected with 
the body, is the direct cause of its lower functions, instincts, 
and anim.al life, and which both corresponds to and is operated 
upon by Foundation (IW), representing the third triad 
in the Sephiroth, called the Material World. 

In its original state each soul is androgynous, and is 
sepai'ated into male and female when it descends on earth to 
he borne in a human body. We have seen that the souls of 

desiiouE to lire in them.' [De Gignat.f. S33, 0. ; JOe Samniit, p. 455, D. Comj). 
Arnold on the Book of Wisdom, viii, 80, and Whitby on John ix, 8., where 
these qnotations and others are given) ; and in the Talmud where it is declared 
that the human souls which are to be bom (niwianrrt J'TfWW niomsi mmi), have 
their abode in the seventh heaven {Chagiga, 13 V) ; that they leave gradually 
the storehouse ot souls to people this earth (r|lMW niD»3n to lte<W ■» Jebamoth, 
(!8 ; Abodtt Sara, 5 ; Nidda, 13) ; and that the Holy One, blessed be he, t'lok 
counsel with them when he was about to create the world "An: yy"l3 'to miBDJJ 
oVWrt r>» Will n"3prT {SereshWi Babha, section viii). 



116 

the righteous, in the world of spirits, are superior in dignity 
to the heavenly powers and the ministering angels- It might, 
therefore, be asked why do these souls leave such an abode 
of bliss, and come into this vale of tears to dwell in tabernacles 
of clay ? The only reply to be given is that these happy souls 
have no choice in the matter. Indeed we are told that the 
soul, before assuming a human body, addresses God — ' Lord 
of the Universe ! I am happy in this world, and do not wish 
to go into another world, where I shall be a bond-maid, and 
be exposed to all kinds of pollutions." {Sohar, ii, 96.)" And 
can you wonder at this pitiful ejaculation ? Should your 
philanthropic feelings and your convictions that our heavenly 
Father ordains all things for the good of his children, impel you 
to ask that an explanation of this mystery might graciously 
be vouchsafed to you in order to temper your compassion and 
calm your faith, then take this parable. " A son was bom to 
a King ; he sends him to the country, there to be nursed and 
brought up till he is grown up, and instructed in the ceremonies 
and usages of the royal palace. When the King hears that 
the education of his son is finished, what does his fatherly love 
impel him to do ? For his son's sake he sends for the Queen 
his motlier, conducts him into the palace and makes merry 
with him all day. Thus the Holy One, blessed be he, has a 
son with the Queen : this is the heavenly and sacred soul. 
He seiids him into the country, that is into this world, therein 
to grow up and to learn the customs of the court. When the 
King hears that this his son has grown up in the country, and 
tliat it is time to bring him into the palace, what does his 
love for his son impel him to do ? He sends, for his sake, 

I'l The notion about the reluctance of the sool to enter into this world is also 
not jjeculiar to the Kabbalah. The most ancient tract of the Mishna thus speaks 
of the soul : " Against thy will thou becomest an embryo, and against thy will 
thou art bom " (1^: nn» yra Ian isi: nn« yna te Aboth, iv. 89) ; on which 
Bartcnora, in his commentary, remarks : " The soul does not wish to quit tlie 
pure abode of the curtain which encloses the Holy of Holies." 



116 

for the Queen and conducts Iiim to the palace." {Sohar, i, 
246 b.) 

As has already been remarked, the human 4oul, before it 
descends into the world, is androgynous, or in other words, 
consists of two component parts, each of which comprises 
all the elements of our spiritual nature. Thus the Sohar 
tells us — " Each soul and spirit, prior to its entering into this 
world, consists of a male and female united into one being. 
When it descends on this earth the two parts separate and 
animate two different bodies. At the time of marriage, the 
Holy One, blessed be he, who knows all souls and spirits, 
unites them again as they were before, and tliey again consti- 
tute one body and one soul, forming as it were tlie right and 
left of one individual ; therefore ' There is nothing new under 
the sun.' (Eel. i, 9.) . . . This union, however, is 

influenced by the deeds of the man and by the ways in which 
he walks. If the man is pure and his conduct is pleasing in 
the sight of God, he is united with that female part of his 
soul which was his component part prior to his b rth." 
{Sohar, i, 91 5.)'* The soul carries her knowledge with her 
to the earth, so that " every thing which she leama here below 
she knew already, before she entered into this world." {Ibid., 
iii, 61 *.) 

Since the form of the body as well as the soul, is made 
after the image of the Heavenly Man, a figure of the forth- 
coming body which is to clothe the newly descending soul, is 
sent down from the celestial regions, to hover over the couch 
of the husband and wife when they copulate, in order that the 
conception may be formed according to this model. " At 

MJDo M^nrn hts poonni mtid pinnni h3pi ji i3t )W3 vfn j'nD«3i j'rm ]i;'h ta 1 8 
'1T3 ponnm jrinjT xrwoai ma© rh^ no: 'in [;m^3>s] jn'MTis bj ipcnNi sn'^o 
n"3p yiTrtT Nmn jts [una] mbd iji hvdj ':m irrt n'rwi »i ]d cnpN mi •^•joiri jioicno 
Tn HBM in iT»nw pmriH I3i ifr'bs misni Hn'rjirma ]'^ nano ^r,OEi:i ]T|i-< ;iy« ■sm 
KJTO n-'; ):<:n »n xo'n "W • xecmn nnn win ta ]'m ip pji 'in Mpi3 m'jmoibi wo' Knnos 
Ti^rn xinrt '31 p«3rw iiiwi ■o\ 'wi • 'mi mn '3n ci in 'imi»i '11319 els') ^» 

3 OS H"i K pVn imi •• p'Dji Tvm rpi msnnn'i 



117 

connubial intercourse on earth, the Holy One, blessed be 
he, sends a human form which bears the impress of the 
divine stamp. This fonn is present at intercourse, and if 
we were permitted to see it we should perceive over our 
heads an image resembling a human face ; and it is in this 
image that we are formed. As long as this image is not 
sent by God and does not descend luid hover over our 
heads, there can be no conception, for it is written — 
' And God created man in his oym image.' (Gen. i, '27.) 
This image receives us when we enter the world, it de- 
velopes itself with us when we grow, and accompanies us 
T^hen we depart this life ; as it is written — ' Surely, man walked 
in an image' (Ps. xxxvii, 5) : and this image is from heaven. 
When the souls are to leave their heavenly abode, each soul 
separately appears before the Holy King, dressed in a subUme 
form, with the features in which it is to appear in tliis world. 
It is from this sublime form that the image proceeds. It is 
the third after the soul, and precedes it on the eai-th ; it is 
present at the conception, and there is no conception in tlie 
world where this image is not present." (Sohar, iii, 101 a 5.)'° 
All homan countenances are divisible into the four primor- 
dial types of faces, which appeared at the mysterious chariot 
throne in the vision of the prophet Ezekiel, viz., the face of 
man, of the Hon, the ox aiui the eagle. Our faces resemble 
these more or less according to the rank which our souls 
occupy in the intellectual or moral dominion. " And phy- 
siognomy does not consist in the external lineaments, but in 
the features wliich are mysteriously dr»'«Ti in us. The features 
Mjpin "Ft n'jp ira snrt mrnoM sjiin Knsinn «:mwM idra na^oi fnEDi la 

«o"pi 1S1 j'a nanM mdMs ix\nr\y\ »j in mdisibs MO'un xa'ns -m rro'-i !>r :"a 
Y'nn fi niPM vh pn ronisn rrsn to itino rr^ tvcn xobis wm [no"P *h isi »"d] 
Dbs Mirm pE3 T3 Mo'js'! p'sii IS rr'jjp') fDTiH ote Minn ■ in'ai Dinn n» B'n':» wii'i 
jrm )i;'MT amnsi nb'sbnirrM ■o'rs '«ni \B'»iVin' D'ni"[«Y'nn i'w d'is simn •ii.in 
• note 'Mm ''xp MEis-iBj v <3ipni xo'Tp Hira 'op jpnriK unm Nnn ta irr-inMo j-ps: 
Hnsca tutin 'una no'TpNi sm'; n»n'')n «ti • a'js '»n pfo: v. va\yn Mjpn Minrrai 
a, N Tp t|T J fin -irni • in"ii33 mrvm nVi md'jjs nam I'l n^n totveh mwn 



118 

in the face change acocrding to the fona which is peciiKar to 
the inward face of the spirit. It is the spirit which produces 
all those physiognomical peculiarities known to the wise ; 
and it is only through the spirit that the features have any 
meaning. Ail those spirits and souls which proceed from 
Eden {i.e., the highest w?sdom) have a peculiar form, which is 
reflected in the face." (Sohar, ii, 78 h.) The face thus 
lighted up by the peculiar spirit inhabiting the body, is the 
mirror of the soul ; and the formation of the head indicates 
the character and temper of the man. An arched forehead 
is a sign of a cheerful and profound spirit, as well as of a ' 
distinguished intellect ; a broad but flat forehead indicates 
foolishness and silliness ; whilst a forehead which is flat, 
compressed on the sides and spiral, betokens narrowness 
of mind and vanity. (Comp. Sohar, ii, 71 A, 75 a.) . 

As a necessary condition of free existence and of moral 
being, the souls are endowed by the Deity, from the very 
beginning, with the power of adhering in close proximity to 
the primordial source of infinite Ught from which they 
emanated, and of alienating themselves from that source and 
pursuing an independent and opposite course. Hence, 
Simon ben Jochai said, " If the Holy One, blessed be he, 
had not put within us both the good and the evil desire, 
wliich are denominated light and darkness, the created man 
would have neither virtue nor vice. For this reason it is 
written — 'Behold, I have set before thee this day life and 
good, and death and evil.' (Deut. xxx, 15.) To this the 
disciples replied. Wherefore is all this ? Would it not be 
better if reward and punishment had not existed at all, since 
in that case man would have been incapable of sinning and 
of doing evil. He rejoined, It was meet and right that he 
should be created as he was created, because the Law was 
created for him, wherein are written punishments for the 



119 

wicked and rewards for the righteous ; and there would not 
have been nny reward for the righteous and punishment for 
the wicked but for created man." {Sohar i, 23 a.) So 
complete is their independence, that souls, even in their pre- 
existent stnte, can and do choose which way they intend tc 
pursue. " All souls which are not guiltless in this world, have 
already alienated themselves in heaven from the Holy One, 
blessed be he ; they have thrown themselves into an abyss at 
their very existence, and have anticipated the time when they 

are to descend on earth Thus were the souls 

before they came into this world." {Ibid., iii, 61 b.) 

IV. The Destiny of Man and the Universe. 

As the En Soph constituted man the microcosm, and as 
the Deity is reflected in tliis epitome of the universe more 
than in any component part of the creation, all things visible 
and invisible are designed to aid him in passing through his 
probationary state here below, in gathering that experience 
for which his soul has been sent down, and in returning in a 
pure state to that source of light from which his soul ema- 
nated. This destiny of man— i.e., the reunion with the Deity 
from which he emanated — is the constant desire both of God 
and man, and is an essential principle of the soul, underlying 
its very essence. Discarding that blind power from our 
nature, which governs our animal life, which never quits this 
earth, and which therefore plays no part in our spiritual being, 
the soul possesses two kinds of powers and two sorts of feel- 
ings. It-vhas the faculty for that extraordinary prophetical 
knowledge, which was vouchsafed to Moses in an exceptional 
manner, called the Luminous Mirror (X'lnj l*'l7p3DN =■■ 
specularia) , and the ordinary knowledge termed the Non- 
Luminous Mirror (Niru vh"! NH^pSOK), respectively re- 
presented in the earthly Paradise by the Tree of Life and 
the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil ; and it possesses 

M 



120 

the higher feeling of love and the lower feeling of fear.'" Novr 
the full fruition of that higher knowledge and of that loftier 
feeling of love can only be reaped when the soul returns to 
the Infinite Source of Light, and is wrapped in that luminous 
garment which the protoplasts forfeited through the fall. Thus 
we are told, " Come and see when the soul reaches that 
place which is called the Treasuiy of Life ("m itITIS), 
she enjoys a bright and luminous mirror (KHHil ^^**^7p^D^^), 
which receives its light from the highest heaven. The soul 
could not bear this light but for the luminous mantle which 
she puts on. For just as the soul, when sent to tliis earth, 
puts on an earthly garment to preserve herself here, so she 
receives above n shining garment, in order to be able to look 
without injury into the mirror whose light proceeds from the 
Lord of Light. Moses too could not approach to look into 
that higher light which he saw, without putting on such an 
ethereal garment ; as it is written — ' And Moses went into the 
midst of the cloud ' (Exod. xxiv, 18), which is to be trans- 
lated hy means of the cloud wherewith he wrapped himself as 
if dressed in a gnnaent. At that time Moses almost discarded 
the whole of his earthly nature ; as it is written, — ' And Moses 
was on the mountain forty days and forty nights ' {ibid.) ; and 
lie thus approached that dark cloud where God is enthroned. 
In this wise the departed spirits of the righteous dress them- 
selves in the upper regions in luminous garments, to be 
able to endure that light which streams from the Lord of 
Light." (Sohar, i, 05 b, 66 a.) ^ 

The two feelings of love and fear, are designed to aid the 
soul in achieving her high destiny, when she shall no more 

20 The two kinds of faculties, as well ns tlie two sorts of feelings, are also 
iiieiuioiied in llie Tnlnuid. Thus it is siiid — " Ail the prophets looked into the 
Nox-LuMiNous Mirror, whilst our teacher. Moses, looked into the Luminous 

rn'MOn Jchamuth, 40 4). And ngaia — " Also the divine service which is engendered 
by fear and not hy love, has its merit." (Jerusalem Berucltoth, 44; Babylon 
Sola, 22 a.) 



121 

look through the dark glass, but see face to face in the 
presence of the Luminous Mirror, by permeating all acts of 
obedience and divine -worship. And though perfect love, 
which is serving God purely out of love, like that higher 
knowledge, is to be man's destiny in heaven, yet the soul may 
attain some of it on earth, and endeavour to serve God out of 
love and not from fear, as thereby she will have an antepast on 
earth of its union with the Deity, which is to be so rapturous 
and indissoluble in heaven. " Yet is the service which arises 
from fear not to be depreciated, for fear leads to love. It is 
true that he who obeys God out of love has attained to the 
highest degree, and already belongs to the saints of the world 
to come, but it must not be supposed that to worship God 
out of fear is no worship. Such a service has also its merit, 
though in this case the union of the soul with the Deity is 
slight. There is only one degree which is higher than fear : 
it is love. In love is the mystery of the divine unity. It is 
love which unites the higher and lower degrees together ; it 
elevates everything to that position where everything must be 
one. This is also the mystery of the words, ' Hear Israel, 
the Lord our God is one God.' " {Sohar, ii, 216 a.) 

Hence it is that these two principles play so important a 
part in the devotions and contemplations of the Kabbalists: 
Love is made to conespond to Mercy, the fourth Sephiru, 
whilst Fear is made to answer to Rigouk, the fifth Sephira ; 
and it is asserted that when these two principles are thoroughly 
combined by the righteous in their divine worship and acts of 
obedience, the name Jehovah, which comprises these two 
principles, and which is now rent in twain by the preponder- 
ance of sin and disobedience, will be re-united. Then, and 
then only, will all the souls return to the bosom of the Father 
of our spirits ; then will the restitution of all things take 
place, and the earth shall be covered with the knowledge of God 
even as the waters cover the sea. This is the reason why the 



182 

Kabbalists utter the following prayer prior to the performance 
of any of the commandments : " For the re-union of the Holy 
One, blessed be his name, and his Shechinah, I do this in 
love and fear, in fear and love, for the union of the name TV 
with ni into a perfect harmony ! I pronounce this in the 
name of all Israel ! " ^^ In order to represent this union to the 
senses the words Fear ^^<^^ and Love Hins, are divided, and 
so placed above each otlier that they may be read either 
across or down, as follows : — 






When thus fulfilling the commandments the pious not only 
enjoy a prelibation of that sublime light which shines in 
heaven, and which will serve them as a garment when they 
enter into the other world and appear before the Holy One 
{Sohar, ii, 299 *), but become on earth already the habita- 
tion of the Sephiroth, and each saint has that Sephira 
incarnate in him which corresponds to the virtue he most 
cultivates, or to the feature most predominant in his character. 
Among the patriarchs, therefore, who were the most ex- 
alted in piety, we find that Love, the fourth Sephira, was 
incarnate in Abraham ; Eigour, the fifth Sephira, in Isaac ; 
Mildness, the sixth Sephira, in Jacob ; Firmness, the 
seventh Sephira, in Moses ; Splendour, the eighth Sephira, 
in Aaron ; Foundation, the ninth Sephira, in Joseph ; and 
Kingdom, the tenth Sephira, was incarnate in David. Hence 
all the righteous who constitute the emanations, of the ten 
Sephiroth are divided into three classes corresponding to the 
three principles or Pillars exhibited in the Kabbalistic Tree, 
viz. : — I. The Pillar of Mercy (IDn), represented by the 

n*m MTirra n'w n"' oe xin''; wrni iVmn iVrm lo'ma nnj'aci n"ap -nn' pob 21 

'nrw ta DW3 



123 

Patriarch Abraham (comp. Dn*13S^ TDn Micah, vii, 20 ;) 
II. The Pillar of Jdstick nnSJ), represented by Isaac 
(comp. pnS'' inSl Gen. xxxi, 42) ; and III. The Middle 
PiLLAK, represented by Jacob (comp. ^pvh nOK Micah vii, 20), 
which is the connecting or uniting principle. {Sohar, i, 146 « ; 
148 J.) 'It is for this reason that the patriarchs are denomi- 
nated the Chariot-throne of the Lord. 

Following the paths of righteousness, the saints on earth 
enjoy the protection of heaven in an especial manner, by 
virtue of the divine wisdom inherent in them, for they are 
able to decipher the signs which God has put in the firmament 
to shield them from accidents. " In heaven above, that sur- 
rounds the universe, are signs in which the deepest mysteries 
are concealed. These signs are constellations and stars, which 
are studied and deciphered by the wise." {Sohar, ii, 76 a.) 
Hence the admonition — " He who has to start on a journey 
very early, should rise at daybreak, look carefully towards the 
east, and he will perceive certain signs resembling letters which 
pierce through |he sky and appear above the horizon. These 
shining forms are those of the letters wherewith God created 
heaven and earth. Now, if man knows the secret meaning 
of the sacred name, consisting of forty-two letters, and medi- 
tates on it with becoming devotion and enthusiasm, he will 
perceive six Jods (T"1V) in the pure sky, three to the right 
and three to the left, as well as three Vavs (V"11), which hover 
about in the heavenly arch. These are the letters of the 
priestly benediction (D'Jn^naia). . . . In the bright 
morning he will perceive a pillar towards the west, hanging 
perpendicularly over the earthly paradise, and another pillar 
hanging over the centre of paradise. This luminous pillar 
has the three colours of a purple web : three birds stand on 
it, singing in the following manner. The first sings, 'Halle- 
lujah ! Praise, ye servants of the Lord, praise the name of 
the Lord ' (Ps. cxiii, 1 ) ; the second, ' Blessed be the name 



124 

of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore ' (ibid. v. 2) ; 
and the third, ' From the rising of the sun unto the going 
down of the same, the Lord's name is to be praised ' (ibid. 
V. 3). This is the time when the pious traveller is to offer 
up his morning prayer, in order that he may secure heaven's 
hlessings and the sublime and divine mercy as his sure guide." 
(Sohar, ii, 130 b.) 

Now since it is an absolute condition of the soul to return 
to the Infinite Source from which it emanated, after developing 
all those perfections, the germs of wMch are eternally implanted 
in it ; and since some souls do not at once develope these 
fruits of righteousness, which precludes their immediate re- 
union with their Primordial Soiirce, another term of life is 
vouchsafed to them, so that they may be able to cultivate 
those virtues which they stifled in their former bodily life, 
and without which it is impossible for them to return to their 
heavenly home. Hence, if the soul, in its first assuming a 
human body and sojourn on earth, fails to acquire that ex- 
perience for which it descends from heaven, and becomes 
contaminated by that which is polluting, it must re-inhabit a 
body again and again till it is able to ascend in a purified 
state through repeated trials. Thus we are told that** " All 
souls are subject to transmigration (l*7l3^33 TW). and men 
do not know the ways of the Holy One, blessed be he ; they 
do not know that they are brought before the tribunal, both 
before they enter into this world and after they quit it, they 
are ignorant of the many transmigrations and secret probations 
which they have to undergo, and of the number of souls and 
spirits which enter into this world, and do not return to the 
palace of the Heavenly King. Men do not know how the 

H^p^ «Q"?"pi mnyia wsnin imw ««» <32 prr m"?! m^iAm fnxa j>no»: to 38 
ym Ho'jy 'MTrt ]Ti» lA ■» «3'i2 )'W pomj "pm jrr toai «dv ten woj <n wiw "pn 
•fin -pT3 tramp p>» ps'nD paw noai fi\i)i rras • «Dto >Mnn >pBn ini^ mj-is fvia 
• tofnt wTu-iEft ij'Mt vfn trcha ttvvn Ym ]'>Ams-w jnn now )'«')^i» pnom: rras nm 



las 

souls revolve like a stone which is throvm from a sling ; 
as it is written — ' And the souls of thine enemies them shall he 
sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.' (1 Sam., xxv, 29.) 
But the time is at hand when these mysteries will be disclosed." 
{Sohar, ii, 99 b.) 

The transmigration of the soul into another body, however, 
is restricted to three times ; and if two souls in their third 
residence in human bodies are still too weak to resist all 
earthly trammels and to acquire the necessary experience, they 
are both united and sent into one body, so that they may be 
able conjointly to learn that which they were too feeble to do 
separately. It sometimes, however, happens that it is the 
singleness and isolation of tlie soul which is the source of 
her weakness, and she requires help to pass through her 
probation. In that case she chooses for a companion a soul 
which has more strength and better fortune. The stronger 
of the two then becomes as it were the mother ; she carries 
the sickly one in her bosom, and nurses her from her own 
substance, just as a woman nurses her child. Such an asso- 
ciation is therefore called pregnancy ("113'^), because the 
stronger soul gives as it were life and substance to the weaker 
'companion.''^ 

"pn j^rpjwo Mtn pm lA van 'ui fo'riD prte rxeai -[mnMi hd'isi im ■pn.nM ps^* noji 
HMon i/rprt >]3 "pra nj»V jyix «b: mmi iom r»o msa snoDipa «33»3 f nQW: jta^jno 

'1 OS r|T '3 ^ imi 'to «rn nioA n'» 
33 According to Josephns, the doctrine of the transmigration of sonis into 
other bodies (/lET-Cfi^xunf), was alsoheld by the Pharisees (comp. Autiq. xviii, 
1,3: de Bell. Jnd. ii, 8, 14), restricting, however, the metempsychosis to the 
righteous. And though the Midrashim and the Talmud are sileut abo'it it, vet 
from Saadia's vitnperatioos against it (DTirr D'WipJW nsb DiBJW 'riMjirno ioim ism 
nprsna inw D'«iipi mjoni Dinw Emunoih ve-Veoth, vi, 7 ; viii, S) there is 
no doubt that this doctrine was held among some Jews in the ninth eentury of 
the present era. At all events it is perfectly certain that the Karaite .lews firmly 
believed in it ever since the seventh century. (Comp. Frankel, Monatschr\ft, 
X, 177, &e.) St. Jerome assures us that it was also propounded among the early 
Christians as an esoteric and traditional doctrine which was entrusted to the 
select few, {abttcondite quasi in fbveia viperarum versari et quasi haered'Uario maio 
serpere in paucis. Comp. epist. ad Demedriodem) ; and Origen was convinced 
that it was only by means of this doctrine that certain Scriptural narratives, such 
as the struggle of Jacob with Esau before their birth, the reference about 
Jeremiah when still in his mother's womb, and many others, nan possibly be 
explained, (vipi ipxuy i, 1, cap. vii; Advtr, Oelsum, i, S. 



19,6 

As the world, like all other living beings, is a further ex- 
pansion of the Deity's own substance, it too must ultimately 
share that blessedness which it enjoyed in its first evolution. 
This is indicated in the letter 3 with which the history of 
the creation begins {i.e. DWHy^), and which is also the first 
letter in the word blessing (nDT'2).^* Even the archangel of 
wickedness, or the venomous beast {IXV^, K"in), or Samael 
(WOD), as he is called, will be restored to his angelic nature 
and name, inasmuch as he too, like all other beings, proceeded 
from the same infinite source of all things. The first part 
of his name (DD), which signifies venom, will then be dropped, 
and he will retain the second part (/M), which is the common 
name of all the angels. This, however, will only take place 
at the advent of Messiah. But his coming is retarded by the 
very few new souls which enter into the world ; as many of 
the old soxils which have already inhabited bodies have to re- 
enter those bodies which are now born, in consequence pi 
having polluted themselves in their previous bodily existence, 
and the soul of the Messiah, which, like other souls, has its 
pre-existence in the world of the SepAiroik, cannot be bom 
till all human souls have passed through their period of pro- 
bation on this earth, because it is to be the last bom one at 
the end of days. Then the great Jubilee year will commence, 
when the whole pleroma of souls (DIDIi'Jrf ISIN), cleaned aud 
purified shall return into the bosom of the Infinite Source ; 
and they shall be in " the Palace which is situate in the secret 
and most elevated part of heaven, and which is called the 
Palace of Love (rQHX ^STT). There the profoundest mys- 
teries are ; there dwells the Heavenly King, blessed be he, 
with the holy souls, and is uilited with them by a loving kiss. 

Hi The notion thnt the creation is a blessing, and that this is indicated in the 
flrat letter, is already propounded in the Midrash, as may be seen from the 
following remark. The reason why the Law begins with Beth, the second letter 
of the Alphabet, and not with Alepk, the first letter, is that the former is the first 
letter in the word bleasing, while the latter is the first letter in the word accursed, 
rmn \tth mn« rt"m m^i nsia p'Ort wirro 'jdo my no^ (Midnah Sabba, sec. 1). 



127 

(Sohar, ii, 97 a.) " This kiss is the union of the soul with 
the suhstanoe fiH>m which it emanated." {Ibid., i, 168 a.) 
Then hell shall disappear ; there shall be nc more punishment, 
nor temptation, nor sin : life will be an everlasting feast, a 
Sabbath without end. Then all souls will be united with the 
Highest Soul, and supplement each other in the Holy of 
Holies of the Seven Halls (m^a^H W©). Everything will 
then return to unity and perfection — everything will be united 
into one idea, which shall be over, and fill the whole universe. 
The basis of this idea, however {i.e., the light which is con- 
cealed in it), will never be fathomed or comprehended ; only 
the idea itself which emanates from it shall be comprehended. 
In that state the creature will not be distinguished from the 
Creator, the same idea will illuminate both. Then the soul 
will rule the universe like God, and what she shall command 
he will execute. {Sohar, i, 45 a and b.) 

V. The Kabbalistic view of the Old Testament, and its 
relation to Christianity. 

We have already seen that the Kabbalah claims a pre- 
Adamite existence, and asserts that its mysteries are covertly 
conveyed in the first four books of the Pentateuch. Those 
of us who read the Books of Moses, and cannot discover in 
them any of the above-mentioned doctrines, will naturally ask 
for the principles of exegesis whereby these secrets are de- 
duced from or rather introduced into the text. These prin- 
ciples are laid down in the following declaration : — " If the 
Law simply consisted of ordinary expressions and narratives, 
e. gr., the words of Esau, Hagar, Laban„ the ass of Balaam, 
or of Balaam himself, why should it be called the Law of 
truth, the perfect Law, the true witness of God ? Each 
word contains a sublime source, each narrative points not 
only to the single instance in question, but also to generals." 
{Sohar, iii, 149 b.) " Woe be to the son of man who 
says that the Tora (Pentateuch) contains common sayings 



128 

and ordinary narratives.** For, if this were the case, we 
might in the present day compose a code of doctrines irom 
profane writings which should excite greater respect. If the 
Law contains ordinary matter, then there are nobler sentiments 
in profane codes. Let us go and make a selection from them, 
and we shall be able to compile a far superior code.'* But, 

85 Thi» view that the mere literal narrative ia unworthy of inapiratloo, and 
that it must contain a spiritual meaning uoncealed under the garment of ihe 
letter, is not peculiar to tlie Kabbalah. Both the Synagogue and the Cht\rch have 
maintained the same from time inuneniorial. Thus the Talmud already 
describes the impious Manasseh, King of Israel, as making himself merry over 
the narratives of the Pentateuch and ironically asking (aw rrn« rrpm J3 mtno 
mrn yjn,-ii won pib mnw m";!* iin^'i rrxa'j i^ rrn «S '31 -mn 'on 'tv nnjni «nTn 
rrrjjs n'Min msci D'an -v^p 'o'j pwT •^p'^ p^'ivh ©Ac), whether Moses could not 
Hnd anything better to relate than ihnt " Loton's sister was Timna " (Gen. xixvi, 
23) ; " Tiniua was the cou' ahine of Eliphaz " {ibiil, v. lH) ; that " Uenben weut 
in the days of the wheat harvest, and fount! mandrakes i^ the field " (ibid., xxx, 
14j, &c., &c. And it is replied that these narratives contain another sense 
besides tlie literal one. {Sauhedrim, 09 b.) Hence the rule (nan') STWO m to 
Onib JO'S), what happened to tlie fathers is typical of the cliildren. 

36 Origen's words are almost literally the same — " Si adsideamns littene e( 
•eeundum hoo vel quod Judaeis, vel quod vulgo videtur, accipiamus quie in lege 
aeriptii aunt, embesco dicere et con&teri quia tales leges dederit Deus : videbuntar 
enim magis elegantes et ratiouabilea hominum leges, verbi gratia vel BoraenoruDi 
vel Athenicnsium, vel Laceduemonioram. Homii. vii, in Levit. Again, the 
same erudite father says, " What person in his senses vill imagine that the 
first, second, and third day, in connection with which morning and evening are 
mentioned, were without sun, moon and stars, nay that there was no sky on the 
flxat day ? Who is there so foolish and without common sense as to believe that 
God planted trees in the garden eastward of Eden like a husbandman, and 
planted therein the tree of life, perceptible to the eyes aud senses, which gave 
life to the eater thereof; and another tree which gave to the eater thereof a 
knowledge of good and evil? I believe tliat everybody must regard these as 
figures, tmder which a recondite sense is concealed." Lib. iv, cap. il, irc^i 
ipxOv. Hnet, Origeniana, p. 167. Comp. Davidson, Sacred Hermcneutia, 
Edinburgh, 181'J, p. 99, &o. It must, however, not be supposed that this sort 
of interpretation, which defies all rules of sound exegesis and common sense, is 
confined to the ancient Jewish Itabbius or the Christian fathers. The Com- 
mentary on Genesis aud Exodus by Chr. Wordsworth, D.D., Canon of Westminster, 
may fairly compete in this respect with any production of bygone days. Will it 
be believed that Dr. Wordsworth actually sees it " stigyeated by the Iloly Spirit 
Hinuelf" that Noah drunk, exposing bis nakedness, aud mocked by bis own 
child. Ham, is typical of Christ who drank the cup of God's wrath, stripped 
Himself of His heavenly glory, and was mocked by his own children the Jens 1 
But we must give the Canon's own words. " Noah drank the wine of bis 
vineyard ; Christ drank the ctlp of God's wiath, which was the fruit of the sm 
of the cultivators of the vineyard, which be bad planted in the world. Noah was 
made naked to his shame ; Christ consented for our sake to strip Himself of 
His heavenly glory, and took on him the form of a servant. (Phil, ii, 1.) He 
laid aside his garments, and washed his disciples' feet (John, xiii, 4.) He hid 
not his iiwie ttota shame and spitting. (Isa. 1, 6.) When he was on the Cross, 
they that pused by reviled Him. (Matt, xsvii, 39.) He was mocked by Hii 



129 

every word of the Law has a sublime sense and a heavenly 

mystery Now the spiritual angels had to put on 

an earthly garment when they descended to this earth ; and if 
they had not put on such a garment, they could neither have 
remained nor be understood on the earth. And just as it was 
with the angels so it is with the Law. When it descended on 
earth, the Law had to put on an earthly garment to be under- 
stood by us, and the narratives are its garment. There are 
some who think that this garment is the real Law, and not the 
spirit which it clothed, but these have no portion in the 
world to come ; and it is for this reason that David prayed, 
' Open thou mine eyes that I may behold the wondrous things 
out of the Law.' (Ps. cxix, 18.) What is under the garment 
of the Law ? There is the garment which every one can see ; 
and there are foolish people who, when they see a well-dressed 
man, tliink of notliing more worthy than this beautiful gar- 
ment, and take it for the body, whilst the worth of the body 
itself consists in the soul. The Law too has a body : this 
is the commandments, which are called the body of the Law. 
This body is clothed in garments, which are the ordinary 
narratives. The fools of this world look at nothing else but 
this garment, which consists of the narratives in the Law ; they 
do not know any more, and do not understand what is beneath 
this garment. But those who have more understanding do 
not look at the garment but at the body beneath it {i.e., the 
moral) ; whilst the wisest, the servants of the Heavenly King, 
those who dwell at Mount Sinai, look at nothing else but the 
soul (i.e., the secret doctrine), which is the root of all the 
real Law, and these are destined in the world to come to be- 
hold the Soul of this Soul {i.e., the Deity), which breathes in 
the Law." {Sohar, iii, 152 a.) 

own children, the Jews. He deigned to be exposed to ins-ilt for our sakes, io 
shame and nakedness on the Cross (Heb. xii, 2), in order that we ii}ight receive 
eternal glory from His sboroe, and be clothed through His weakness with 
garments of heavenly beauty." (Commentary on Oenesit and Exodm, London, 

1861, p. es.) 



ISO 

The opinion that the mysteries of the Kabbalah are to be 
found in the garment of the Pentateuch is still more syste- 
matically propounded in the following parable. "Like a 
beautiful woman, concealed in the interior of her palace, who 
when her friend and beloved passes by, opens for a moment a 
secret window and is seen by him alone, and then withdraws 
herself immediately and disappears for a long time, so the 
doctrine only shows liersolf to the chosen (i.e., to him who is 
devoted to her with body and soul) ; and even to him not 
always in the same manner. At first she simply beckons at the 
passer-by with her hand, and it generally depends upon his 
understanding this gentle hint. This is the interpretation 
known by the name tD'^. Afterwards she approaches him a 
little closer, lisps him a few words, but her form is still covered 
with a thick veil, which his looks cannot penetrate. This is 
the so called K1TT. She then converses with him with her 
face covered by a thin veil ; this is ine enigmatic language of 
the !Tf!in. After having thus become accustomed to her 
society, she at last shews herself face to face and entrusts bim 
with the innermost secrets of her heart. This is the secret of 
the Law, yiD.^ He who is thus far initiated in the mysteries 

37 The notion that the Bible i» to be explnined in tliis fonrfold manner iras 

olso propounded by the Jewish doctors generally, long before the existence 

uf the Kabbalah (Comp. Oinaburg, Historical and Critical Conmientnri/ on 

frcbnwtM. Longman, 18A1, p. 30), and has been adopted by some of the 

fathers and schoolmen. Origen, although only advocating a threefold sense, 

viz. '. — •w^aricoc, tfivxusic, trvtvftariKlit, to correspond to the Platonic notion of 

the component parts of man, viz. : — vw/ta, ^x4' "Vfvita, almost uses the sam; 

words aa the Kabbnlah. " The sentiments of Holy Scriptures must be imprinted 

upon each one's soul in a threefold manner, that the more simple may be built 

up by the Jksh (or body) of Scripture, so to speak, by which we mean the 

obvious explanatiAn; that he who has advanced to a higher state may be edified 

by the lout of Scripture as it were; but be that is perfect, and like to tlie indi- 

yiduals spoken of by the Apostle (1 Cor. ii, 0, 7), must bo edified by the spiritual 

law, haYing a shadow of good things to come, mpi apx^< l'^- >v, cap. ii, 

Comp. Davidson, Sacred Jl'crmeiicutici!, p. 07. Whilst Nicholas de Lyra, the 

celebrated commentator and forerunner of the Beformaticn (bom about 1270, 

died October S3, 1310), distinctly espouses tlie' Jewish four mode* of intcrpreta- 

liou, which be desoiibes in the following couplet— 

" I.ltt«ra |MU docct, quid critlfti Alktorlt, 
Moralii qvU tgu: quo tcnilu •aa^gta.'* 

Comp. Alexander'a edidon of Kitto'i Cyctoptedia of BiUieal Litentun, i, v, Lnu, 



131 

of the Tora will understand that all those profound secrets 
are based upon the simply literal sense, and are in harmony 
vrith it ; and from this literal sense not a single iota is to be 
taken and nothing to be added to it." {Sohar ii, 09.) 

This fourfold sense is gradually disclosed to the initiated in 
the mysteries of the Kabbalah by the apphcation of definite 
hermenentical rules, which chiefly affect the letters composing 
the words. The most prominent of these canons are — 

1. Every letter of a word is reduced to its numerical value, 
and the word is explained by another of the same quantity. 
Thus from the words " Lo ! three men stood by him " 
(Gen. xviii, 2), it is deduced that these three angels were 
Michael, Gabriel, and Rajihael, because TWbV.. nam and lo ! 
three men, and "JKB")! "^ItnaJ ^N3'D 1^» these are Michael, 
Gabriel, and Raphael, are of the same numerical value, as 
will be seen from the following reduction to their numerical 
value of both these phrases. 

6 + 300 + 800 + 6 + 60 + 6 + 6 = 701 

b J* 3 ' O 1 !? M 
+ 80+1 + 20+10 + 40 + 6 + 30 + 1 

■? M ' 13 3 

+ 80 + 1 + 10 + 200 + 8 + 8 

^ « B 1 1 

30 + 1 + 80 + 200 + 6 = 701 

This rule is called «nt3»J = M'BOIJI which is a metathesis 
of the Greek word yp^a, ypa/i/it/a, or ypa/i/ion/o, in the 
sense of numbers as represented by letters. 

2. Every letter of a word is taken as an initial or abbrevia- 
tion of a word. Thus every letter of the word /I'JfNIS, the 
first word in Genesis, is made the initial of a word, and we 
obtain mijl V»iw» iVap'S? cnVN nvD n'u;«i3 in the beginning 
God saw that Israel would accept the Law. This rule is 



132 

denominated ppHBU = notarieun, from nofarius, a short- 
hand writer, one who among the Romans belonged to that 
class of writers who abbreviated and used single letters to 
signify whole words. 

3. The initial and final letters of several words are re- 
spectively formed into separate words. Thus from the 
beginnings and ends of the words no'Diwn 1J^ ii>l^ '0 who 
shall go up for us to heaven ^ (Beut. xxx, 18) are obtained 
tXyO circumcision and TVnV Jehovah, and inferred that God 
ordained circumcision as the way to heaven. 

4. Two words occurring in the same verse are joined to- 
gether and made into one. Thus ^D who and m'A these 
are made into D^n?^ Qod by transposing the » and D. Fide 
supra, J). .94.'* 

6. The words of those verses which are regarded as con- 
taining a peculiar recondite meaning are ranged in squares 
in such a manner as to be read either vertically or boustro- 
phedonally, beginning at the right or left hand. Again the 
words of several verses are placed over each other, and the 
letters which stand under each other are formed into new 
words. This is especially seen in the treatment of three 
verses in Exod. xiv, (viz., 19-21), which are believed to 

2S The above-mentioned exegelical canons, lioveTer, nre not peculiar to the Kab- 
bslolt. I'bey have been in vogue among the Jews from time immemorial. Thna 
the difBcult passage in Isa. ;isi, 8, mx «Tp^i which is rendered in the Authorised 
Vei-sion, ond he cru.'d, A lion.' or * as a lion* as tlie margin has it, is explained 
by the ancient Jewish tradition as a prophecy respecting Habakkuk, who, as 
I.sniah foresaw, would in coining (lays use the very words here predicted. (Comp. 
Isa. xxi, 8, 0, with Hab. ii, t) ; and this interpretation is obtained by rule i; 
inasmuch as mM lion and pipw Babakktih are numerically the same, vii. : — 
n ' 1 N "J p 1 p 1 n 

6 + 10 + 200 -f 1 = 218 and 100 + + 100 + 2 + 8 = 816 
(See the Commentaries of Bashi, Ibn E2ra, and Kimchi on Isa, xxi, 8.) Again, 
in the fact that Jacob made Joseph ^ a cout of maiiif 'colovrs ' (Gen. xxxvii, 3), as 
the Authorised Version has it, or' jyieces,' ns it is in the margin, the Midrasli or 
the ancient Jewish exposition, sees the sufferings of Joseph indicated ; inasmuch 
as DSB according to rule ii, is composed of the initials of irsID Potipliar, who 
imprisducd Joseph ; CW mcrchnnis D^'luSOV Ishmaehtes and D'J'TO Miiiinnilet, 
who bought him and sold hira ngnin as a slave. (Gen. xxxvii, S-i-Stl ; xxxix, 1 J 
cotnp. Baslii on Gen. xxxvii, 3.) For more extensive information on this subject, 
we must refer to Qi.isburg's Hitljrrical and Critical Commentary on Eccleriatta, 
Longman, 1861, p. 30, &c. 



183 

contain the three Pillara of the Sephiroth, and the Dxvino 
Name of seventy- two words. The following tables will illus- 
trate this principle of interpretation. The first of these three 

verses "j'jT bvcw' nrto *3Si'? I'jHn D*n'?Mn -\vhn yr»i 
Dnnnxa nojn Drrjsn pyn "noy yo^ onnrwa, and 

the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, 
removed and went behind them ; and the pillar of the cloud 
went from before their face, and stood behind them (Exod. 
xiv, 19), is read boustrophedonally, as follows : — 

1. 






D 




M 


m 


s 


H 


1 


1 


D 




n 


T 


D 


\ 


f 


o 


] 




■> 


M 


] 


n 


D 


M 


1 




> 


V 


» 


1 


9 


n 


n 




n. 


1 


a 


D 


Q 


^ 


D 




D 


1 


n 


n 


V 


1 


1 




1 


s 


) 


n 


H 


n 






1 


^ 


n 


V 


1 


D 


i 




D 


o 


1 


7 


n 



The second of these three verses lUT OnsO Xy^in^ f^ Mn^l 

■?« n? 3ip vh^ rh-hn riK n«^i i»nm pvn ^Tyn b^-w T\pn 

rb'hrf ba nt, and it came between the camp of the Egyptians 
and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness 
to them, but gave light by night to these, so that the one 
came not near the other all the night (Exod. xiv, 80), is 
in the first place divided, and read from right to left, beginning 
at the top, as exhibited in the following diagram. 



184 
II. 



n 


o 


r 


<i 


a 


M 


a 


t 


1 


a' 


^ 


D 


> 
■ 


T 


y 


D 


n 


} 


1 


V 


^ 


n 


] 


n 


□ 


f 


1 


] 


9 


n 


1 


n 


1 


1 


V 


H 


M 


^ 


1 


1 


V 


n 


n 


1 


r 


1 


n 


V 


1 


^ 


n 


n 


M 


T 


V 


H 


n 


1 


3 


n 


P 


H 


V 


n 


V 


1 


V 


n 


"? 


3 


n 


1 



It is then divided in the following manner, and read from left 
to right, beginning at the bottom, 

III. 



n 


D 


V 


n 


"f 


^ 


V 


n 


P 


■> 


a 


1 


n 


M 


^• 


» 


n 


V 


1 


V 


n 


1 


V 


H 


V 


1 


1 


» 


H 


T 


H 


n 


> 


n 


D 


) 


r 


) 


n 


n 


^ 


vt 


■( 


M 


V 


1 


% 


n 


1 


a 


^ 


r 





ri 


J 


n 


n 


J 


" 





» 


n 


, 


D 


1, 


« 


a 


» 


a 


1 


r 






13S 
Whilst the third of these three verses bif W n« JWO 0*| 

O^DH iyp2*l niS^n?, a«rf Moses stretched out his hand over 
the sea ; and the Lord caused the sea to go hack by a strong 
east wind all that night, and made tlie sea dry land, and 
the waters were divided (Exod. xiv. 21), is divided as follows, 
and read from the right, beginning at the bottom. 

rv. 



D 


« 


D 


n 


1 


i 


P 


3 


^ 


1 


n 


n 


1 


n 


V 


D 


s 


n 


n 


« 


D 


V) 


> 


1 


n 


s 


s 


V 


n 


V 


3 


n 


> 


» 





> 


1 


P 


n 


1 


T 


3 


D 


s 


n 


n 


M 


n 


1 


n 


s 


1 


V 


\ 


* 


1 





» 


n 


V 


i 


1 


1 


1 


n 


H 


n 


\o 


o 


ID 


1 


1 



The three verses which have thus yielded the three Pillars of 
tJie Sephiroth, ore then joined together in groups of three 
letters in the order in which they are read in diagrams ii, iii, 
and iv, and they then yield the seventy-two divine names 
which the Kabbalah assigns to the Deity,^' as follows : — ' 



20 Tbe limits of thia Essay preclude the possibility of entering into a dis- 
quisition on the seventy-two Divine names. Those who wish to examine the 
subject more extensively we must refer to the Commentaries on the SoKar 
(Exod xiv. lO-,*?!), mentioned in the third part of this Essay; and to Bartolocci, 
Bibliotheca Magna Rabhinica, Pars iv, p. 230 acq., where ample information is 
given on this aud kindred subjects. 

M 



136 



1 


1 

P 
(5 


ti 




9 

c J 

1 


"1 


4 


^1 




i 
■^ 1 

a 
<! 






1 


d 


-1 


ai 

a 
1- 2 


.J 


9 1 
S. -i 


P 3 
9 & 


■ 1 

' 1 


s 




•J 

n g 
E. 1 


'1 


C "1 

a 1 


*" o 


M 


■^ 1 


i 

C i 
& 1 

1 


CI i 
^ 1 


Ed 


^ 3 




a .J 


*" >-» 


H 


"1 


CO 


-^1 


^1 






2| 


al 

n 1 


c § 


^1 

g 

■< 




; 'S 


.1 




o 


"1 


4' 


M 


X 1' 
n g 

'1 




c 

-^1 


-R 1 




ij 


s 

Q B 


1 


F 1 

' 1 


n "S 

1 


o 1 


^1 


§ 1 


1 

1 


'-1 


13 -§ 

5 




s 1 



6. The letters of words are changed by way of anagram 
and new words are obtained. This canon is called mian or 
J1V/11>< ^17'n, perimitation, and the commiitation is effected 
according to fixed rules. Thus the alphabet is bent exactly 



137 

in the middle, and one half is put over the other, and by 
changing alternately the first letter or the first two letters at 
the beginning of the second line, tvrenty-two commutations 
are produced ex. gr. :■ — 

11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 

L ?3 : D J' 3 s p 1 c n 3-1 " 

These anagramic alphabets obtain their respective names from 
the first two specimen pairs of letter which indicate the inter- 
change. Thus, for instance, the first is called Alhath ni'vN 
from the first words, the second Abgath r\3"3>i, arid so on. 
The following table exhibits the es'tablished rules of the 
alphabetical permutations. 



C3 


r 


c:d 


rn 


Cl 


31 


pn 


11 


CJ 


P3 


•iM 


1. Alsath. 


=■) 


33 


c 


ra 


en 


31 


pi 


in 


ei 


n3 


3M 


2. Aboath. 


C2 


:i 


D3 


r 


E13 


sn 


pi 


11 


en 


ni 


3H 


3. AODATB. 


vrt 


ci 


13 


c 


3'.: 


pn 


•n 


Cl 


nn 


33 


1M 


i. Adbao. 


33 


CO 


rt 


C3 


S' 


T^ 


in 


ei 


hi 


13 


nn 


5. Arbad. 


d: 


in 


rt 


33 


P' 


T.3 


en 


.-11 


13 


n3 


IM 


6. A\t)a. 


n 


r3 


ra 


3') 


r3 


T 


c:; 


nn 


n3 


13 


w 


7. AZBAV. 


s^c 


C3 


so 


P'' 


13 


O' 


n-i 


m 


13 


13 


nn 


8. AcnBAZ. 


rn 


K 


33 


po 


-l"! 


03 


n' 


n 


13 


n3 


'.:« 


9. Atbach. 


cr 


33 


P= 


10 


IT) 


n3 


in 


n 


nj 


03 


'« 


10. AlBAT. 


Cl 


SS 


P= 


13' 


CO 


n'! 


in 


ni 


i;3 


•3 


3M' 


11. ACHBI. 


3fE 


V 


ID 


03 


no 


11 


nn 


Cl 


»3 


33 


■JM 


12. Albach. 


SI 


P= 


■w 


cr 


.-13 


m 


••n 


n 


33 


ta 


o« 


13. Ambai.. 


i» 


ID 


XSi 


nc 


m 


i;i 


VT 


31 


'>3 


03 


3M 


14. Ahbau: 


pn 


13 


cc 


ni 


CI 


'1 


3n 


■ji 


D3 


33 


C« 


13. ASBAN. 


ip 


rs 


riD 


•j;n 


'1 


31 


^n 


Ol 


33 


D3 


rn 


16. Aabas. 


•vz 


cp 


n:3 


•n 


31 


'n 


on 


31 


C3 


11 


CM 


17. Afba. 


«n 


PP 


"J 


3n 


■« 


Ol 


3n 


Dl 


13 


C3 


SH 


18. AZBAF. 


c 


m 


3^3 


bn 


Dl 


31 


en 


»1 


C3 


S3 


p« 


19. Akbaz. 


.TO 


y 


■» 


on 


31 


Dl 


rn- 


Cl 


S3 


?3 


1M 


20. ASBAK. 


ra 


V 


o= 


3n 


DI 


»1 


cn 


31 


P3 


13 


CM 


21. ASBBAB. 


ta 


O' 


3-,3 


en 


)>1 


El 


sn 


pi 


13 


IS3 


PM 


22. Atbbasii. 










To thia Ust is t 


to be added — 








no 


V 


3D 


JD 


30 


■is 


"£ 


m 


in 


13 


3M 


23. AsaAD. 


TO 


w 


TO 


pn 


ST 


Cl 


m 


Cl 


33 


03 


So 


24. Albau. 



188 

Besides these canons the Kabbalah also sees a recondite sense 
in the form of the letters, as well as in the ornaments which 
adorn them. 

As to the relation of the Eabbalah to Christianity, it is 
maintained that this theosophy propounds the doctrine of the 
trinity and the sufferings of Messiah. How far this is true 
may be ascertained from the following passages.^" " We have 
already remarked in several places that the daily liturgical de- 
claration about the divine unity is that which is'indicated in the 
Bible (Deut. vi, 43), where Jehovah occurs Rrst, then Elohenu, 
' and then again Jehovah, which three together constitute a 
unity, and for this reason he [i.e., Jehovah] is in the said 
place called one CTTTM). But there are three names, and 
how can they be one? And although we read one (irW), 
are they really one ? Now this is revealed by the vision of 
the Holy Ghost, and when the eyes are closed we get to know 
that the three are only one. This is also the mystery of the 
voice. The voice is only one, and yet it consists of three 
elements, fire [i.e., warmth], air [i.e., breath], and water 
[i.e., humidity], yet are all these one in the mystery of the 
voice, and can only be one. Thus also Jehovah, Elohenu, 
and Jehovah constitute one — three forms which are one. 
And this is indicated by the voice which man raises [i.e., at 
prayer], thereby to comprehend spiritually the most perfect 
unity of the En Soph for the finite, since all the three 
[i.e., Jehovah, Elohenu, Jehovah] are read with the same 
loud voice, which comprises in itself a trinity. And this is 
the daily confession of the divine unity which, as a mystery, is 
revealed by the Holy Ghost. This unity has been explained 

'ron nosa poM «n m Murr • »n\v\ nsiirti ixaA wnrr irpi* »rov taT xnirr 30 
Mrr • inM npx T'l'i in irrta Mn i"it irn'jn num? t'it nipT vmrr vm trov 'n-\ vmrf 
Mimp m-n vmrn «')« nn pi'w jn inn j:'i-t 3; ':» f^ni in ]i:'k "pn ]i;>» jnow rtn 
^ip SDHCMT /'npi Kn irrn mti • inM fr>t Nrtm rn:o'j hotid kj'Ii ivm )i3<wi srnw 
M3n niM ' in m'sm jij'm imVi bipi una ■m irtei nisi »mii »»m ifywy Mrtn in<«i in imx 
nMicSi xTin'iiOJ ii Tin'sip in'x n-n -in ji2<mi )'3T» whn /in ji:"« <"> wrtM"" 
wTi ' in jij'MT Mrtn 'jns t3» t«pT iip •«« Htai • ftoio •n vro -(vta vim «Tirp3 rrmn 



189 

in different ways, yet he who understands it in this way is 
right, and he who understands it in another way is also right. 
The idea of unity, however formed hy us here below, from 
the mystery of the audible voice which is one, explains the 
thing." {Sohar, ii, 43 b.) 

On another occasion we are informed that R. Eleazar, whilst 
sitting with his father B. Simeon, was anxious to know how 
the two names, Jehovah and Elohim, can be interchanged, 
seeing that the one denotes mercy and the other judgment. 
Before giving the discussion between the father and the son, 
it is necessary to remark that whenever the two divine names, 
Adonai (OHht) and Jehovah (Hin'), immediately follow 
each other, Jehovah is pointed and read (H^n^) Elohim. 
The reason of this, us it is generally supposed, is to avoid the 
repetition of Adonai, Adonai, since the Tetragrammaton is 
otherwise always pointed and read (nVT)). The Kabbalah, 
however, as we shall see, discovers in it o- recondite meaning.^' 
" E. Eleazar, when sittiug before his father R. Simeon, said 
to him, we have been taught that whenever Elohim (D'H^l*) 
occurs, it Acnotes Justice. Now how can Elohim sometimes be 
put for Jehovah, as is the case in those passages wherein 
Adonai ('3nM) and Jehovah (iTIiT) stand together (Comp. 
Gen. XV, 8 ; Ezek. ii, 4, &c.j, seeing that the latter denotes 
mercy in all the passages in which it occurs ? To which he 
replied. Thus it is said in the Scripture, 'Know therefore 
this day and consider it in thine heart, that Jehovah is 
Elohim' (Deut iv, 19); and again it is written 'Jehovah is 
Elohim.' {Ibid., ver. 35.) Whereupon he [i.e., the son] said, 
I know this forsooth, that justice is sometimes tempered with 

Tan ]HO TBicp ^ntei itsriK K-nm j'ma rrosi • «cTp nrn una '^anto mdv ten Hmrr nrn 
i-m irnn ""ipT vra Mnno nrno jjh up tmrr 'mh. 'tm /T» 'hti Tan ]hdi Ta» "wi 

'a 3"3 r]i 'a p^n im • rfrtsy vcr& vk; vn 
H^ Vv'Hin wnvm toa vrfm p'jn t«n rrt toh law w'-n rrop aw mn -irrtH >ai 31 
taa vsfn nam jiirn urn dti^k np»» 'mom /mrr 'jtm jiaa crfjM npm tth mn n'ni'm 
/D'rw»n MW >'■' '3 -jaa^ bn ."nawn oiti toti a'nai ivrpi vra »ir? on rrt lem vw 
rv>n Vina hictVi 'tim n'M mn rrm Tpwai hwt hi rte trt tom • d^tSct »on '*• s^nai 



140 

mercy and mercy with justice. Quoth he [i.e., the father], 
Come and see that it is so ; Jehovah indeed does signify mercy 
whenever it occurs, but when through sin mercy is changed 
into justice, then it is written Jehovah (mni), but read 
Elohim (D^n'jJ*). Now come and see the mystery of the 
word [».e., Jehovah]. There are three degrees, and each 
degree exists by itself [i.e., in the Deity], although the three 
together constitute one, they are closely united into one and 
are inseparable from each other." {Sohar, iii, 65 a.) 

We shall only give one more passage bearing on the subject 
of the Trinity .''^ " He wlio reads the word ("»n«) One [i.e., 
in the declaration of the divine unity VCW] must pronounce 
the Aleph (N) quickly, shorten its sound a little, and not 
pause at all by this letter, and he who obeys this, his life will 
be lengthened. Whereupon they [i.e., the disciples] said to him 
[i.e., to R. Ilai], he [i.e., E. Simeon] has said. There are two, 
and one is connected with them, and they are three ; but in 
being three they are one. He said to them, those two names, 
Jehovah Jehovah, are in the declaration ' Hear Israel ' 
(Deut. vi, 4), and Elohenu {^1TO'^), between them, is united 
with them as the third, and this is the conclusion which is 
sealed with the impression of Truth (TtOi*). But when these 
three are combined into a unity, they are one in a single 
unity," (Sohar, iii, 262 a.) Indeed one Codex of the Sohar 
had the following remork on the words " Holy, holy, holy is 
the Loi'(] cf hosts" (laa. iv, 3) ; t^Hp H nt Sr'.^^ 3M n\ S'H? 
'^"Ipi"! mn n», the .p-8t h<ihj refers to the Huijf Fcteki.'r i 
tk« second to the Holt/ Son ; and the third to the Holi/ 

M'Tt -rjm H'3"n 'jcrrai nrwcii ^-am iriH '!3J t'it »m -im -irr «n rn ■vsm M:n n-w >^m 

'ninta MJ-ni HM-n 'si jij'm ryn 'i rton Nn 'Tn wn tat* /a'rrw n-'; ];>-ipi mrr rriD )>-o • 

'» rr,/3 f\i 'i pin inn ; nt p tr\ 'iDicrm it'll irti ncp.-nai "in wtai 'inn 

)HOi • y>3 nv» '«nj 3»< xVi rfr\ ininp uisp'ii »)"w Mcun'; -p-iitt ins -tomt ;>« .18 
Mrtn ftn 1:1 virbn pvm via r\nrfK» x-mi }•»:'« pn -ii^m i.-i Ttn noH vn ^wiHn' mt tmt 
irrw ins »|nmcM ijti^h mrr mn- ;i:'mt '!«ic rtioT irrow j'vi frtt ^'i iidm • -m yav 



141 

Ghost.^ This passage, however, is omiited from the present 
recensions of the So/tar. Some Jewish writers have felt 
these passages tc be so favourable to the doctrine of the 
Trinity, that they insist upon their being interpolations into 
the Sohar, whilst others have tried to explain them as refer- 
ring to the SepJdroth?* 

As to the atonement of the Messiah for the sins of the 
people, this is not only propounded in the Sohar, but is given 
as the explanation of the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah.^ 
" WTien the righteous are visited with sufferings and afflictions 
to atone for the sins of the world, it is that they might atone 
for all the sins of this generation. How is this proved ? 
By all the members of the body. When all members su£fer, 
one member is afflicted in order that all may recover. And 
which of them ? The arm. The arm is beaten, the blood 
is tal\en from it, and then the recovery of all the members 
the body is secured. So it is with the children of the wo . 
they are members one of another. When the Holy One, 
blessed be he, -wishes the recovery of the world, he afflicts 
one righteous from their midst, and for his sake all are 
healed How is this shown ? It is written — ' He was wounded 
for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, . . 
and with his stripes we ai'e healed.' (Isa. liii, 5.) ' With his 
stripes,' i.e., healed, as by the wound of bleeding an arm, 
and with this wound we are healed, i.e., it was a healing to 

83 Couii), Galiititros, 7)c ylrcnuii CntM. iib. li, c. 8, p. 81 ; who Sfiya fust soai« 
Coiket. of "lie Chiildee phnipbaise Ik !sr. '!., 3, Itcfi "jiv; 'Jr.p jf*\l e-"7 MW «rsj 
¥!%*%'■ Mnn tl\e JtM'j fritlfi; the Saiif linn, aud iht Jii-Aii G;:t>»i ,• m» &),ej Wmtf, 
amothixu Hebnci i, U80 j Graswi GesvhUhte der Jviiiu Tii, 8-19, 

Si Coiuj). Joel, Die Jicligiuiiaphilosoplue del Suhnir. Ldpiig, lSi.9, p. 240 ff. 

to pram p3 /vrr nrJa » nidd'j pi f^rorj: in ^vtoj »"pTs pconn w^vsn 86 
HC"o irrVs K^« ';d noi wpSJ )"C"io 'at _wnro3 • »n: tit too ^ • >rn ••am 
Mn I'-o Min rrio ip'CNi 'P^n i**""" ' 'W"'"' ^"^oi • irfjj pcm ;';i nttiAnh "pssM hti 
arro'j n'.yp rcT\ ttram • t>i nr ni j'cil- )1!'n mo'm' ':j '^n rpM • ncij -n'-vi tab khiidm 
vroi -(no vhy: NniiDH yrv rr;'ai ^'ananii pirn invj-j Mimt ■m'! 'p'jN ho'w') uniion 
rp«T ;«3n won Kmips imanai i:'; xon: imjnii '■i3n:''ni3'nm mjitd i:>»odd 'Aino Him 
'Hn"nnT '3 pVr imi ;HDm ]'D'"« tab ub mn mhiidk w mb-.j rrnjn Minnn />wi-n 



142 

each one of us as members of the body." (Sohar, iii, 318 a.) 
To the same effect is the following passage.** " Those souls 
which tarry in the nether garden of Eden hover about the 
world, and when they see suffering or patient martyrs and 
those who suffer for the unity of God, they return and men- 
tion it to the Messiah. When they tell the Messiah of the 
afflictions of Israel in exile, and that the sinners among them 
do not reflect in order to know their Lord, he raises his voice 
and weeps because of those sinners, as it is written, ' he is 
wounded for our transgressions.' (Isa. liii, 6.) Whereupon 
those souls return and take their place. In the garden of 
Eden there is one palace which is called the palace of 
the sick. The Messiah goes into this palace and invokes 
all tbe sufferings, pain, and afHictions of Israel to come 
upon him, and they all come upon him. Now if he did not 
remove them thus and take them upon himself, no man 
could endure the sufferings of Israel, due as punishment for 
transgressing the Law ; as it is written — ' Surely he hath borne 
our griefs and carried our sorrows, &c. (Isa. liii, 4, with Bom. 
xii, 8, 4.) When the children of Israel were in the Holy 
Land they removed all those sufferings and afflictions from 
the world by their prayers and sacrifices, but now the Messiuh 
removes them from the world." {Sohar, ii, 212 b.) 

That these opinions favour, to a certain extent, the doc- 
trines of the Trinity and the Atonement, though not in the 
orthodox sense, is not only admitted by many of the Jewish 
literati who are adverse to the Kabbalah, but by some of its 

'311 yitai prriMO p<Mi jtanom >bs«)d • • • • «nrt ym »n:3aT |^is«n ]i:ht 30 
MTPwo^ n^ pB*n «nroa Mrron^ rrb pom fSHm pirvtOT tmv ^ faui ji:»i \vyo 
to oil rfjp onM ']w\«o') njo'; ''nnoo vin ;ini n M'i»n ]i:'«i jin.Tib3S ^e-i Miwt 
yryy^ yrom )i:'« pTi • irnmso mno ij'SWDa ^"jinn Mini T'm inn p"n )i:'m 
trti-n imi .'!«? mtn pi 'j'rro "jn vhiyn -ipKi hti Mta'n n'n \m «.i:3i • irrnntii 

•["m • MnniHi -o:\! by ^mict yirmic tapab Van «: ii -in m'j 'rrhs y;;i \>ntin in-'Wo 
Tin '!» Mm pnp prtiB pjiJi i»«np xy-iMi 'nrw iin -n • • < 'iji mn «in 'j"bn pd 
*p '1 f^ inn : ttrm •:» p'; pteiD moo unffln • trateo pia'i jTio p<M bl yflua 

'w m 



143 

friends. Indeed, the very fact that so large a numher of 
Kabhalists have from time to time embraced the Christian 
faith would of itself show that there must be some sort of 
affinity between the tenets of the respective systems. Some 
of these converts occupied the highest position in the Syna- 
gogue, both as pious Jews and literary men. We need only 
specify Paul Ricci, physician to the Emperor Maximilian I ; 
Julius Conrad Otto, author of The Unveiled Secrets («n") N^J), 
consisting of extracts from the Talmud and the Sohar, to 
prove the vahdity of the Christian doctrine (Niirenberg, 1806) ; 
John Stephen Rittengal, grandson of the celebrated Don Isaac 
Abravanel, and translator of The Book Jetzira, or of Creation 
(m^S'' "13D), into Latin (Amsterdam, 1 642) ; and Jacob Frank, 
the great apostle of the Kabbalah in the eighteenth century, 
whose example in professing Christianity was followed by 
several thousands of his disciples.'' The testimony of these 
distinguished Kabhalists, which they give in their elaborate 
works, about the affinity of some of the doctrines of this 
theosophy with those of Christianity, is by no means to be 
slighted ; and this is fully corroborated by the celebrated 
Leo di Modena, who, as an orthodox Jew, went so far as to 
question whether^ God will ever forgive those who printed the 
Kabbalistic works.'* 

The use made by some well-meaning Christians of the 
above-named Kabbalistic canons of interpretation, in contro- 
versies with Jews, to prove that the doctrines of Christianity 
are concealed under the letter of the Old Testament, will now 
be deprecated by every one who has any regard for the laws 
of language. As a literary curiosity, however, we shall give 
one or two specimens. No less a person than the celebrated 

37 Comp. Peter Beer, Ocschirhtc tier rcligiiisen Secten der Jiiden. Berlin, 
182i>-2.1, vol. ii, p. 309, &c. 

38 mODrt Dnw CD'Cin ich'i " ')ina' dm 'n»T s^i Comp. imj n» ed. Fiirst, 
Leipzig, 1840, p. 7. 



144 

Beuohlin would have it that the doctrine of the Trinity is to 
he found in the first verse of Genesis. He submits, if the 
Hebrew word M*13, which is translated created, be examined, 
and if each of the three letters composing this word be taken 
as the initial of a separate word, we obtain the expressions 
3>* nn p Son, 8j)irit, Father, according to Rule 2 (p. 131). 
Upon the sBme principle this erudite scholar deduces the first 
two persons in the Trinity from the words — " the stone which 
the buildere refused is become the head stone of the corner " 
(Ps. cxviii, 22), by dividing the three letters composing the 
word ]M stone, into )2 M Father, Son (Oomp. De Verba 
ntirificu, Basel, 1404). In more recent times we find it 
maintained that the ' righteousness' spoken of in Daniel ix, 24, 
means the Anointed of Jehovah, because the original phrase, 
D'D^y pis is by Gematria, = numerical value, (which is 
Rule 1, given above, p. 131), the same as itliT' rfWO. So 
pleased is the author with this discovery, that he takes great 
care to remark — " It is a proof which I believe has hitherto 
escaped the notice of interpreters." Such proofs, however, of 
the Messiaship of Christ bring no honour to our religion ; 
and in the present day argue badly both against him who 
adduces them and against him who is convinced by them. 



145 



II. 

We now proceed to trace the date and origin of the Kabbalah. 
Taking the ex parte statement for what it is worth, viz., that 
this secret doctrine is of a pre- Adamite date, and that God 
himself propounded it to the angels in Paradise, we shall 
have to examine the age of the oldest documents which 
embody its tenets, and compare these doctrines with other 
systems, iu order to ascertain the real date and origin of this 
theosophy. But before this is done, it will be necessary to 
summarize, as briefly as possible, those doctrines which are 
peculiar to the Kabbalah, or which it expounds and elaborates 
in an especial manner, and which constitute it a separate 
system within the precincts of Judaism. The doctrines are 
as follow : — 

1 . God is boundless in his nature. He has neither will, 
intention, desire, thought, language, nor action. He cannot 
be grasped and depicted ; and, for this reason, is called 
En Soph, and as such he is in a certain sense not existent. 

2. He is not the direct' creator of the universe, since he 
could not will the creation ; and since a creation proceeding 
directly from him would have to be as boundless and as per- 
fect as he is himself. 

3. He at first sent forth ten emanations, or Sephiroth, which 
are begotten, not made, and which are both infinite and 
.finite. 

4. From these Sephiroth, which are the Archetypal Man, 
the different worlds gradually and successively evolved. 
These evolutionary worlds are the brightness and the express 
image of their progenitors, the Sephiroth, which uphold a! 
things. 



.146 

5. These emanations, or Sephiroth, gave rise to or created 
in their own image all human souls. These souls are pre- 
existent, they occupy a special hall in the upper world of 
spirits, and there already decide whether they will pursue a 
good or had course in their temporary sojourn in the human 
hody, which is also fashioned according to the Archetypal 
image. 

6. No one has seen the En Soph at any time. It is the 
Sephiroth, in whom the En Soph is incarnate, who have 
revealed themselves to us, and to whom the anthropomor- 
phisms of Scripture and the Hagada refer; Thus when it is 
said, " God spake, descended upon earth, ascended into 
heaven, smelled the sweet smell of sacrifices, repented in his 
heart, was angry,'' &c., &c., or when the Hagadic works 
descrihe the body and the mansions of the Deity, &c., all this 
does not refer to the En Soph, hut to these intermediate 
beings. 

7. It is an absolute condition of the soul to return to the 
Infinite Source whence it emanated, after developing all those 
perfections the germs of which are indelibly inherent in it. 
If it fails to develope these germs, it must migrate into 
another body, and in case it is still too weak to acquire the 
virtues for which it is sent to this earth, it is united to another 
and a stronger soul, which, occupying the same human body 
with it, aids its weaker companion in obtaining the object for 
which it came down from the world of spirits. 

8. When all the pre-existent souls shall have passed their 
probationary period here below, the restitution of all things 
will ^take place ; Satan will be restored to an angel of light, 
hell will disappear, and all souls will return into the bosom 
of the Deity whence they emanated. The creature shall not 
then be distinguished from the Creator. Like God, the soul 
will rule the universe : she shall command, and God obey. 

With these cardinal doctrines before us we shall now be 



147 

able to examine the validity of the Kabbalists' claims to the 
books which, according to them, propound their doctrines 
and determine the origin of this theosophy. Their works are 
I. The. Book of Creation.; II. The Sohar ; and III. The 
Commetttury of the Ten Sephiroth. As the Booi of Creation 
is acknowledged by all parties to be the oldest, we shall 
examine it first. 

I. The Book of Creation or Jeizira. 

This marvellous and famous document pretends to be a 
monologue of the patriarch Abraham, and premises that the 
contemplations it contains are those which led the father of the 
Hebrews to abandon the worship' of the stars and to embrace 
the faith of the true God. Hence the remark of the cele- 
brated philosopher, E. Jehudah Ha-Levi (bom about 1086) — 
" The Book of the Creation, which belongs to our father 
Abraham, .... demonstrates the existence of the 
Deity and the Divine Unity, by things which are on the one 
hand manifold and multifarious, whilst on the other hand 
they converge and harmonize ; and this harmony can only 
proceed from One who originated it."' {Khozari, iv. 25.) 
The whole Treatise consists of six Perakim (Q'pIS) or chap- 
ters, subdivided into thirty-three very brief Mishnas {nWtSQ) 
or sections, as follows. The first chapter hastwelve sections, 
the second has five, the third five, the fourth four, the fifth 
three, and the sixth four sections. The doctrines which it 
propounds are delivered in the style of aphorisms or theorems, 
and, pretending to be the dicta of Abraham, are laid down 
very dogmatically, in- a manner becoming the authority of this 
patriarch. 

As has already been intimated, the design of this treatise 
is to exhibit a system whereby the universe may be viewed 
methodically in connection with the truths given in the Bible, 
Tso D'lvra nnAnno o'-ana wnnm inin'jM bj min • • ■ • Dmas^nim nrriDD 1 

n"3 >j'iT 



148 

thus shewing, from the gradual and systematic development of 
the creation, and from the harmony which prevails in all its 
multitudinous component parts, that One God produced it 
all, and that He is over all. The order in which God gave 
rise to this creation out of nothing (iniriD tWDD IS'), and 
the harmony which pervades all the constituent pnrts of the 
universe are shown by the analogy which subsists between the 
'visible things and the signs of thought, or the means whereby 
wisdom is expressed and perpetuated among men. Since the 
letters have no absolute value, nor can they be used as mere 
forms, but serve as the medium between essence and form, 
and like words, assume the relation of form to the real essence, 
and of essence to the embryo and unexpressed thought, great 
value is attached to these letters, and to the combinations 
and analogies of which they are capable. The patriarch 
Abraham, therefore, employs the double value of the twenty- 
two letters of the Hebrew alphabet ;' he uses them, both in 
their phonetic nature and in their sacred character, as ex- 
pressing the divine truths of the Scriptures. But, since the 
Hebrew alphabet is also used as numerals, which are repre- 
sented by the fundamental number len, and since the vowels 
of the language are also te?i in number, this decade is added 
to the twenty-two. letters, and these two kinds of signs — i.e., 
the twenty-two letters of the alphabet and the ten funda- 
mental numbers — are designated t/ie thirty-two ways of secret 
wisdom; and the treatise opens with the declaration' — "By 
thirty-two paths of secret wisdom, the Eternal, the Lord of 
Hosts, the God of Israel, the living God, the King of the 
Universe, the Merciful and Gracious, the High and Exalted 
God, .He who inhabiteth eternity. Glorious and Holy is His 

3 It is for this reason that tlie Book Jetzira is also culled W3M Dm;iM1 nvnw 
Ww Letters or Alphabet of tlte Patriarch Abraham. 

rti» "f o'' °"" °'"^ ''*"*' '"^ "''"^ '^"' ^ Pi'" '™^" nw^B D'nw o'Cbua 8 
nrs' iDD ; ■flD'W 1DD1 -fioa D'ibo n«rt«3 lowwnpt dtto ts pw wini di pni Dim 'tut 



ug 

name, hath created the world by means of (190) numbers, 
(^1^D) phonetic language, and writing (13D)." (Sephtr 
Jetzira, chapter i ; Mishna i.) 

First of all comes the fundamental number ten. This 
dacade is divided into a tetrade and hexade, and thereby is 
shown the gradual development of the world out of nothing. 
At first there existed nothing except the Divine Substance, 
with the creative idea and the articulate creative word as the 
Spirit or the Holy Spirit, which is one with the Divine Sub- 
stance and indivisible. Hence, the Spirit of the living God 
(D'TT D'n^N nn) stands at the head of all things and is 
represented by the number one. " One is the spirit of the 
living God, blessed be His name, who liveth for ever 1 voice, 
spirit, and word, this is the Holy Gliost." (Chapter i, 
Mishna ix). From this Spirit the whole universe proceeded 
in gradual and successive emanations, in the following order. 
The creative air, represented by number two, emanated from 
the Spirit (miD ni")). " In it He engraved the twenty-two 
letters." The water again, represented by the number three, 
proceeded from the air (TVnQ WQ). " In it He engraved 
darkness and emptiness, slime and dung.' Whilst the ether 
or jffre, represented by the number four, emanated from the 
water (D^OD l£^K). " In it He engraved the throne of His 
glory, the Ophanim, the Seraphim, the sacred animals, and 
the ministering angels, and from these three he formed His 
habitation ; as it is written — ' He maketh the wind his messen- 
gers, flaming fire his servants"* (Cap. i. Mish. ix, x.) These 
intermediate members between the Creator and the created 
world sustain a passive and created relationship to God, and 

t wrpn rm nn "nam m-n Vip nnaVnwr 'n 'va low -piMi fia dtt dtAm rm nnM 1 

'B njwo '« piB 

D':wi m^B3 riMW nio« urtm ■no' ni'niK D'niJi vtm ni ism ppn rmo rm trrraj 6 
^03 jppn B10T OD^ t!ts\ inn pa asm ppn vena wa ■efw : jnn nnM mil msiiiDD •ws 
cnuun Tiasn noa na asm ppn D'oo oh sain i na'wn j'oa pao anin paa prai ravw 
e» vmwD nimi vante mw tdioid m jo ■\o' jneVajoi men 'asta «Tpn nvm Dnmoi 

'■^ 'b n:\no 'h po i Xffrh 



150 

af} actinif and creating relationship to the world ; so that 
God is neither in immediate connection with the created and 
material universe, nor is His creative fiat hindered by matter. 
Then comes the hexado, each unit of which represents space 
in the six directions (PlliJp tiV), or the four corners of the 
world, east, west, north, and south, as well as height and 
depth which emanated from the ether, and in the centre of 
which is the Holy Temple supporting the whole (t^llpn ^yVW 
VJ>QJ<2 plOO). The position of the decade is therefore as 
follows — 

o 

Spirit. 



o 



Ether or Fire. 





Height. 







O 





North. 









East. 





Depth. 



151 

These constitute the primordial ten, from which the whole 
universe proceeded. 

And lastly follow " the twenty-two letters, hy means of 
which God, having drawn, hewn, and weighed them, and 
having variously changed and put them together, formed the 
souls of everything that has heen made, and that shall he 
made."* (Chapter ii, Mishna ii.) These twenty-two letters 
of the alphabet are then divided into three groups, consisting 
respectively of, 1, the three mothers, ox futidametital letters 
(JTIDit ^^V), 3, seven double (ni'?1D3 VyO) and 3, tweloe 
simple Consonants (JIIQIK'B "WV D''3!tf), to deduce therefrom 
a triad of elements, a heptade of opposites, and a duodecimo 
of simple things, in the following manner. 

] . Three Mothers, Aleph, Mem„Shin. tt;"DN niDN th^ 
The ahove-named three primordial elements, viz., ether, water 
and air, which were as yet partially ideal and ethereal, became 
more concrete and palpable in the course of emanation. 
Thus the fire developed itself into the visible heaven, the 
elementary water thickened into the earth, embracing sea and 
land, whilst the elementary air became the atmospheric air. 
These constitute the three fundamental types of the universe 
{Vh^V'^ niDK vb^). The three primordial elements also 
thickened still more in another direction, and gave birth to a 
new order of creatures, which constitute the course of the 
year and the temperatures. From the ether developed itself 
heat, from the water emanated cold, and from the air pi-oceeded 
the mild temperature which shows -tself in the rain or wet. 
These constitute the fundamental points of the year {tO'^ 
n3t£?2 /11DK). Whereupon the three primordial elements 
developed themselves in another direction again, and gave 
rise to the human organism. The ether sent forth the 
human head, which is the seat of intelligence ; the water gave 

»d:i -flSTT to 1DD3 ura ys jEns ptim p^ psn pipn -nw nvniM D'o* Dnt» 6 

'l "5«! <jw TO : itsh TMn to 



168 

rise to the body, or the abdominal system ; whilst the air, 
which is the central element, developed itself into the genital 
organ. These three domains, viz., the macrocosm, the revo- 
lution of time, and the microcosm, which proceeded from the 
three primordial elements, are exhibited by the three letters 
Aleph (J<), Mem (D) and Shin (0.) Hence it is said that 
by means of these three letters — which, both in their phonetic 
and sacred character, represent the elements, inasmuch as 
^*, as a gentle aspirate, and as the initial of ")*1>t air, 
symbolises the aie ; D, as a labial or mute, and as the 
initial of D'D water, represents the water; whilst If, as 
a sibilant, and as the last letter of tfN Jire, typifies the 
FIRE (Chapter iii, Mishna iii) — God created 

In the World— The. Fire, Water, Air. 

In Man — The Head, Body, Breast. 

In the Year— Heat, Cold, Wet. 
2. Seven double consonants — Beth, Gimel, Daleth, 

caph, pe, eesh, tau msDija jm'?i3D :^nty 

The three dominions proceeding from the triad of the pri- 
mordial elements which emanated from the unity continued to 
develope themselves still further. In the macrocosm were 
developed the seven planets, in time the seven days, and in 
the microcosm the seven sensuous faculties. These are 
represented by the seven double consonants "of the alphabet. 
Hence it is said that by means of these seven letters, which 
are called double because they have a double pronunciation, 
being sometimes aspirated and sometimes not, according to 
their being with or without the Dagesh, Ged created — 

In the World — Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, 

Mercury, Moon. 
In Man — Wisdom, Eiches, Dominion, Life, .Favour, 

Progeny, Peace. 
In the Pear-^Sabbath, Thursday, Tuesday, Sunday, 
Friday, Wednesday, Monday. 



163 

Owing to the opposite = double pronunciation of these 
seven letters, being hard and soft, they are also the symbols 
of the seven opposites (/IIIIDD) in ■which human life moves, 
viz., wisdom and ignorance, riches and poverty fruitfulness 
and barrenness, life and death, liberty and bondage, peace 
and war, beauty and deformity. Moreover, they correspond to 
the seven ends (miSp Wlf), above and below, east and west, 
north .and south, and the Holy Place in the centre, which 
supports them ; and with them God formed the seven heavens, 
the seven earths or countries, the seven weeks from the feast 
of Passover to Pentecost. (Chapter iii, Mishna, i-v ; cap. iv, 
Mishna, i-iii.) 

3. Twelve simple consonants ./T)10W3 "W}} DTItt' 
The three dominions then respectively developed themselves 
into twelve parts, the macrocosm into the twelve signs of the 
Zodiac, time into twelve months, and the microcosm into 
twelve active organs. This is shown by the twelve simple 
consonants of the alphabet. Thus it is declared, that by 
means of the twelve letters, which are \»iW l"? '•tan Tin, 
God created the twelve signs of the Zodiac, viz. : — 

In the World — Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, 

Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, 

Aquarius, Pisces. 

In Man— The organs of Sight, Hearing, Smelling, 

Talking, Taste, Copulating, Dealing, Walking, 

Thinking, Anger, Laughter. Sleeping. 

In the Year — The twelve months, viz., Nisan, Jiar, 

Sivan, Tamus, Ab, Elul, Tisliri, Cheshvan, Kislev, 

Tebet, Shebat, Adar. (Comp. chapter v, Mishna i.) 

The three dominions continued gradually to develope into 

that infinite variety of objects which is perceptible in each. 

This infinite variety, proceeding from the combination of a few, 

is propounded by means of the great diversity of combinations 

and permutations of which the whole alphabet is capable. 



154 



These letters, small in number, being only twenty-two, by their 
power of combination and transposition, yield an endless 
number of words and figures, and thus become the types of 
all the varied phenomena in the creation.^ " Just as the 
twenty-two letters yield two hundred and thirty-one types by 
combining Aleph (H) with all the letters, and all the letters 
with Aleph ; Beth (3), with all the letters, and all the letters 
with Beth, so all the formations and all that is spoken proceed 
from one name." (Chapter ii, Mishna, iv.) . The table on 
the opposite.page will shew how the two hundred and thirty-one 
types are obtained by the combination of the twenty-two letters. 
The infinite variety in creation is still more strikingly 
exhibited by permutations, of which the Hebrew alphabet is 
cnpable, and through wliich an infii!iite variety of types is 
obtained. Hence the remark' — " Two letters form two houses, 
three letters build six houses, four build twenty-four, five 
build a hundred and twenty houses, six build seven hundred 
and twenty houses ; and from thenceforward go out and think 
what the mouth cannot utter and the ear cannot hear." 
(Chapter iv, Mishna iv.) The following table will show how 
the letters, by permutation, will yield an infinite variety. 

TABLE OF PERMUTATION. 



a. Two letters 


b. Three laten 




c. Four letters 




3H 1. 


33M 1. 


xaa 19. 


•nito 18. -uio 7. 


TOM 1. 


lO 2. 


VM 2. 


ajKi 20. 


aiMj 14. ji»a 8. 


rOH 2. 




Ml S. 


3M3-I 21. 


■W3J IS. TKll 9. 


law 8. 




HU 4. 


wn 22. 


>«u 16. Mija 10. 


aia» 4. 


• 


3m 5. 


a>OT 23. 


ami 17. am il. 


a-m 6. 




HU 6. 


HU1 24. 


HaiJ 18. Hna 12. 


arn* 6. 


foim one. 


build six. 




build twenty-fonr. 





nWn mrm n'a d!> dVi3i dMd es rri iTptt d» zhray nVia os ri^ piam j^ Tra 7 

't n:tto 'JO inc : tim Dma msi' iiaxi toi Tis-r? ta msoj 
cma B'lesi raiK mjia nsi-w n'ria rraro ni:ia rrsrfro otq tid mjia m>niM 'no 8 
hm rra aiom ms -jVin jwo D"na Dion niHQ pao mjia oo rrna cnon mra ni:ia oon 
'1 njon '1 jnD s yimrt nVo' jtuct «»n -lai^ rtia» nen 



155 



o 

HI 
H-l 

03 

o 
« 

O 

n 

f5 



Ep'^»i-*~5"ESSJiK.FgE 

gFSJ;gEEgBSEf|E 
j3gRBSsae.PS£ 

gss&pgg 
SE: : 



|: 



II 

I ^ 

+ 

+ 

I *^ 

+ 

I '^ 

+ 
+ 

I to 

+ 

I ^ 

I '^ 

+ 

I '^ 
I ^^ 

+ 

I ^ 

+ 

I 3 

+ 

I *^ 

+ 

t <3 

+ 
+ 

1 °° 

+ 

I ** 

+ 
+ 
+ 

I ■* 

+ 

I CO 

+ 
+ 



1 


= 


2 


s 


= 


6 


6 


= 


24 


84 


= 


120 


20 


= 


780 



156 

In order to ascertain how often a certain number of letters 
can be transposed, the product of the preceding number must 
be multiplied with it. Thus — 
Letters x 

3 X 

4 X 
6 X 

6 X 

7 < 720 = 6040 and so on. 
Accordingly, the material form of the spirit, represented by 

the twenty-two letters of the alphabet, is the form of all 
existing beings. Apart from the three dominions, the ma- 
crocosm, time, and microcosm, it is only the Infinite who can be 
perceived, and of whom this triad testifies ; for which reason 
it is denominated " the three true witnesses."* Each of this 
triad, notwithstanding its multifariousness, constitutes a sys- 
tem, having its own centre and dominion.'" Just as God is 
the centre of the universe, the heavenly dragon is the centre 
of the macrocosm ; the foundation of the year is the revolu- 
tion of the Zodiac ; whilst the centre of the microcosm is the 
heart.'' The first is like a king on his throne, the second is 
like a king living among his subjects, and the third is like a 
king in war. The reason why the heart of man is like a 
monarch in the midst of war is, that the twelve principal 
organs of the human body'* " are arrayed against each other 
in battle array ; three serve love, three hatred, three engender 
life, and three death. The three engendering love are the 
heart, the ears and the month ; the three for enmity are the 

'n njwo 'i pnD ! »d: n:w d^w D'idm: trK 9 
1 ma m jtitm jVisi -ws B':« 'Sj ■>» nM« nsi© 'u '» nwVuj mho 'aa 'ts ttim 10 

'j tnWD '1 pTD 

nnrrtoa 1^03 wcaa a^ ra'ina i^a mwa Wj imds 'n 'f/a oVisa 'bn II 
o'lToo rwAo D'TTO iTo^o D'MiD mrt« D'amx mdw nnn'»3 vnaia -wi D':w 18 
pai 'nna p»3 1^ 'wn piaAm mon laan d'msiw nuAuj rnsm d^imhi aba D'amM mrta 
'^ pD t ma m I'pi-iM ]bni im D'jw-'aa to rwao nsaio 'aa 'n rrrt* rwAw 'aj '» ttk 

'i m«o 



157 

liver, the gall and tbe tongue ; but God, the faithful King, 
rules over all the three systems. One [i.e., God] is over the 
three, the three are over the seven, the seven over the twelve, 
and all are internally connected with each other." (Chapter vi, 

.Mishna iii.) Thus the whole creation is one connected 
whole ; it is like a pyramid pointed at the top, which was its 
beginning, and exceedingly broad in its basis, which is its 
fullest development in all its multitudinous component parts. 
Throughout the whole are perceptible two opposites, with a 
reconciling medium. Thus, in the macrocosm, " the ethereal 
fire is above, the water below, and the air is between these 
hostile elements to reconcile them." (Chapter vi, Mishna i.) 
The same is the case in the heaven, earth and the atmosphere, 
as well as in the microcosm. But all the opposites in the cos- 
mic, telluric and organic spheres, as well as in the moral world, 
are designed to balance each other. " God has placed in all 
things one to oppose the other ; good to oppose evil, good 
proceeding from good, and evil from evil ; good purifies evil, 
and evil purifies good ; good is in store for the good, and 
evil is reserved for the evil." (Chapter vi, Mishna ii.) 

From this analysis of its contents it will be seen that the 
Book Jeizira, which the Kabbalists claim as their oldest 
document, has really nothing in common with the cardinal 
doctrines of the Kabbalah. There is not a single word in it 
bearing on the En Soph, the Archetypal Man, the specula- 
tions about the being and nature of the Deity, and the 

. Sephiroth, which constitute the essence of the Kabbalah. 
Even its treatment of the ten digits, as part of the thirty-two 
ways of wisdom whereby God created the universe, which 
has undoubtedly suggested to the authors of the Kabbalah the 
idea of the ten Sephiroth, is quite different from the mode in 
which the Kabbalistic Sephiroth are depicted, as may be seen 
from a most cursory comparison of the respective diagrams 
which we have given to illustrate the plans of the two systems. 



158 

Besides the language of the Book Jetsira and the train of 
ideas therein enunciated, as the erudite Zunz rightly remarks, 
shew that this treatise belongs to the Geonim period, i.e., about 
the ninth century of the Christian era, when it first became 
known.^^ The fabrication of this pseudograph was evidently 
suggested by the fact that the Talmud mentions some treatises 
on the Creation, denominated rC'y^'' JIID?!! and JIT'S' *13D 
(Sanhedrim 65 b ; 67 b) which " E. Chanina and E. Oshaja 
studied every Friday, whereby they produced a calf three 
years old and ate it ;"'* and whereby E. Joshua hen 
Chananja declared he could take fruit and instantly produce 
the trees which belong to them. {Jerusalem Sanhedrim, 
cap. vii. adfinem,}'^) Indeed Dr. Chwolson of Petersburg has 
shown in his treatise " on the Remnants of the ancient Baby- 
lonian Literature in Arabic translations" that the ancient 
Babylonians laid it down as a maxim that if a man were 
minutely and carefully to observe the process of nature, he 
would be able to imitate nature and produce sundry creatures. 
He would not only be able to create plants and metals, 
but even living beings. These artificial productions the 
Babylonians call J^^*^v1J^ productions or r\1XS\'2.)k formations. 
Gutami, the author of the Agricultura Nabat, who lived 
about 1400 B.C., devoted a long chapter to the doctrine of 
artificial productions. The ancient sorcerer Ankebuta de- 
clares, in his work on artificial productions, that he created a 
man, and shows how he did it; but he confesses that the 
human being was without' language and reason, that he could 
not eat, but simply opened and closed his eyes. This and 
many other fragments adds E — , from whose communication 
we quote, show that there were many works in Babylon which 

13 J>ie gotiesdienstHehen VoHrage der Judea. Berlin, 1833, p. 165, &c. 

^'V**! pVrasi fTToaNi ^np i^j nrs' idd 't to mm VS' vmn p siairr 'i io» 15 

• J1JB1 ]>ij»M pijs juTm pu 



169 

treated on the artificial productions of plants, metals, and 
living beings, and that the Book Jetzira, mentioned in the 
Talmud, was most probably such a Babylonian document."** 

As the document on creation, mentioned in the Talmud, 
was lost in the course of time, the author of the Treatise 
which we have analysed tried to supply the loss, and hence 
not only called his production by the ancient name iTTS' ISD 
the Book of Creation, but ascribed it to the patriarch Abra- 
ham. The perusal, however, of a single page of this book 
will convince any impartial reader that it has as little in com- 
mon with the magic work mentioned in the Talmud or with 
the ancient Babylonian works which treat of human creations, 
as with the speculations about the being and nature of the 
Deity, tlte En Soph and the Sephiroth, which are the essence 
of the Kabbalah." 

Having shown that the Book Jetzira, claimed by the Kab- 
balists as their first and oldest code of doctrines, has no 
affinity with the real tenets of the Kabbalah, we have now to 
examine : — 

16 Der Israelituche VolkaUhrtr, vol. iz. Fiankfott-on-the-Maiue, 1859, 
p. 864, &c. 

17 For those who should wish to prosecute the study of the metaphysical 
Book Jetzira, we must mention that this Treatise was first published in a Latin 
translation hy Postellas, Paris, 1 5SS. It wos then published in the original with 
five commentaries, viz., the spurious one of Sondia Gaon, one by Moses Nach- 
mnnides, one by Eleazer Worms, oue by Abraham b. David, and one by Mosea 
Bolarel. Mantua, 1505. Another Latin version is given in Jo. Pistorii artis 
eabalMicttl semptorum, 1587, Tom. I, p. 809 aeq. which is ascribed to Beuchlin 
and Paul Ricci ; and a third Latin translation, with notes and the Hebrew text, 
was published by Rittangel. Amsterdam, 1603. The Book is also pnblishcd with 
a German translation and notes, by John Friedrirh v. Meyer, Leipzig, 1830. As 
useful helps to the nndersbmding of this difficult Book we may rnenlinn The 
Knsari of B. .lehndah Ha-Levi, with Cassel's German version and 1eame<l anno- 
tations. Part iv. chap 35, p. 344. ice, Leipzig, 18i3 ; Zunz, Die gottesdienslliclien 
VorlrSge der Jiiden (Berlin, 1832), p. 165, Sia. ; Graeiz. Giionlicismiit vnd Jiiden- 
thum (Krotoshin, 1846), p 102, JJcc. ; Jellinek, Beilriii/e zur Gescliichte der 
Kabbala, Part i (Leipzig, 1852). p. :!, &c. Comp. also Wolf, Bibliolheca 
tfrbraea, vol i., p. S3, Ac ,vol. ;i., p. 1 198. vol. iii , p. 17, vol. iv , p. 753, Sec. ; 
Philoioplue iter Gesrhicbte, vn\. i , Und ert. (Miinster, 1857), p 03, &c. ; Stein- 
schneider, JifwisA Literature [}sOni\ox\. 1^57), pp. 107, 302, &c. ; and by t)ie same 
author, Catalugui Libr. Hebr. in Blbliotheca Bodte'iana, cot. K>i. 



160 

II. The Book Sohar. 

Before vre enterinto an exatninntion concerning the date and 
authorship of this renowned code of the Kabhalistio doctrines, 
it will be necessary to describe the component parts of the 
Sohar. It seems that the proper Sohar, which is a commen- 
tary on the five Books of Moses, according to the division 
into Sabbatic sections, was originally called 11>* 'n' IfHlD the 
Midrash or Exposition, Let there be Light, from the words in 
Gen. i, 4 ; because the real Midrash begins with the exposition 
of this verse. The name So/tar (^mt), i.e. Light, Splendour, 
was given to it afterwards,- either because this document begins 
with the theme light, or because the word Sohar frequently 
occurs on the first page, It is referred to by the name of the 
Book Sohar (imtH ISD) in the component parts of the treatise 
itself. (Comp. The Faithful Shepherd, Sohar, iii, 153 b.) 
The Sohar is also called Midrash of R. Simon b. Jochai 
CNnV P yWtW "\ b^ tt;-no), because this Rabbi is its re- 
puted author.** Interspersed throughout the Sohar, either as 
parts of the text with special titles, or in separate columns 
with distinct superscriptions, are the following dissertations, 
which we detail according to the order of the pages on which 
they respectively commence. 

i . Tosephta and Mathanithan (^TT'J/ID and ^tJ^^D^/1), or 
Small Additional Pieces which are given in vol. i, 3 1 b ; 32 b ; 
37 a; 54 b; 59 «; 60 b,; 63; 98 b; 121 a; 122, 123 b ; 
147; 151 a; 152 a; 232, 233 *; 234 a; vol. ii, 4, 27 J; 

18 The Sohar was first pnljlished by Da Fadova and Jacob b. Naphtali, 3 Tola. 
4to, Mantua, 155S-15G0, with an Introduction bj Is. de La'ttes ; then again in 
Cremona, 1560, fol.; Lublin, 1633, fol. ; then again edited by Bosenroth, with 
the variations from the works Derech JBmeth, and with the explanation of the 
difficult words by Issachar Bar, an Index of all the passages of Scripture 
explained in the Sohar, and with an Introduction by Moses b. Uri Sheraga 
Bloch, Sulzbach, 1684, fol. ; with an additional Index of matters, Amsterdam, 
1714, 3 vols. 8to; iUd. 1728; 1779, and 1805. The references in this Essay 
are to tlie lost mentioned edition. It must, however, be remarked that most 
of the editions have the same paging. Comp. Steinscbueider, Catalogia lair, 
ffebr. in Bibliotheca BoMeiana Col., S37-S45 ; Fiirst, BiUiotheca Judaica, iii, 
329-335. 



161 

28 a; 68 b; 135 5; vol. iii, 29 b; 30 a ; 54 b; 66. They 
briefly discuss, by way of supplement, the various topics of 
the Kabbalah, such as the Sephiroth, the emanation of the 
primordial light, &o., &c., and address theniselves in apos- 
trophes to the initiated in these mysteries, calling their 
attention to some doctrine or explanation. 

2. Hechaloth {PiDyTX) or The Mansions and Abodes 
forming part of the text, vol. i, 38 a — 46 b ; vol. ii, 246 a — 
269 a. This portion of the Sohar describes the topographical 
structure of Paradise and Hell. The mansions or palaces, 
which are seven in number, were at first the habitation of the 
earthly Adam, but, after the fall of the protoplasts, were re- 
arranged to be the abode of the beatified saints, who for this 
reason have the enjoyment both of this world and the world 
to come. The seven words in Gen. i, 2 are explained to 
describe these seven mansions. Sohar, i, 45 a, describes the 
seven Hells. In some Codices, however, this description of 
the Infernal Eegions is given vol. ii, 202 b. 

3. Silhre Tora (n-lin nnO), or The Mysteries of the 
Pentateuch, given in separate columns, and at the bottom 
of pages as follows. Vol. i, "74 b ; 75 a; 76 b—lt a -. 78 a 
— 8i b; 97 a— 102 a; 107 b—U\ a; 140 «— 140 b ; 
151 ff; 152 5; 154 5-157 6; 1615—162 5; 165; vol. ii, 
146 a. It discusses the divers topics of the Kabbalah, such 
as the evolution of the Sephiroth, the emanation of the 
primordial light, &c., &c. 

4. Midrash Ha-Neeltiin (O'jWn lyno), or. The Hidden 
Midrash, occupies parallel columns with the text in vol. i, 97 a 
— 140 a, and endeavours more to explain passiiges of Scripture 
mystically, by way of Remasim (D'T0"1) and Gimairias 
(m^nDDJ), and allegorically, than to propound the doctrines 
of the Kabbalah. Thus Abraham's prayer for Sodom and 
Gomorrah is explained as an intercession by the congregatedi 
souls of the saints in behalf of the sinners about to be 



162 

punished. (So/iar, i, 104 b.) Lol's two daughters are the 
two proclivities in man, good and evil. {/bid. 1 1 0.) Besides 
this mystical interpretation wherein t)ie Kabbalistic rules of 
exegesis are largely applied, the disiinguishing feature of this 
portion of the Soliar is its discussion on the properties and 
destiny of the soul, which constitute an essential doctrine of 
the Kabbalah. 

5. Raja Mehemna {WtX\a M'^n). or the Faithful Shep- 
herd. This portion of the Sohar is given in the second and 
third volumes, in parallel columns with the text ; and when it 
is too dispropoflioned for columns, is given at the bottom or 
in separate pages, as follows. Vol. ii, 25, 40, 69 5; 91 b — 
93 a; 134 b, 157 J— 159 a; 187 i— 188 a; vol. iii, 3 a- 
4, b; 20 a, 24 b, 27, 28 a— 29 a ; 33 a— 34 a; 42 a, U a ; 
63; 67 i— 68 a; SI J— 83 b; 85 5—86 a; 88 J— 90 a; 
92 5— 98 a; 97 a— 101 a; 103 5— 104 a; 108 5—111 5; 
121 J— .'26 o; 145 a— 146 5; 152 5—153 5; 174 a— 
n&a; 178 6—179 5; 180 a, 215 a— 239 a; 242 a— 258 a; 
263 a— 264 a; 270 5—283 a. It derives its name from the 
fact that it records the discussions which Moses the Faithful 
Shepherd held in conference with the prophet Elias> and with 
B. Simon b. Jochai, the celebrated master of the Eabbalistic 
school, who is called the Sacred Light (»l»np K^SIl). The 
chief object of this portion is to show the profound and 
allegorical import of the Mosaic commandments and prohi- 
bitions, as well as of the Rabbinic injunctions and religious 
practices which obtained in the course of time. At the 
dialogue which Moses the lawgiver holds with R. Simon b. 
Jochai the Kabbalistic lawgiver, not only is the prophet Elias 
present, but Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Aaron, David, Solomon, 
and God himself make their appearance; the disciples of 
B. Simon are frequently in ecstaoies when they hold converse 
with these illustrious patriarchs and kings of bygone days. 

6. Eaze Derazin (1*01 T\), or the Secret of Secret!, 



163 

Original Secrets, is given in vol. ii, 70 a — 75 a, and is 
especially devoted to the physiognomy of the Eahbalah, and 
the connection of the soul with the body, based upon the 
advice of Jethro to his son-in-law Moses Htn/l il/IN!) and thou 
shalt hoi into the face. (Exod. zviii, 21.) 

7. Saba Demishpatim (Q^iQStC'DI M3D), or the Discourse 
of the Aged in Mishpatim, given in vol. ii,,94 a — 114 a. 
The Aged is the prophet Elias, who holds converse with 
R. Simon b. Jochai about the doctrine of metempsychosis, and 
the discussion is attached to the Sabbatic section called 
D'BStt'D, i.e., Exod. xxi, 1 — xxiv, 18, because the Kabbalah 
takes this word to sigoif j punishments of souls (lUH), and finds 
its psychology in this section. So enraptured were the disciples 
when their master, the Sacred Light, discoursed with Moses 
on this subject, that they knew not whether it was day or 
night, or whether they were in the body or out of the body. 
{Sohar, ii, 105 b.) 

8. Siphra Detzniutha (Knii^JSl XnSD), or the Book of 
Secrets ot Mysteries, given in vol. ii. 176 i — 178 b. It is 
divided into five sections (D'plS), and is chiefly occupied with 
discussing the questions involved in the creation, e. gr. the 
transition from the infinite to the finite, from absolute unity 
to multifariousness, firom pure intelligence to matter, the 
double principle of masculine and feminine (MDK1 M3M), 
expressed in the Tetragrammatcn, the androgynous proto- 
plast, the Demonology concealed in the letters of Scripture, 
as seen in Gen. vi, 2 ; Josh, ii, 1 ; 1 Kings, viii, 3, 16 ; the 
mysteries contained in Isa. i, 4, and the doctrine of the 
Sephiroth concealed in Gen. i ; &c., as well as with showing 
the import of the letters fT'in'' composing the Tetragrammaton 
which were the principal agents in the creation. This portion 
of the Sohar has been translated into Latin by Rosenroth in 
the second volume of his Kabbala DerMdata, Frankfort-on- 
the-Maine, 1684. 



164 

9. Idra Rabba (Mil l*nS), or the Great Assembly is 
given in vol. iii, 187 b — 146 a, and derives its name from the 
fact that it purports to give the discourses which B. Simon b. 
Jochai delivered to his disciples who congregated around him 
in large numbers. Upon the summons of the Sacred Light, 
his disciples assembled to listen to the secrets and enigmas 
contained in the Book of Mysteries. Hence it is chiefly 
occupied with a description of the form and various members of 
the Deity, a disquisition on the relation of the Deity, in his 
two aspects of the Aged ipTIS) and the Young (HW), to 
the creation and the universe, as well as on the diverse gigantic 
members of the Deity, such as the head, the beard, the eyes, 
the nose, &o., &c. ; a dissertation on pneumatology, demon- 
ology, &c., &c. It concludes with telling us that three of the 
disciples died during these discussions. This portion too is 
given in a Latin translation in the second volume of Bosen- 
roth's Kabbala Denudata. 

10. Januka (SpU*), or the Discourse of the Young Man, 
is given in vol. iii, J 86 a— 192 a, and forms part of the text 
of the Sohar on the Sabbatic section called Balah, i.e. 
Numb, xxii, S— xxv, 9. It derives its nnme from the fact 
that the discourses therein recorded were delivered by a young 
man, under the following circumstances : — E. Isaac and R. 
Jehudab, two of R. Simon b. Jochai's disciples, when on a 
journey, and passing through the village where the widow of 
E. Hamnuna Saba resided, visited this venerable woman. 
She asked her son, the young hero of this discourse, who had 
just returned from school, to go to these two Rabbins to 
receive their benediction ; but the youth would not approach 
them because he recognised, from the smell of their garments, 
that they had omitted reciting on that day the prescribed 
declaration about the unity of the Deity (i^Diy). When at 
meals this wonderful Januka gave them sundry discourses 
on the mysterious import of the washing of hands, based on 



165 

Exod. XXX, 20, on the grace recited at meals, on the Shechinah, 
on the angel •who redeemed Jacoh (Gen. xlviii, 16), &o., &c., 
which elicited the . declaration from the Rabbins that "this 
youth is not the child of human parents " (W^ ^«p1J* 'NH 
Kin 3"a) ; ■ and when bearing all this, R. Simon b. Jochai 
coincided in the opinion, that " this youth is of superhuman 
origin." 

1 1-. Idra Suta (NBIt »mK) or the Small AssetnUy, is 
given in vol. iii, 287 J— 296 b, and derives its name from the 
fact that many of the disciples of R. Simon b. Jochai had 
died duiing the course of these Kabbalistic revelations, and that 
this portion of the So/tar contains the discourses which the 
Sacred Light delivered before his death to the small assembly 
of six pupils, who still survived and congregated to listen to 
the profound mysteries. It is to a great extent a recapitular 
don of the Idra Rabba, occupying itself with speculations 
about the Sephiroth, the Deity in faia three aspects (J^K^T •H^Z?), 
or principles which successively developed themselves from 
each other, viz.— the En Soph (^IID VK), or the Boundless 
in his absolute nature, the Macroprosopon (VBiK^nK), or 
the Boundless as manifested in the first emanation, and the 
Microprosopon (V9JM 1'!^?), the other nine emanations; the 
abortive creations, &c., and concludes with recording the death 
of Simon b. Jochai, the Sacred Light and the medium through 
whom God revealed the contents of the Sohar. The Idra 
Suta has been translated into Latin by Rosenroth in the 
second volume of his Kabbala Denudata. 

From this brief analysis of its component parts and con- 
tents,, it will be seen that the Sohar does not propound a 
regular Kabbalistic system, but promiscuously and reiteratedly 
dilates upon the diverse doctrines of this theosophy, as indi- 
cated in the forms and ornaments of the Hebrew alphabet, in 
the vowel points and accents, in the Divine names and the 
letters of which they are composed, in the narratives of the 



166 

Bible, and in the traditional and national stories. Hence 
the Sohar is more a collection of homilies or rhapsodies on 
Kabbalistio subjects than treatises on the Kabbalah. It is 
for this veiy reason that it became the treasury of the Kab- 
balah to the followers of this theosophy. Its diversity became 
its charm. The long conversations between its reputed 
author, E. Simon b. Jochai, and Moses, the great lawgiver 
and true shepherd, which it records ; the short and pathetic 
prayers inserted therein ; the religious anecdotes ; the attrac- 
tive spiritual explanations of scripture passages, appealing to 
the hearts and wants of men ; the description of the Deity and 
of the Sephiroth under tender forms of human relationships, 
comprehensible to the finite mind, such as father, mother, 
primeval man, matron, bride, white head, the great and small 
face, the luminous mirror, the higher heaven, the higher earth, 
&c., which it gives on every page, made the Sohar a welcome 
text-book for the students of the Kabbalah, who, by its vivid 
descriptions of divine love, could lose themselves in rapturous 
embraces with the Deity. 

Now, the ^ohar pretends to be a revelation from God, com- 
municated through B. Simon b. Jochai, who flourished about 
A.D. 70 — 110, to his select disciples. We are told that " when 
they assembled to compose the Sohar, permission was granted 
to the prophet Elias, to all the members of the celestial 
college, to all angels, spirits, and superior souls, to assist 
them ; and the ten spiritual substances [i.e., Sephiroth'] were 
charged to disclose to them their profound mysteries, which 
were reserved for the days of the Messiah." On the approach 
of death, B. Simon b. Jochai assembled the small number 
of his disciples and friends, amoogst whom was his son, 
B. Eleazar, to communicate to them his last doctrines," " when 

p^ imi ! irrala jiwirc rman tiwi <5V m iw>h 'ail liny vo» 'ii «^ witejh pi 1 9 

I'll cti^i'j 



167 

he ordered as follows — R. Aba shall write, E. Eleazar, my son, 
propound, and let my other associates quietly think about it." 
(Idra Suta, Sohar, iii, 287 b.) It is upon the strength of 
these declarations, as well as upon the repeated representation 
of fi. Simon b. Jochai as speaking and teaching throughout 
this production, that the Sohar is ascribed to this £abbi on 
its very title-page, and that not only Jews, for centuries, but 
Buch distinguished Christian scholars as Lightfoot, Gill, 
Bartolocci, Pfeifer, Knorr von Bosenroth, Molitor, &o., have 
maintained this opinion. A careful examination, however, of 
the following internal and external evidence will show that 
this Thesaurus of the Kabbalah is the production of the 
thirteenth century. 

1 . The Sohar most fulsomely praises its own author, calls 
him the Sacred Light (Kt£?np X0S11), and exalts liim above 
Moses, " the true Shepherd."*" " I testify by the sacred 
heavens and the sacred earth," declares R. Simon b. Jochai, 
" that I now see what no son of man has seen since Moses 
ascended the second time on Mount Sinai, for I see my 
face shining as brilliantly as the light of the sun when it 
descends as a healing for the world ; as it is written, ' to you 
who fear my name shall shine the Sun of Righteousness with 
a healing in his wings.' (Malachi, [iii, aO] iv, 2.) Yea, 
more, I know that my face is shining, but Moses did not 
know it nor understand it ; for it is written (Exod. xxxiv, 29), 
' Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone.' " {Sohar, iii, 
182 b ; 144 a.) The disciples deify R. Simon in the Sohar, 
declaring that the verse, " all thy males shall appear before 
the Lord God " (Exod. xxiii, 17), refers to R. Simon b. Jochai, 

Hon «^ riD mwn <nn «»<n ™tei nwto nvonp nn«i r»»teT ;'«')» k"did 'bs totttds 20 
HorMH >nin33 x"!^^ '"O^M •o'on wivn '3'tn tniD') «3"3n mat moo p>tei novo -a: ii 
tm 1 rpDMi nsnoi npTS wot) ■vm 'mt ca') nmn vnyy »«W) «niiDM3 pb'q'j ]'on nffpn 
pijTT imi i T3D T» np '3 »T >A rreioi T'nrr tonoM «Vi m lA rnDoi ym-i 'mejmt mjst m3mt 

! '3 a")p ni "3 



168 

who is the Lord, and before whom all men must appear. 
(Sohar, ii, 38 a.)" 

2. The Sohar quotes and mystically explains the Hebrew 
vowel .points (i, 16 b; 24 6; ii, 116 a; iii, 66 a), which 
were introduced for the first time by B. Mocha of Palestine, 
A.D. 570, to facilitate the reading of the Scriptures for his 
students.^^ 

3. The Sohar (n:D''nD N^V") Faithful Shepherd, on section 
WVfTfp iii, 82 b), has literally borrowed two verses from the 
celebrated Hymn of Ibn Gebirol, who was born about 
A.D. 1021 and died in 1070. This Hymn which is entitled 
ma'jD 1713 the Royal Diadem, is a beautiful and pathetic 
composition, embodying the cosmic views of Aristotle, and 
forms part of the Jewisli service for the evening preceding 
the Great-Day of Atonement to the present day. The quo- 
tation in the Sohar from this Hymn is beyond the shadow of 
a doubt, as will be seen from the following comparison — 

Sohar. Ibn Gebirol. 

KPDc: Mta HD1M [UMSDW wifTD] iiMniOMi Drrb» pi» «' taM 
omiMO TOTra Drr'w )n« n'tn omiMD "yvna 

\i must be borne in mind that, though the Sohar in written 
in Aramaic, yet this quotation is in Hebrew, and in the rhyme 
of Ibn Gebirol.^ 

4. The Sohar (i, 18 4 ; 23 a) quotes and explains thj 
interchange, on the outside of the Mezuza,"* of the words 

p virai vrta jmot "'lun «t 'a pun 'jb ^mo 'n piMn '3d bn "pisi 'n rnrv yn 2 1 
I'm rt Fji 'ifm inn iniap nmnnM') 'Si misi 

an Comp. Alexandei's edition of Eitto's Cyclopadia of JBiblical Ziterattire, 
s.v. Mocha. 

23 Comp. Sachs, Die religiose Poesie der Juden in Spanien, Berlin, 184f>, 
p. 220, note 2. 

24. For a description of the Mezuza, which consists of a piece of parchment, 
whereon is written Deut vi, 4-9 ; xi, 13-21, put into a reed or hollow cylinder, 
and affixed to the right hand door-post of every door in the houses of the Jews, 
see Alexander's edition of Kitto's Cyclopiedia of Biblical Literature, s.v. Mezuza, 



169 

(nin> irnVi* nin*) Jehovah our God is Jehovah for (ItlD 
ItID tR31D2) Z^K«« Bemuchzaz Kuzu, by substituting for 
each letter its immediate predecessor in the alphabet, which 
was transplanted from France into Spain in the thirteenth 
century." 

5. The Sohar (iii, 232 b) uses the expression Esnoga, 
whieh is a Portuguese corruption of synagogue, and explains 
It in a Kabbalistic manner as a compound of two Hebrew 
words, i.e., Es = «£;» and Noga = miJ brilliant light.^ 

6. The Sohar (ii. 32 a) mentions the Crusades, the 
momentary taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders from the 
Infidels, and the retaking of it by the Saracens."' "Woe to 
the time," it says, "wherein Ishmael saw the world, and 
received the sign of circumcision! What did the Holy 
One, blessed be his name ? He excluded the descendants of 
Ishmael, i.e., the Mahommedans, from the congregation in 
heaven, but gave them a portion on earth in the Holy Land, 
because of the sign of the covenant which they possess. The 
Mahommedans are, therefore, destined to rule for a time over 
the Holy Land ; and they will prevent the Israelites froim 
returning to it, till the merit of the Mahommedans is accom- 
plished. At that time the descendants of Ishmael will be 
the occasion of terrible wars in the world, and the children of 
Edom, i.e., the Christians, will gather together against them and 
do battle with them, some at sea and some on land, and some 
in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and the victory will now 

25. Oqmp. Nissen, in the collection of various Hebrew Dissertations, entitled 
p'a, edited by Jost and Creizenach, vol. ii, Frankfort^on-tbe-Uaine, 1842-48, 
p. 161, Sue. 

'm m'dt m ' j p^ nmi : rrau wm unw^a o^ ■^ vsarat tt»A ruw nju mtu'Sw 88 

Wt3«)' •:a'> yrfj prriM n"ap -at rro ■ iartit\ tfclnn 'iMSmD' tViiht »ya\ mnn to 'ti 27 
33 yvow ^inn it« mvth '(■yi twnp mstimi linrt Mpbin vh am m'j'sVi Mnipiio 
wjira jin^T mji rroa 'jd 'jdi utao s'jpn 'rr« tj vncnp hsim vt^rnvfi 'jttsaxp 

■m im na-ip p)?m irrb* Dn« »33 ««»3nM^i vdrs2 p^n pip rrarwh 'nanv '33 pon 

i miM '31'! IDDiT »'^ MWlp NSIMI )'')»1 fyt* piD'jWl D'Wl'^ -pOD im M«n' to mi MO' to 

'» 3') RT '3 pin imi 



170 

be on the one side and then on the other, but the Holy Land 
'trill not remain in the hands of the Christians." 

7. The iSoAar records events ■which transpired A.D. 1864. 
Thus on Numb, xxiv, 17, which the Sohar explains as 
referring to the time preceding the advent of Messiah, it 
remarks,°* "the Holy One, blessed be he, is prepared to 
rebuild Jerusalem. Previous to the rebuilding thereof he •will 
cause to appear, a wonderful and splendid star, which will 
shine seventy days. It will first be seen on Friday, Elul 
= July 25th, and disappear on Saturday or Friday evening at 
the end of seventy days. On the day preceding [its .disappear- 
ance, i.e. October 2nd] when it will still be seen in the city of 
Borne, on that self-same day three high walls of that city of 
Borne and the great palace will fall, and the pontiff ruler of 
the city will die." {Sohar m, Z]% h.) Now the comet here 
spoken of appeared in Borne, July 25th, 1264, and was 
visible till October 2nd, which are literally the seventy days 
mentioned in the Sohar. Moreover, July 26th, when the 
comet first appeared, actually happened on a Friday ; on the 
day of its disappearance, October 2nd, the sovereign pontiff 
of Borne, Urban IV, died at Perugia, when it was believed that 
the appearance of the comet was the omen of his death, and 
the great and strong palace (M313T K^STI) Vincimento, fell 
on the self-same day, October 2itd, into the hands of the 
insurrectionists.^ 

8. I'he Sohar, in assigning a reason why its contents were 
not revealed before, says that the " time in which B. Simon 
ben Jochai lived was peculiarly worthy and glorious, and that 
it is near the advent of the Messiah," for which cause this 

pro vpi 'Ml |MBm 'M Mssjo MS'ap sasa in rnnriM^ u^nrri' 'jao^ nwap yen pn 88 
n«n'no movhj'dv '» B'nVi ■vm vsr\ ]<3im« paa '» rri paMnwnwyi nissDMi rrsn 
nxoTp Wtov psv '» HID'; rwirye rrova wjan'i [rnwao] n»m'ne vim'} pav mna inn' 
yiDj' Maiai Mta'm ■'•am «n-ip vfvirra j'm'js piw 'J pto hot Minm tarn wmpa <inn» 
I 'a a'n f|t 'j p^ irrn inw wnp «inni iw'wi 

29. Comp. Beer, in Frankel's MoruUichrift fikr Oeschichte und Wmenachirfl 
its Judenthvnu, vol. T, Leipzig, 1806, p. 108-160. 



171 

revelation was reserved till the days of R. Simon, to be 
communicated through him. Yet, speaking elsewhere of the 
• advent of the Messiah, the Sohar, instead of placing it in the 
second century when this Rabbi lived, forgets itself and 
says*" — " When the sixtieth or the sixty-sixth year shall have 
passed over the threshold of the sixth millenium [a.m. 6060-66 
= A.D. 1300—1806] the Messiah will appear" {Sohar i, 
116 a, 117 h, Comp. also iii, 252 a); thus showing that 
the author lived in the thirteenth century of the Christian 
era. In perfect harmony with this is the fact that : — 

9. The doctrine of the En Soph, and the Sephiroth, as well 
as the metempsychosisian retribution were not known before 
the thirteenth century. 

10. The very existence of the Sohar, according to the 
confession of the staunch Kabbalist, Jehudah Chajoth (flou- 
rished 1 500), was unknown to such distinguished Kabbalists 
as Nachmanides (1195-1270) and Ben-Adereth (1235-1310); 
the first who mentions it is Todros Abulafia (1234-1306). 

11. Isaac of Akko (flourished 1290) fully confirms all that 
we have hitherto adduced from the import of this book, by his 
testimony that " the Sohar was put into the world from the 
head of a Spaniard." To the same effect is the testimony 
of Joseph Ibn Wakkar, who in speaking of later books 
which may be relied upon, recommends only those of Moses 
Nachmanides and Todros Abulafia; "but," he adds, "the 
Sohar is full of errors, and one must take care not to be 
misled by them." Upon which, the erudite Stein Schneider 
rightly remarks,'* " this is an, impartial and indirect testimony 
that the Sohar -v&b recognised scarcely fifty years after its 

firv las poi ms mom im"Tfi D'pv ^xi J'"'' i'*""" ►"^ !"'«"' nxn'ms f)')» w n3i 30 
Mnrei /*»i ''3 (imi) hp'jd /mi {■\"tm) • -ma pm m: ^"vn prx -los i'mi w'ro p3 «b: 
>"p rp 'H pVi imi stnEWO ttajvh pnio iin ps pa\ mo tub ij i"wi D'^itoh H"m 

'a I'v 'a 

81 SteiDBchneider, in Ersch und Gniber's Sna/ktopSdie, section II, vol. xad, 
p. 101 ; and Jeimah Literature, Longman, 1857, p. 113. 



178 

appearing as one of the later works, and was not attributed 
to Simon ben Jochai." 

12. That Moses de Leon, who first published and sold the 
Sohar, as the production of E. Simon b. Joohai, was himself 
the author of it, was admitted by his own wife and daughter, 
as will be seen from the following account in the Book 
Juchassin, (p.p. 88, 89, 95, ed. Filipowski, London, 1857), 
which we give in an abridged form.^'' When Isaac of Akko, 
who escaped the massacre after the capture of this city (A.D. 
1S91), came to Spain and there saw the Sohar, he was 
anxious to ascertain whether it was geuiiine, since it pre- 
tended to be a Palestine production, and he, though born and 
brought up in the Holy Land, in constant intercourse with 
the disciples of the celebrated Kabbalist, Nachmanides, had 
never heard a syllable about this marvellous work. Now, 
Moses de Leon, whom he met in Valladolid, declared to him 
on a most solemn oath that he had at Avila an ancient 
exemplar, which was the very autograph of E. Simon ben 
Jochai, and offered to submit it to him to be tested. In the 
meantime, however, Moses de Leon was taken ill on his 
journey home, and died at Arevolo, A.D. 1305. But two 

'wnv 'Ton ijinjiw bid^ ffwon rawi nainj w» '3 13» pi pmi' 't ana tw wina 82 
room 139D te'ji rp'!«o'«3 mn323 13S pT pns' '1 m mn n"D ra»ai »i"3 nin'o 'la dw 
1DD 7TOSO Min ia» JOT pns* 'id Vn lb© Dts'n nai isoa >n»3oi ■ iim^rvd) »3 rros» n"D 
■m 'T p pm fya-m bw i:a )a pn o'lia lawji ia» unia nainji iM^nn rawa niap 
'1 rra» iom •trrm ido uma «so3 -nra -iipn") TiEDb -fm Him 'Vt D"aoin p omau ja 
rj"TO '3DD onnoM'j noMi I iiH 1MT mHa 'inno«') D'atin nm* msoa \a yah» 'ii psow 
DM1 'pso* '1 n3T on '3 j'Dun ydivm piota xsnio no '3 'japo ibw 'tm -m» nspta 
jiw'ja Hin >nospi iDDiro ':bo fj^ion 'nai pi inai dj'n '3 pun ijnp pata ninn 
'rta »'D«Dn YVan jvVsn -npaia laMC D'nteiD inai '3 wwio 'jam iVn ita na'TOTi' 
run Iran c'ln: onai DTa D'MSCun D'fia'inn riH rrtMwm vinM 'no-n 'i^awa rtapo 
w D'TMian Dm iN33:i ana'b njnj Mb iwm no bt* noo D'taipn d'm'jdio niTio on'; «a 
'n»oc : ma ioim mi nsa idim m 'nwiao nm 'rtMiD ')» Drpniai»n 'nxsn }in -ibd >nip 
i:a') M'Jibiopb 'ytrvB^ y-inc im« n'jm Vi {"aoin pun ain <3 '.-i'jhib to '5 Dnoi« 
D'loiMio Nin jiH'!? n nion 'T oam Ta tai 'map ';«.') k't pain pub min warn 
rrr? m rron 't taM /m ibo •'ann nan »'; d^isdw m^'i 'niMJn Vmitt nwo 'i vte 
►)D3 Vna TmD Dna np" iJnii /n'jM d'»')d: enaT-n rron 't aina' inaai amsn so »ti' 
inani m iibVm 'ii '"aim -an icm iDon -pna idmi 'a-m r'jiDNa viai rfjin an am> 

(D«) Tbon 11BH T'jn'jHl T» '7H «aNl riTlDD 'Miaa <3M1 -l^M D*iaT Drt p>r»o »»(■ 

D'pb« <? mor m iidm'! sa«ri '^^iti <d» laTi vj'sa )n nsdmi m rron 'ib d« msomv 
M'rt •VaDJ' ru'-TCia <.-i<aa Dvn win ™m '"ann lan ich ]ioTpn iddVi m") d>« »)w nai 
T» S« m nwo '1 ']Vi 'jdd tbj rrtMrt onain inn 'm •'TtrM om <bH -iMiaa nViM 



173 

distinguished men of Avila, David Kafen and Joseph de Avila, 

who were dotermined to sift the matter, ascertained the 

falsehood of this story from the widow and daughter of Moses 

de Leon. Being a rich man and knowing that Moses de 

Leon left his family without means, Joseph de Avila promised, 

that if she would give him the original MS. of the Sohar 

from which her hushand made the copies, his. son should 

marry her daughter, and that he would give them a handsome 

dowry. Whereupon the widow and daughter declared, that 

they did not possess any such MS., that Moses de Leon 

never had it, but that he composed the Sohar from his own 

head, and wrote it with his own hand. Moreover, the widow 

candidly confessed that she had frequently asked her husband 

why he published the production of his own intellect under 

another man's name, and that he told her that if he were to 

publish it under his own name nobody would buy it, whereas 

under the name of E. Simon b. Jochai it yielded him a large 

revenue. This account is confirmed in- a most remarkable 

manner by the fact that — 

nio T» *> mn lo'n mican ^sncai 'Die no'i krta-»a rfjrri mVin^ wa ^m ai«b w^aiM 
ID lip jDwi Tn 't inoi ]pn bnj oan dc 'nNsoi m'j'im ^m nam tjsD 'j\'f> d'omi ss«i 
irnu m Vihm dim 'jao irnm nsD miiD ib iTianjn i lanh inyaom v:>sa ]n nMsow 
TiDDM 'D •» sir '3'wi noo IS p'son m"!! '"jm (nn'j ?) 'b -nj ids* rroo ni nsa idih rm naa 
/m muD 'T ^« i"P^ .ka vh DVlsn»J^7DD Mta "h •vara '3 noNa »t •tom'i ••^■am la nai^i 
'rnniBDi ana* rra "a ana man anian d» ^»i rroD 'i rrn p m -vm idd oVisa ^'mi 
WDO no' f»a krsini >nj iidd rrn m rron '■! '3 »t :*> 'rara yn nvwa w »d« nn»i 
p> iiB« (i')«) >Am c'j'nj nmoa D<:'aDn D'-vrntn -h uroc ami rjoa ubia wa mn avmn ts 
snanrnw nim-a ran inai nrnoN awo -w ita jpnnj inai anian DMja caina onb 
nmn TSa tom 'man Tosn ';« i^mi dipmi i')iai« TSa noiD iwooioai • to loinai Mosai 
133"W' h') iiDN 'imin iDDbnain n»M n»n yjn nn» ii"; idimi nVi» n f\pv 'iMnpan 
'np n^ lOM'i inoM') m f)Dv 'i miitw : nwi s'n 'ns»i •"ps'n i«d>» nw nwsn dm n'ai3ii am 
'3'i rf! T\» iDM'i mnota wi : p «»m nwo 'i nCM") nniM 'n>oi inncw Ta nw: nnao m 
taMb Drt ion' Mb Y^Mi 'lab -jna hm «vf> vm 'jisn '3 'jn nb noHi noo "i niDM nn'a mj 
p'nsra -pcM mn loj* imin ibd pi Dbwa lai 100 nmpao ':m f mi ■pc to oiab') xai 
naias' -nuM onnai nM 'S'niBni nab nnabi xh rn hdmh nbM Dnai dtm 'aab jnw lann 
ibm'j tov '1 niDMb saoni rma 't nwM pni -ja wsni "pm • vh dm D'jiian vmn nsnji 
innn laVi udmto toM icn □» mn m icd obiso dm »]>dv nai D'py 'b m«>' n3 
iDMn J1TO iTOB') lai nrtan ama iniM 'niMia -h maiMi 'anamnDbsanaibawi 
•rtasm '3 idm'; "jb hm: Mbn » ani3 nnM -yavna pi ied -[b ]'m nnMi ibdo p'nm nnM© 
Mb ama 'jm >tomo'0 m mo Dnb ruM ibM noM'i 'bM jri ■■ib iias mm inn ama nnM 
■11BM3 nn» baM DniM n-na Hin labo '3 noM' <3 nana Diiaw mv Mbi 'laia imasj' 
Dip" D'oia DniM lap" Dp'nso 'jm unpn mia '"ain -an iidm imin idd •yinoa i»o»' 

! niMIT yj* TOMa 



174 

13. The Sohar contains whole passages whioh Moses de 
Leon translated into Aramaic, from his other works, as the 
learned Jellinek has demonstratively proved. To transfer 
these passages here woiild occupy too much of our space. 
We must, therefore, refer the reader to the monograph itself,** 
and shall only give one example, which the erudite historian. 
Dr. Graetz,** has pointed out. In his Sephar Ha-Rimon 
(TtO^n 130), which he composed A.D. 1827, and which is a 
Kabbalistic explanation of the Mosaic precepts, Moses de 
Leon endeavours to account for the non-occurrence of the 
Tetragrammaton in the history of the hexahemeron, whilst it 
does occur immediately afterwards, by submitting that as the 
earthly world is finite and perishable, this divine name, which 
denotes eternity, could not be used at the creation thereof; 
for if it had been created under its influence, the world would 
have been as imperishable as this name. In corroboration of 
this, Moses de Leon quotes the passage (/IvySD ITH ID? 
p»a moa? Ua "WA D\nVl*) . Gome, helmld the works of 
Elohim, what per ishableness he made in the earth (Ps. xlvi, 
8), showing that TWOW destruction, per ishableness, is conso- 
nant with the name D'HW. In looking at the original, it 
will be seen that the text has ilin' and not DwN, and that 
Moses de Leon, by a slip of memory, confounded this passage 
with dm"?** ni'?yS)D WI1 13^ Come and see the works of 
Elohim (Ps. xlvi, 6). Now, the whole explanation and the 
sam£ blunder are transferred into the Sohar. The commen- 
tators on this treasury of the Kabbalah, not knowing the 
cause of this blunder, express their great surprise that the 
Sohar should explain a mis-quotation. We subjoin the two 
passages in parallel columns. 

33 Moses hen Schem-Tob dt Leon, und tein ferhdUiiiss ztan Sohar, von 
Adolph Jellinek. Leipzig, 1851, p. 21-36. Jellinek also gives iidditional 
iuformntion on tliis subject in bis other contributions to the Kabbalah which 
will be fuund mentioned in the third part of tliis Essay. 

31 Comp. Graetz, OeschiclUe der Jiiden, vol. vii, Leipzig, 1863, p. 498, where 
other facts are given, proving that Moses de Leon is the author of the Sohar. 



175 

Sohar, i, 5R a. Maaen de Leon, ii, No. 133, p. 26. 

iWH DTibM mteBD 1WI 13^ rmD rmrr "i invDn ce niTO inn ctvb w o btok 

• • • • -ranwi fTmpi« «np 'wi ' w mow traj w^ V»in i-iom minn te D"p^ mnnxa im 

(pwow psA) «te^ Dna moo Hm 'mti mow o>n^« ni'wDO ttto 'jdo 'i3i wVjoo imi 

■^iupmorp DiD'n'i'n 'm^EioTni^T mteoo vn vMwm • • • • moo did 

moo DO DTiVi Hoo mbSBO frtpn ps to to mi I'SWi lyiio cn<p do 'n I'n" 

'1J1 >r»n 'T mV toh ip»3 'JDO ffTDo: Dto 'son D'rwn m mteeon 

DOS vrp vMnno m Doi 'm'>vi too 

'«> Dovpi Dns"? vrr rta irrvon 

It. is for these and mauy other reasons that the Sohar is 
now regarded by Steinschneider, Beer, Jellinek, Graetz, &c., 
as a pseudograph of the thirteenth century. That Moses de 
Leon should have palmed the Sohar upon Simon -b. Jochai 
was nothing remarkable, since this Eabbi is regarded by 
tradition as the embodiment of mysticism. No better hero 
could be selected for the Sohar than R. Simon, of whom the 
Talmud gives us the following account : " Ouce upon a time, 
R. Jehudah, R. .Jose, and R. Simon sat together, and 
R. Jehudah b. Gerim sat by them. R. Jehudah then began 
and said — How beautiful are the works of this nation (i.e., 
the Romans) ! they have erected market-places, they have 
erected bridges, and they have erected baths ! R. Jose was 
quiet, but R. Simon b. Jochai answered and said : what they 
have built they hav'e built for no one except for their own 
use, they made markets to allure prostitutes, they made baths 
to gratify themselves therein, and bridges to get tolls by 
them. Jehudah b. Gerim repeated this, and the emperor's 
government got to hear it, who passed the following decree : 
Jehudah, who exalted, is to be exalted ; Jose, who was silent, 
is to be banished to Zipporis ; and Simon, who spoke evil, is 
to be killed. He (i.e., R. Simon) at once concealed himself 
with his son, in the place of study, whither his wife daily 
brought them a loaf and a flask of water ; but as the rigour 
of the decree increased, he said to his son : women are weak- 
minded — if she is tortured she may betray us. Hence, they left, 
and betook themselves into a deep cavern, where by a miracle 

R 



176 

a crab-tree nnd n well were created for their subsistence. 
He and las son sat in the saud up to their necks nil the day 
studying the Law. Tliey spent twelve long years in this 
cavern; when Elins the prophet came and stood at the 
entrance of the cavern, and culled out — Who will inform the 
son of Jochai thai the emperor is dead, and that the decree is 
commuted ? ^hey cnme out and saw the people tilling and 
sowing." {Sabbath, 33 a. Comp. also, Jerumlem Hhebiith, 
ix, 1 ; Bereshith Rabha, cap. Ixxix ; Midranh Kohelelh, x, 8 ; 
Midranh Esther, i, 9.) This is the secret why the story that 
E. Simon b. Jochai composed the Sohar during his twelve 
years' residence in the cavern obtained credence among the 
foHiiwers of the Kabbalah. 

III. The Commentary on the Ten Hephiroth. 

Ft is this commentary to which we must look, us the 
most ancient document embodying the doctrines of the 
Kabbalah. The author of this commentary, E. Azariel b. 
Menachem, was born in Valladolid, about IICO. He dis- 
tinguished himself as a philosopher, Kabbalist, Talmudist, 
and commentator, as his works indicate ; he was u pupil 
of Isaac the Blind, who is regarded as the originator of 
the Kabbalah, and master of the celebrated E. Moses 
Naohmanides, who is also a distinguished pillar of Kabbalism. 
E. Azariel died A.D. 1238, at the advanced age of seventy- 
eight years. " The Commentary on the Ten Sej)hiroth " is in 
questions and answers,'" and tlie following is the lucid analysis 
of it as given by the erudite Jellinek, according to Spinoza's 
form of Ethics. 

20. naicm rfyvm -pi ■» nrvDD ixw tbitc Otmimentunj on ike Ten SepMiulh, 
by way of Questions auti Answers. This coromeDtary was tirst knowu througli 
t'je Kabhalistic works of Meier Ibu Gabliai, entitled n:mN yn, Tlie Path of 
Faith, printed in Padua, 1803, and Vl^pn rn». The Service of Holiness, also called 
crflH niKlD, Tlu: Fisiun oftlw Lord, first printed in Mantua, 1546 ; Ihen Venice, 
l.'iUV, and Cracow, l.'i78. It was then ptiblislied in Gabriel Warschawer'a volume 
entitled J CoUeelion o,' Kuhbalistic Treatises (rrtjpl D>mjf> ItJD), Warsaw, 17tt8 ; 
aiul has recently been' published in Be;'lin, l^tW. It is to this Berlin edition 
that the references in this EB!<i:y nn made. 



177 

1 . Definition. — By the Being who is the cause and governor 
of all things, I understand the A'« Soph, i.e., a Being infinite, 
boundless, absolutely identical with itself, united in itself, 
without attributes, will, intention, desire, thought, word or 
deed. (Answers 2 and 4.) 

2. Definition. — By Sephiroth 1 understand the potencies 
which emanated from the absolute En Soph, all entities 
limited by quantity, which like the will, without changing its 
nature, wills diverse objects that are the possibilities of 
multifarious things. (Answers 3 and 9.) 

i. Proposition. — The primary cause and governor of the 
world is the En Soph, who is both immanent and transcen- 
dent. (Answer I.) 

(a) Proof. —Each effect has a cause, and evei7 thing 
which has order and design has a governor. (Answer ).) 

{b) Proof. — Every thing visible has a limit, what is 
limited is finite, what is finite is not absolutely identical ; 
the primary cause of the world is invisible, therefore un- 
limited, infinite, absolutely identical, i.e , he is the En Soph. 
(Answer 2.) 

(c) Proof. — As the primary cause of the world is infinite, 
nothing can exist without (extra) him ; hence he is imma- 
nent. {Ibid.) 

Scholion. — As the En Soph is invisible and exalted, it is 
the root of both faith and unbelief. {Ibid.) 

ii. Phoposition. — The Sephiroth are the medium between 
the absolute En Soph and the real world. 

Proof. — As the real world is limited and not perfect, it 
cannot directly proceed from the En Soph, still the En Soph 
must exercise his influence over it, or his perfection would 
cease. Hence the Sephiroth, which, in their intimate con- 
nection with the En Soph, are perfect, and in their severance 
are imperfect, must be the medium. (Answer 3.) 

Scholion. — Since all existing things originated by means of 



178 

the Sephiroth, there are a higher, a middle, and a lower degree 
of the real world. {Vide infra. Proposition 6.) 

iii. Proposition. — There are ten intermediate Sephiroth. 

Proof. — All bodies have three- dimensions, each of which 
repeats the other (3 x 3") ; and by adding thereunto space 
generally, we obtain the number ten. As the Sephiroth are 
the potencies of all that is limited they must be ten. 
(Answer 4). 

(a) Scholioh. — The number ten does not conti^adict the 
absolute unity of the Eii Soph, as one is the biasis of all 
numbers, plurality proceeds from unity, the germs contain 
the development, just as fire, flame, sparks and colour have 
one basis, though they differ from one another. (Answer 6.) 

(J) Scholion. — Just as cogitation or thought, and even the 
mind as a cogitated object, is limited, becomes concrete and 
has a measure, although pure thought proceeds from the 
En Soph ; so limit, measure, and concretion are the attributes 
of the Sephiroth. (Answer 7.) 

4. Proposition. — The Sephiroth are emanations and not 
creations. 

1. Proof. — As the absolute En Soph is perfect, the 
Sephiroth proceeding therefrom must also be perfect ; hence 
tliey are not created. (Answer 5.) 

2. Proof. — All created objects diminish by abstraction; the 
Sephiroth do not lessen, as their activity never ceases,; hence 
they cannot be created. (Ibid.) 

Scholion. — The first Sephira was in the En Soph as a 
power before it became a reality ; then the second Sephira 
emanated as a potency for the intellectual world, and afterwards 
the other Sephiroth emanated for the sensuous and material 
world. This, however, does not imply a prius a.nil posterius 
or a gradation in the En Soph, but just as a light whose 
kindled lights which shine sooner and later and variously, 
so it embraces all in a unity. (Answer 8.) 



179 
'6. Proposition. — The Sephiroth are both active and 

passive ("japriDi "rapo). 

Proof. — As the Sephiroth do not set aside the unity of 
the En Soph, each one of them must receive from its prede- 
cessor, and impart to its successor — i.e., be receptive and 
imparting. (Answer 9.) 

6. Proposition. — The first Sephira is called Imcrutabk 
Height (n^VD Dn) ; the second, . Wisdom (nD3n) ; the 
third. Intelligence (Hm) ; the fourth, Love (T^'D'H) ; the fifth. 
Justice (TTTS)) ; the sixth. Beauty (mN3fl) ; the seventh. 
Firmness (TOJ) ; the eighth. Splendour ("«in) ; .the ninth, 
the Righteous is the Foundation of the World {TSV pHS 
XinS) ; aMd the tenth, Righteousness (plS). 

(a) SchoUon. — The first three Sephiroth form the world of 
thought ; the second three the world of soul ; and the four last 
the world of body— thus corresponding to the intellectual," 
moral, and material worlds. (Answer !0.) 

{b) SchoUon. — The first Sephira stands in relation to the 
soul, inasmuch as it is called a unit;/ (TWXV) ; the second, 
inasmuch as it is denominated living (iTTT) ; the third, inas- 
much as it is termed spirit (m"I) ; the fourth, inasmuch t.s it 
is called vital principle (IfSJ) ; the fifth, inasmuch as it is 
denominated soul {TVyOT) ; the sixth operates on the blood, 
the seventh on the bones, the eighth on the veins, the ninth 
on the flesh, and the tenth on the skin. {Ibid.) 

(a) SchoUon. — The first Sephira is like the concealed 
light, the second like sky-blue, the third like yellow, the 
fourth like white, the fifth like red, the sixth like white-red, 
the seventh like whitish-red, the eiglith Uke reddish-white, the 
ninth like white-red- whitish-rcd-reddlsh- white, and the tenth 
is like the hght reflecting all colours.^* 

21 The abOTe analysis is taken from Dr. Jelliiieli's Beitriige zut Geachichte 
der Kabbalah. Erstes Heft. Leipzig, 1 85'i. This erudite scholaj: also gives 
some additional information on H. Azariel in the second part of his BeitrSge 
zur GescMclUe der- Kabbalah, p. 32, Sec. Leipzig, 1803. 



]80 



The gradation of the Sephiroth is as follows — 



rrt»n on 



iU 



u 
nis3n 



TTiB niMBn TDn 



Till iX Til 

Tin D^w TB' ns: 



For this date of the Kabbalah {i.e., 1160-1190) we have 
the testimony of some of the earliest and most intelligent 
Kabbalists themselves. Thus R. Joseph b. Abraham Gikatilla 
(born about 1247. and died 1307) most distinctly tells us that 
R. Isaac the Blind, of Posquiers (flour, circa 1190-1210), the 
teacher of R. Azariel, was the first who taught the doctrines of 
this theosophy.'''' R. Bechja b. Asher, another Kabbalist who 
lived soon after this system was made known, in his commen- 
tary on the Pentateuch, which he composed A.D. 1291, styles 
R. Isaac the Blind, as the Father of the Kabbalah.^ Shem 
Tob b. Abraham Ibn Gaon (born 1283), another ancient 
Kabbalist, in attempting to trace a Kabbalistic explanation of 
a passage in the Bible to its fountain head, goes back to 
R. Isaac as the primary source, and connects him immediately 
with the prophet Elias, who is said to have revealed the 



'ans'TT ■naa •» tdo nyna nwso ntap rfnfiwa D'oarm ilw ni'n to utmj Tfap aa 
[sn'p«jiDa«]iinpi3«)DrPQM'T»Tii?rTpiin3<3Dpns' iTonn This passagn from 
Oikatilla's rmnnoTTD wliich is contained in Vloaes de Leon's munn iOB3n "WD is 
quoted by Qraetz, OetehicMe der Judtn, vol. vii, p. 411. 

38 ntapn <3m "nrn 'JO pnr 'i Comp. Commentary on Pmoope n^vn ed. Lemberg, 
1811. 



181 

mysteries of this theosophy to this corypheus of the Kahbalah.** 
Whilst the author of the Kftbbalistic work entitled /13"iyD 
/lin7t* the contemporary of R. Solomon b. Abraham b. Adereth 
(flour. A.D. 1260), frankly declares that " the doctrine of the 
En Soph and the ten Sephiroth is neither to be found in the 
Law, Prophets, or Hagiographa, nor in the writings of the 
Rabbins of blessed memory, but rests solely upon signs which 
ore scarcely perceptible." *" 

It has indeed been supposed that covert allusions to the 
Sephiroth are to be found in the Talmud. If this could be 
proved, the date of the Kabbalah would have to be altered from 
the twelfth to the second or third century after Christ. An 
examination, however, of the passage in question, upon which 
this opinion is based, will show how thoroughly fanciful it is. 
The passage is as follows — " The Rabbins propound. At first 
the name of twelve letters was communicated to every one, 
but when the profane multiplied, it was only communicated 
tc the most pious of the priests, and these pre-eminently 
pious priests absorbed it from their fellow priests in the 
chant. It is recorded that R. Turphon said, I once went up 
the orchestra in the Temple after my maternal uncle, and, 
bending forward my ear to a priest, I heard how he absorbei 
it from his fellow priests in the chant. R. Jehudah said in 
the name of Rab, the divine name of forty-two letters is 
only communicated to such as are pious, not easily provoked, 
uot given to drinking, and are not self opinionated. He who 

24 In his Snper-Coniineiitary mi Nacliuiaoides' Treatise on Seorets, (niTiD 
^SO'^n) entitled alio vm ins or lim DW "IBD Shew Tob Ibn Goou on Pericope rfncn 
remarks as follows irp^ IS [V'3»n] nn p prw 'TW w* 'CO en Min m piDB wtd <3 
trisr In another Kabbalistic work, entitled 'nayn ynDi^nxma which he com- 
pleted at Tafet in 13St, lie siiys— ■» nnjnn on<D nan nsiTjD '»»<iw 'ni NTiw 'm 
-iin: '3D pns' 'no i')ii?» ids • • • ■ mVDnn witd •arh tnw H'mm rrtap 'o These two 
worts are still in MS, and the quotations are given in Cbrmoly's Itintmri», 
p. 376, and in Graetz's Geachiclite der Jiideii, vol. vii, p. 445. 

\!i"T naia x^t d'iwm mVi Dwaja x'n mina vh no-i «3'» M-vn fOM r|iD )'>«n <3 sti 85 
T01 nsp rmivn "toa la i^ap ■]« Comp. mrrtHnaiSo cap. vii, 82 b, ed. Mantun, 1688, 



182 

knows this name and preserves it in pui'ity> is beloved above, 
cherished beloWj respected by every creature, and is heir of 
both worlds — the World that now is, and the world to come." 
{Babylon Kiddushin, 71 a.) Upon this the celebrated 
Maimonides (born 1135, died 1804) remarks — "Now every- 
one who has any iortelligence knows that the forty-two letters 
cannot possibly make one word, and that they must therefore 
have composed several words. There is no doubt that these 
words conveyed certain ideas, which were designed to bring 
man nearer to the true conception of the Divine essence, 
through the process we have already described. These words, 
composed of numerous letters, have been designated us a single 
name, because like all accidental proper names they indicate 
one single object ; and to make the object more intelligible 
several words are employed, as many words are sometimes 
used to express one single thing. This must be well under- 
stood, that they taught the ideas indicated by these names, 
and not the simple pronunciation of the meaningless letters. 
Neither the divine name composed of twelve letters, nor the 
one of forty-two letters, ever obtained the title of Stiem Ha- 
Mephorash — this being the designation of the particular 
name, or the Tetragrammaton, as we have already propounded. 
As to the two former names, they assuredly convey a certain 
metaphysical lesson, and there is proof that one of them 
contained a lesson of this kind ; for the Eabbins say in the 
Talmud with regard to it : ' The name of forty-two letters is 
very holy, and is only communicated to such as are pious, 
&c., &c., &c.' Thus far the Talmud. But how remote from 
the meaning of their author is the sense attached to these 
words ! Forsooth most people believe that it is simply by 
the pronunciation of the mere letters, without any idea being 
attached to them, that the sublime things are to be obtained, 
and tliat it is for them that those moral qualifications and 
that great preparation are requisite. But it is evident that 



183 

the design of all this is to convey certain metaphysical ideas 
which constitute the mysteries of the divine Law as we have 
already explained. It is shewn in the metaphysical Treatises 
that it is impossible to forget science — I speak of the percep- 
tion of the active intellect — and this is the meaning of the 
remark in the Talmud, ' he [to whom the divine name of 
forty-two letters is communicated] retains what he learns.' "'" 
It is this passage, as well as Maimonides' comment upon 
it, which led the erudite Franck to the conclusion that the 
mysteries of the Kabbalah were known to the doctors of 
the Talmud, and that the forty-two letters composing the 
divine name are the ten Sephiroth, which, by supplying the 
Vav conjunctive before the last Sephira, consist exactly of 
forty-two letters, as follows : — 

ft -f 5 +8 + 3 + 6 +5 + .^+4+4 + 3= 42 

niD'1 jiid'jd Tin rtso mxsin nmna n"?™ nj'-a noan iriD 

But Franck, like many other writers, confounds mysticism 
with Kabbalah. That the Jews had an extensive mysticism, 
embracing theosophy with its collateral angelology and uran- 
ology, as well as christology and magic, long before the 
development of the Kabbalah, and that there were a certain 
class of people who specially devoted themselves to the study 
of this mysticism, and who styled themselves "Mew of Faith" 
(/lUISK wV^H), is evident from a most cursory glance at 
the Jewish literature. Based upon the remark — " The secret 
of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will show them 
his covenant," (Ps. xxv, 14,) some of the most distinguished 
Jewish doctors in the days of Christ, and afterwards, claimed 
an attainment of superhuman knowledge, communicated to 
them either by a voice from heaven (zip JIS) or by Elias 
the prophet {Baba Mezia, 59 b ; Sabbath, 77 b; Chagiga, 
3 b, 10 a; Sanhedrin, 48 b; Nidda, 20 b ; Joma, 9 b). 

36 Oomp. More Nebuchim, part 1, cap. Izii. 

S 



184 

The sages had also secret docti-ines about the hexahemeron 
(n''t£^«"13 nW^) and the Vision of Ezekiel = Theosophy 
(n33")D nvyO), "which were only communioated to presi- 
dents of courts of justice and those who were of a careful 
heart" (Chaff i^a, 12 a — 16 a). Coeven with this are the 
mysteries connected with the different letters of the several 
divine names [Kiddushin, 71 a). Those who were deemed 
worthy to be admitted into these secrets could at any moment 
'call into existence new creations either in the animal or 
vegetable kingdom {Sanhedrin, 05 h, 67 b ; Jerusalem 
Sanhedrin, vii) ; they could fly in the air, heal the sick, 
drive out evil spirits, and suspend the laws of nature, by 
sundry mystical transpositions and commutations of the 
letters composing the divine names, which they wrote down 
on slips of vellum or pieces of paper and called " amulets" 
(/IVDp). This mysticism and the literature embodying it 
began to develop themselves more fully and to spread more 
extensively from the end of the eighth and the commence- 
ment of the ninth centuries. Towards the close of the eighth 
century came into existence 

1. The celebrated mystical work entitled the Alphabet of 
Rabbi Akiba, which alternately treats each letter of the 
Hebrew Alphabet as representing an idea as an abbreviation 
for a word (^IpHtSU), and as the symbol of some sentiment, 
according to its peculiar form, in order to attach to those 
letters moral, theoanthropic, angelogical and mystical notions. 
This work has recently been reprinted irl two recensions in 
Jellinek's Beth Ha-Midrash, yo\. iii, p. 12-^64, Leipzig, 1865. 

2. The Book of Enoch which describes the glorification of 
Enoch and his transformation into the angel Metatron, re- 
garding him as lllOpn T'll^ the Minor Deity, in contradistinc- 
tion to bnjn T'lT the Great God and which was originally a 
constituent part of the Alphabet of R. Akiba. It is reprinted 
in Jellinek's Beth Ha-Midrash, vol. ii, pp. 114-117. Leipzig, 
1868. 



185 

3.. Shiur Kama (HDIp T1i?''iy), or the Dimensions of the 
Deity, which claims to be a revelation from the angel Metatron 
to R. Islimael, and describes the size of the body nnd thj 
sundry members of the Deity. It is given in the Book 
Raziel (^K'n ISO) of Eleazer b. Jehudah of Worms, printed 
at Amsterdam, 1701, and at Warsaw, 1812. 

4. The Palaces (rm''y'X\). This mystical document opens 
with an exaltation of those who are worthy to see the chariot 
throne (n23ian n^'BS), declaring that they know whatever 
happens and whatever is about to happen in the world ; that 
he who oifends them will be severely punished ; and that they 
are so highly distinguished as not to be required to rise before 
any owe except a king, a high priest, and the Sanhedrim. It 
then celebrates the praises of Almighty God and his chariot 
throne ; describes the dangers connected with seeing this 
chariot throne (n33")0) ; gives an episode from the history of 
the martyrs and the Roman emperor Lupinus, a description of 
the angels, and of the sundry formulae wherewith they are 
adjured. Whereupon follows a description of the seven 
heavenly palaces, each of which is guarded by eight angels, 
and into which the student of the mysterious chariot throne 
may transpose himself in order to learn all mysteries, a descrip- 
tion of the formulee by virtue of which these angelic guards 
are obliged to grant admission into the celestial palaces, and 
of the peculiar qualifications of those who desire to enter 
into them. The document then concludes with detailing 
some hymns of praise, a conversation between God, Israel, 
and the angels about those mysteries, a knowledge of which 
makes man suddenly learned without any trouble, and with 
a description of this mystery, which consists in certain prayers 
and charms. This mystical production has also been re- 
printed in Jellinek's valuable Beth Ha-Midrash, vol. iii, 
pp. 83-108. 

These mystical treatises constitute the centre around which 



186 

claster all the productioDs of this school, which gradually 
came into existence in the course of time. So numerous 
hecame the disciples of mysticism in the twelfth century, 
and so general became the belief in their power of performing 
miraculous cures, driving out evil spirits, &c., &c., by virtue 
of charms consisting of the letters composing the divers 
divine names transposed and commuted in mystical forms, 
that the celebrated Maimonides found it necessary to denounce 
the system. " We have one divine name only," says he, 
" which is not derived from His attributes, viz., the Tetra- 
grammaton, for which reason it is called Shem Ha-Mephorash 
(tt'^^^D^ UID). Believe nothing else, and give no credence to 
the nonsense of the writers of charms and amulets (^^illJ 
JIWDpn), to what they tell you or to what you find in their 
foolish writings about the divine names, which they invent 
without any sense, calling them appellations of the Deity 
{tWOV}), and affirming that they require Jioliness and purity 
and perform miracles. All these things are fables : a sensible 
man will not listen to them, much less believe in them." 
{More Nebuchim, i, 61.) 

But this mysticism, with its thaumaturgy, though espoused 
by later Kabbalists and incorporated into their writings, is 
perfectly distinct from the Kabbalah in its first and pure form, 
and is to be distinguished by the fact that it has no system, 
knows nothing of the speculations of the En Soph, the ten 
Sephiroth, the doctrine of emanations, and the four worlds, 
which are the essential and peculiar elements of the Kabbalah. 
As to Franck's ingenious hypothesis, based upon the same 
number of letters constituting a divine name, mentioned in the 
Talmud, and the ten Sephiroth, we can only say that the 
Kabbalists themselves never claimed this far-fetched identity, 
and that Ignatz Stern has shown {Ben Chananja, iii, p. 261), 
that the Sohar itself takes the ten divine names mentioned 
in the Bible, which it enumerated in vol. iii, 11a, and which 



187 

it makes to correspond to the ten Sephiroth, to be the sacred 
name composed of forty-two letters, viz. : — 

4 + 2+8+ 6 +4+5 +2+5+3+4+3+4 = 43 

»jn» 'n ■?» JT1X2S niT* on"?** •?» tit rT* r^'^r^vi "h£;n h^hn 

Having ascertained its date, we now come to the oriffin of 
the Kabbalah. Nothing can be more evident than that the 
cardinal and distinctive tenets of the Kabbalah in its original 
form, as stated at the beginning of the second part of this 
Essay, are derived from Neo-Platonism. Any doubt upon this 
subject must be relinquished when the two systems are com- 
pared. The very expression En Soph (*^1D ^^^*) wliich the 
Kabbalah uses to designate the Incomprehensible One, is 
foreign, and is evidently an imitation of the Greek 4ir«poc. 
The speculations about the En Soph, that he is superior to 
actual being, thinking and knowing, are thoroughly Neo- 
Flatonic {iiriKciva ohaias, ivepylag, vov yai vanataq) ; and R. Azariel, 

whose work, as we have seen, is the first Kabhalistic production, 
candidly tells us that in viewing the Deity as purely negative, 
and divesting him of all attributes, he followed the opinion of 
the philosophers.*' When R. Azariel moreover tells us that 
" the En Soph can neither be comprehended by the intellect, 
nor described in words ; for there is no letter or word which can 
grasp him," we have here almost the very words of Proclus, 
who tells us that, " although he is generally called the unity 
{to ev) or the first, it would be better if no name were given 
him ; for there is no word which can depict his nature — he is 
(ipfJip-oc, ayviDOTOQ), the inexpressible, the unknown." (Theol. 
Plat, ii, 6.) 

The Kabbalah propounds that the En Soph, not being an 
object of cognition, made his existence known in the creation 
of the world by the Sephiroth, or Emanations, or Intelligences. 

27 >rt -pT to DM "3 laijwn px '3 onniMi ijia tr-nn npnon 'mm Commentary m 
the ten Sephiroth, 2 u. 



188 

So Neo-PIatonism. The Sephiroth are divided in the Kab- 
balah into a trinity of triads respectively denominated D7W 
■jDiyn the Intellectual World, ^^Ti D'jIV the Sensuous World, 
and V^'QT^ D^W the Material World, which exactly corre- 
sponds to the three triads of Neo-Platonism I'oSs, ^vxVy and 
ipvate. The Kabbalah teaches that these Sephiroth are both 
infinite and perfect, and finite and imperfect, in so far as the 
source from which they emanate imparts or withholds his 
fulness from them. Neo-Platonism also teaches that " every 
emanation, though Jess perfect than that from which it ema- 
nates, has yet a similarity with it, and, so far as this similarity 
goes, remains in it, departing from it so far as it is unlike, 
but as far as possible being one with it and remaining in it."'''' 
Even the comparison between the emanation of the Sephiroth 
from the En Soph, and the rays proceeding from light to 
describe the immanency and perfect unity of the two, is the 
same as the Neo-Platonic figure employed to illustrate the 
emanations from one principium (0/01- kx ipuTos ri)v t£ avroi 

irtpCKafii^iy . 



38 Proclus, Imt. Theol. 7, 81 ; Smith, DidM/nary of Roman and Oreek 
Biography and Mytliology, ».v. Fboolvs. 



189 



III. 

It now remains for us to describe the development of the 
Kabbalah, to point out the different schools into which its 
followers are divided, and to detail the literature which this 
theosophy called into existence in the course of time. The 
limits of this Essay demand that this should be done as 
briefly as possible. 

The great land mark in the development of the Kab- 
balah is the birth of the Sohar, which dividesi the history of 
this theosophy into two periods, viz., the Tpte-Sohar period 
and the post-SoAar period. During these two periods dif- 
ferent schools developed themselves, which are classified by 
the enidite historian, Dr. Graetz, as follows : — ' ■ 

I,— THE SCHOOL OF GEBONA, so called from the 
fact that the founders of it were born in this place and 
established the school in it. To this school, which is the 
cradle of the Kabbalah, belong 

1. Isaac the Blind (flour. 1190-1210), denominated the 
Father of the Kabbalah. His productions have become a 
prey to time, and only a few fragments have survived as quo- 
tations in other theosophic works. From these we learn that 
he espoused the despised doctrine of metempsychosis as an 
article of creed, and that from looking into a man's face, he 
could tell whether the individual possessed a new soul from 
the celestial world of spirits, or whether he had an old soul 
which has been migrating from body to body and has still to 
accomplish its purity before its return to rest in its heavenly 
home. 

1 Comp. Oetclachte tUr Juden, vol. vii, p. IIC, &c. 



190 

2. Azariel and Ezra, disciples of Isaac the Blind. The 
former of these is the author of the celebrated Commentary on 
the Ten Sephiroth, which is the first Kabbalistic production, 
and of which we have given an analysis in the second part of 
this Essay Cvide supra, p. 176). Of Ezra next to nothing is 
known beyond the fact that his great intimacy with Azariel 
led some writers to identify the two names. 

8. Jehudah b. Jakar, a contemporary of the foregoing 
Kabbalists. No works of his have survived, and he is only 
known as the teacher of the celebrated Nachmanides and from 
being quoted as a Kabbalistic authority. 

4. Moses Nachmanides, bom in Gerona about 1196, the 
pupil of -Azariel, Ezra, and Jehudah Ibn Jakar. It was the 
conversion of this remarkable and famous Talmudist to this 
newly-born Kabbalah which gave to it an extraordinary im- 
portance and rapid spread amongst the numerous followers of 
Nachmanides, It is related that, notwithstanding all the 
efforts of his teachers, Nachmanides at first was .decidedly 
adverse to this system ; and that one day the Kabbalist who 
most exerted himself to convert him was caught in a house of 
ill fame and condemned to death. He requested Nachmanides 
to visit him on the Sabbath, being the day fixed for his exe- 
cution ; and when Nachmanides reproved him for his sins, the 
Kabbalist declared that he was innocent, and that he would 
appear at his house on this very day, after the execution, and 
partake with him the Sabbath meal. He proved true to his 
promise, as by means of the Kabbalistic mysteries he effected 
that, and an ass was executed in his stead, and he himself was 
suddenly transposed into Nachmanides' house. From that 
time Nachmanides avowed himself a disciple of the Kabbalah, 
and was initiated into ils mysteries.'' His numerous writings, 
an account of which will be found in Alexander's edition of 

3 VUe Ibn Jaohja, ShaUlieleth Ha-Kdbhalah ; Onetz, GeschicMe der Juden, 
vil, 88, &c. 



191 

Kitto's Oyolopsedia, under Nachmanides, are pervaded with 
the tenets of this system. In the Introduction to his Com- 
mentary on the Pentateuch he remarks — " We possess a 
faithful tradition that the whole Pentateuch consists of names 
of the Holy One, blessed be he ; for the words may be divided 
into sacred names in another sense, so that it is to be taken 
as an allegory. Thus the words— D»n^« NIS n^tt^Nni in 
Gein. i, 1, may be redivided into other words, ex. gr. V^'^'2, 
D'n?^ t**U/1' In like manner is the whole Pentateuch, which 
consists of nothing but transpositions anji numerals of divine 
names."' 

5. The Treatise on tlie Emanations (ni^Jt>< nSCS), sup- 
posed to have been written by R. Isaac Nasir in the first half 
of the twelfth century. The following is an analysis of this 
production. Based upon the passage — " Jaresiah and ij^iah 
and Zichri, the sons of Jeroham" (1 Chj'on. viii, 27), which 
names the Midrash assigns to the prophet Eliah {Shemoth 
Rabba, cap. xl), this prophet is introduced as speaking and 
teaching under the four names of Eliah b. Josep, Jaresiah b. 
Joseph, Zecfaariah b. Joseph and Jeroham b. Joseph. Having 
stated that the secret and profounder views of the Deity are 
only to be communicated to the God-fearing, and that none 
but the pre-eminently pious can enter into the temple of this 
higher gnosis, the prophet Ellas propounds the system of 
this secret doctrine, which consists in the following maxims — 
I. God at first created light aud darkness, the one for the 
pious and the other for the wicked, darkness having come to 
pass by the divine limitation of light. II. God produced and 
destroyed sundry worlds, which, likfi ten trees planted upon 
a narrow space, contend about the sap of the soil, and finally 
perish altogether. Hi. God manifested himself in four worlds, 

mp^no 'irnrro n"spn "tid vniniD rrt» jmro ta 'j now 'ronSjp wts «• iis 3 
■mm JIM nrinR mri* fmf ivwu-ii pwo o ^iwo T" 'n -mmn I'lto inn r:M nin«A 
•rmw Vo jirnTTOO*:! pen's late >d mmn tai dtiSi vrar! 



192 

■viz. — Atzilah, Beriah, Jetzira and Asiah, corresponding to 
the Tetragrammaton mn\ In the Attilatic luminous worlds 
the divine majesty, the Shechinah. In the Briatic world are 
the souls of the saints, all the blessings, the throne of the 
Deity, he who sits on it in the form of Achtenal (the crown 
of God, the first Sephu-a), and the seven different luminous 
and splendid regions. In the JeUinttic world are the sacred 
animals from the vision of Ezekiel, the ten. classes of angels 
with their princes, who are presided over by the fiery Metatron, 
the spirits of men, and the accessory work of the divine 
chariot. In the Asiatic world are the Ophanim, the angels 
who receive the prayers, who are appointed over the will of 
man, - who control the action of mortals, who carry on the 
struggle against evil, and who are presided over by the angelic 
prince Synandelphon. IV. The world was founded in wisdom 
and understanding (Prov, iii, J 0), and God in his knowledge 
originated fifty gates of understanding. V. God created the 
world by means of the ten Sephiroth, which are both the 
agencies and qualities of the Deity. The ten Sephiroth are 
called Crown, Wisdom, Intelligence, Mercy, Fear, Beauty, 
Victory, Majesty and Kingdom : they are ideal and stand 
above the concrete world."* 

6. Jacob ben Sheshet of Gerona (flour. 1243). He wrote 
a Kabbalistio Treatise in rhymed prose, entitled D^Dtyn "W^ 
the Gate of Heaven, after Gen. xxviii, 17. It was first 
published by Gabriel VVarshawer in his collection of eight 
Kabbalistio Essays, called rb:i^)^ D'lDIp'? nSD. Warsaw, 1798. 
It forms the third Essay in this collection, and is erroneously 
entitled 3110 D» 'Dlp^ the Collection of Shein Tob. It has 
now been published under its proper title, from a codex by 

4 This remnrkable Trentise win Brat pnblislied byR. Abraham, Vilua, 1802; 
it was then reprinted with all its faulti in lieinberg, 1S30. The erudite and 
indefatigable Dr. Jellinek has now reprinted it in his AmwalU Icabbalisluiher 
Myttik, part i, Leipzig, J853, and the above analysis is from the Introduction to 
this excellent edition. 



]93 

Mordeoai Mortera, in the Hebrew Essays and Reviews, entitled 
Ozar Nechmad (IDTO ISIK) vol. iii, p. ]53,&o. Vienna, 1860. 
The characteristic feature of ihis school, which is the creative 
school, is that it for the first time established and developed 
the doctrine of the En Soph (S|1D ] N) the Sephirofh (/nt'SD) 
or Einanations, metempsychosis (niayn TD) with the doctrine 
of retribution (^IDjn niD) belonging thereto, and a peculiar 
ohristology, whilst the Kabbalistic mode of exegesis is still 
subordinate in it. 

II.— THE SCHOOL OF SEGOVIA, so called because 
it was founded by Jacob of Segovia, and its disciples were 
either natives of this place or lived in it. The chief represen- 
tatives of this school are — 

1, Isaac, and 2, Jacob, junior, the two sons of Jacob 
Segovia, and 3, Moses b. Simon of Burgos, who are only 
known by sundry fragments preserved in Kabbalistic writings. 

4. Todras b. Joseph Ha-Levi Abulafia, born 1234, died 
circa 1305. This celebrated Kabbalist occupied a distin- 
guished position as physician and financier in the court of 
Sancho IV, King of Castile, and was a great favourite of 
Queen Maria de Molina ; he formed one of the cortige when 
this royal pair met Philip IV, tlie Fair, King of France in 
Bayonne (1290), and his advocacy of this theosophy secured 
for the doctrines of the Kabbalah a kindly reception. His 
works on the Kabbalah are — {a) An Exposition of the Tal- 
mudio Hagadoth, entitled IIIDH 1S1X, {b) A Commentary on 
Ps. xix, and (c) A Commentary on the Pentateuch, in which 
he propounds the tenets of the Kabbalah. These works, 
however, have not as yet been printed.'' 

6. Shem Tob b. Abraham Ibn Gaon, born 1283, died circa 
1832, who wrote many Kabbalistic works. 

6. Isaac of Akko (flour. 1290) author of-the Kabbalistic 

5 Steinechneider, Catahgus Lihr. Hebr. in Bibliotheca Bodleiana, 2677-2680. 
Oraetz, Gesehichte der Juden, vU, 218, &c. 



194 

Commentary on the Pentateuch, entitled wyy JTTKD not 
yet printed, with the exception of an extract published by 
Jellinek.' 

The characteristic of this school is that it is devoted to 
exegesis, and its disciples endeavoured to interpret the Bible 
and the Hagada in accordance with the doctrines of the 
Kabbalah. 

III.— THE QUASI-PHILOSOPHIC SCHOOL of Isaac 
b. Abraham IbnLatif, or AUatif. He was born about 1 270and 
died about 1390. Believing that to view Judaism from an 
exclusively philosophical stand-point does not shew " the right 
way to the sanctuary," he endeavoured to combine philosophy 
with Kabbalah. " He laid greater stress than his predecessors 
on the close connection and intimate union between the 
spiritual and material world, between the Creator and the 
creation — God is in all and everything is in him. The human 
soul rises to the world-soul in earnest prayer, and unites itself 
therewith ' in a kiss,' operates upon the Deity and brings 
down a divine blessing upon the nether world. But as every 
mortal is not able to offer such a spiritual and divinely opera- 
tive prayer, the prophets, who were the most perfect men, had 
to pray for the people, for they alone knew the power of 
prayer. Isaac Allalif illustrated the unfolding and self-reve- 
lation of the Deity in the world of spirits by mathematical 
forms. The mutual relation thereof is the same as that of 
the point extending and thickening into a line, the line into 
the flat, the flat into the expanded body. Henceforth the 
Kabbalists used points and lines in their mystical diagrams 
as much as they employed the numerals and letters of the 
alphabet.' 

IV. THE SCHOOL OF ABULAFIA, founded by 
Abraham ben Samuel Abulnfia, is represented by — 

6 Comp. Beitrage ziir Gexchichte der Kahbnln, von Adolph JelUnek, j)art ii, 
Leipzig, ISS'J, p. xiii, &e. 

7 Comp. Oraelz, Ot$cMchle drr Judeit, vol, m, p. S21, &c. 



195 

1. Abulafia, the founder of it, "who was boin at Saragossa 
in 1240, and died circa 1293. For thirty years he devoted . 
himself to the study of the Bible, the Talmud, philology, 
philosophy, and medicine, making himself master of the phil- 
osophical writings of Saadia, Bachja b. Joseph, Maimonides, 
and Antoli, as well as of the Kabbalistic. works which were 
then in existence. Finding no comfort in philosophy, he 
gave himself entirely to the mysteries of the Kabbalah in 
their most fantastic extremes, as the, ordinary doctrine of 
the Sephiroth did not satisfy him. The ordinary doctrine 
of the Sephiroth he simply regarded as a ten unity instead of 
the Christian three unity. Through divine inspiration, he 
discovered a higher Kabbalah, by means of which the soul 
can not only hold the most intimate communion with the 
world-soul, but obtain the prophetic faculty. The simple 
intercourse with the world of spirits, which is effected by 
separating the words of Holy Writ, and especially those of 
the divine name, into letters, and by regarding each letter 
as a distinct word (11p'"l!013), or by transposing the compo- 
nent parts of words in every possible way to obtain thereby 
peculiar expressions (*Y1TS), or by taking the letters of each 
word as numerals. (S'lIOOJ), is not sufficient To have the 
prophetic faculty and to see visions ought to be the chief aim, 
and these are secured by leading an ascetic life, by banishing 
all worldly feelings, by retiring into a quiet closet, by dressing 
oneself in white apparel, by putting on the fringed garment 
and the phylacteries; by sanctifj'ing the soul so as to be fit to 
hold converse with the Deity ; by pronouncing the letters 
composing the divine name with certain modulations of the 
voice and divine pauses ; by exhibiting the divine names in 
various diagrams under divers energetic movements, turaings, 
and bendings of the body, till the voice gets confused and the 
heart is filled with fervour. When one bus gone through 
these practices and is in such a condition, the fulness of the 



196 

Godhead is shed abroad in the human soul : the soul then 
unites itself with the divine soul in a kiss, and prophetic 
revelations follow as a matter of coarse. 

He went to Italy, published, in Urbino (1279), a prophecy, 
in which he records his conversations with the Deity, 
calling* himself Baziel and Zechariah, because these name? 
are numerically the same as his own name, Abraham,^ and 
preached the doctrines of the Kabbalah. In 1281 be 
had a call from God to convert the Pope, Martin IV, .to 
Judaism, for which he was thrown into prison, and narrowly 
escaped a martyr's death by fire. Seeing that his Holiness 
refused to embrace the Jewish religon, Abulafia went to 
Sicily, accompanied by several of his disciples. In Messina 
another revelation from God was vouchsafed to him, an- 
nouncing to him that he was the Messiah, which he published' 
1284. This apocalypse also announced that the restoration 
of Israel would take place in 1296; and so great was the 
faith which the people reposed in it, that thousands prepared 
themselves for returning to Palestine. Those, however, who 
did not believe in the Messiahship and in the Kabbalah of 
Abulafia, raised such a violent storm of opposition against 
him, that he had to escape to the island of Comino, near 
Malta (circa 1288), where he remained for some time, and 
wrote sundry Kabbalistic works. 

His Kabbalistic system may be gathered from the following 
analysis of his Rejoinder to B. Solomon ben Abraham ben 
Adereth, who attacked his doctrines and Messianic as well as 
prophetic pretensions. " There are,'' says Abulafia, " four 
sources of knowledge — I, The five senses, or experimental 
maxims ; II, Abstract numbers or a priori maxims ; III, The 
generally acknowledged maxims, or consensus communis ; 

8 Thia will be seen from the reduction of the respectiTe names to their numerical 

value by the rule Geraairia, viz. : — b 30 + M 1 + ' 10 + 1 7 T 200 := 248 ; 

1 6 + n 6 + < 10 + 1 800 + 3 SO + , 7 =: 248 ; 

andD40 + n6 + I 800+ 1i + »»1 = 248. 



i07 

and rv. Transmitted doctrines or traditional maxims. The 
Kabbalistio tradition, -which goes back to Moses, is divisible 
into two parts, the first of which is superior to the second in 
value, but subordinate to it in the order of study. The first 
part is occupied with the knowledge of the Deity, obtained by 
means of the doctrine of the Sephiroth, as propounded in the 
Book JeUira. The followers of this part are related to those 
philosophers who strive to know God from his works, and the 
Deity stands before them objectively as a light beaming into 
their understanding. These, moreover, give to the Sephiroth 
sundry names to serve as signs for recognition ; and some of 
this class diifer but little from Christians, inasmuch as they 
substitute a' decade for the triad, which they identify with 
God, and which they learned in the school of Isaac the Blind. 
The second and more important part strives to know God by 
means of the twenty-two letters of the alphabet, from which, 
together with the vowel points and accents, those sundry 
divine names are combined, which elevate the Kabbalists to 
the degree of prophecy, drawing out their spirit, and causing 
it to be united with God and to become one with the Deity. 
This is gradually effected in the following manner. The ten 
Sephiroth sublimate gradually to the upper Sephira, called 
thought, crown, or primordial air, which is the root of all 
the other Sephiroth, and reposes in the creative En Soph. 
In the same manner all the numerals are to be traced back to 
one, and all the trees, together with their roots and branches, 
are converted into their original earth as soon as they are 
thrown into the fire. . To the ten Sephiroth, consisting of 
upper, middle and lower, correspond the letters of the alpha- 
bet, which are divided into three rows of ten letters each, 
the final letters inclusive, beginning and ending with Aleph ; 
as well as the human body, with its head, the two arms, 
loins, testicles, liver, heart, brain, all of which unite into o 
higher unity and become one in the active vove, which in its 



198 

turn again unites itself with God, as the unity to which every- 
thing must return. 

The ten Sephiroth are after a higher conception, to he 
traced to a higher triad, which correspond to the letters Akph, 
Beth, Gimmel, and the three principles combined in man, the 
vital in the heart, the vegetable in the liver, and the pleasurable 
in the brain, and also form themselves in a higher unity. It 
is in this way thAt the Kabbalist who is initiated into the 
prophetic Kabbalah may gradually concentrate all his powers 
direct to one point to God, and unite himself with the Deity, 
for which piirpose the ideas developed in unbroken sequence, 
from the permutations of. numbers and letters, will serve him 
as steps upon which to ascend to God."° 

Abulafia wrote no less than twenty-six grammatical, exegeti- 
cal, mystical and Kabbalistic works, and twenty-two prophetic 
treatises. And though these productions are of great im- 
portance to the history of the literature and development of 
the Kabbalah, yet only two of them, viz., the above-named 
Epistle to R. Solomon and the Epistle to R. Abraham, entitled 
the Seven Paths of the Law (imnn myni y^lO), have as 
yet been published. 

2. Joseph Gikatilla b. Abraham (flour. 1260), disciple of 
Abulafia. He wrote in the interests and defence of this school 
the following works : — i. A Kabbalistic work entitled the 
Garden of Nuts (tUM DOJ), consisting of three parts, and 
treating respectively on the import of the divine names, on the 
mysteries of the Hebrew letters, and on the vowel points. 
It was published at Hanau, 1015. ii. The import of the 
vowel points entitled the Book on Voicels (llp'jn 130), or 
the Gate to the Points (Tlp'jn "^VVf), published in the col- 
lection of seven treatises, called the Cedars of Lebanon 

'.) This Epistle of Abularui has beeu published by Jellinek in his Aiiaivahl 
kahtalislincliir Mystik, yait i, p. 13, ke., Leipzig, 1853, who also gives the 
nboTe imalysiia, which vl Lave translated as literally as possible. 



190 

(pan'? VIK), Venice, 1601, and Cracow, 1648, of which it 
is the third treatise, iii. The Mtjstery of the Shining 
Metal (^Dt£?nn 11D), being a Kabbalistio exposition of the 
first chapter of Ezekiel, also published in the preceding seven 
treatises, of which it is the fourth, iv. The Gate of Light 
(mii* nyc;), being a treatise on the names of the Deity and 
the ten Sephiroth, first published in Mantua, 1561; then 
Riva de Treuto, 1561 ; Cracow, 1600. A Latin version of it by 
Knorr von Kosenroth is given in the first part of the Cabbala 
D(?««<rfa/a, Solzbach, 1077-78. v. The Galen of Righteous- 
ness (pljt nyE'), on the ten divine names answering to the 
ten Sephiroth, published at Riva de Trento, 1501. vi. Mys- 
teries (nmo) connected with sundry Pentateuchal ordinances, 
published by Jechiel Ashkenazi in bis Temjile of the Lord 
(nin» byrt), Venice and Dantzic, 1596- 1006. "> 

From the above description it will be seen that the charac- 
teristic features of this school are the stress which its followers 
lay on the extensive use of the exegetical rules called Gematria 
(NnJ3DJ), Notaricon (lIpnBIJ), and Ziruph {^r\%, in the 
exposition of the divine names and Holy Writ, as well as in 
the claim to prophetic gifts, It must, however, be remarked 
that in this employment of commutations, permutations and 
reduction of each letter in every word to its numerical value, 
Abulafia and his followers are not original. 

V. THE SOHAR SCHOOL, which is a combination and 
absorption of the different features and doctrines of all the 
previous schools, without any plan or method. 

1236-1315. Less than a century after its birth the Kah 
balah became known among Christians through the restless 
efforts of Eaymond Lully, the celebrated scholastic meta- 
physician and experimental chemist. This Doctor illuminatus, 
as he was styled, in consequence of his great learning and 

10 Cotnp. Jellinek, Beitmge zur Ge$chicMe der Kahhala, part ii, p. 60, &c, ; 
Steinschaeiiler, CatalogufLibr. Hebr. in Bibliotlieca Bodle'mna, Col. 146I-I470, 



200 

piety, was boru about 1236 at Pulma, in the island of Majorca. 
He relinquished the military service and writing erotic poetry 
when about thirty, and devoted himself to the study of 
theology. Being inspired with an ardent zeal for the con- 
version of the Mohammedans and the Jews to Christianity, 
he acquired a knowledge of Arabic and Hebrew for this 
purpose. In pursuing his Hebrew studies Lully became 
acquainted with the mysteries of the Kabbalah, and, instead 
of converting his Kabbalistic teachers, he embraced the doc- 
trine of " the identity of the Deity and nature ;"" and there 
is very little doubt that the Kabbalistic method of palming 
their notions on the text of Scripture, by means of the 
Gemalria, Noluricoii and Ziruph, suggested to him the in- 
vention of th? Great Art (Aes Magna). It is therefore not 
to be wondered at that he had the loftiest conception of the 
Kabbalaji, that he regarded it as a divine science and as a 
genuine revelation whose light is revealed to a rational soul.'^ 
It cannot be said that Lully derived as much benefit from the 
Mohammedans, for after making three perilous journeys to 
Africa tcr bring the sons of Ishmael to the truth of Christianity, 
he was stoned to death by them, June 30, 1316. 

The new era in the development of the Kabbalah, created 
by the appearance of the So/tar, has continued to the present 
day, for nearly all those who have since espoused the doc- 
trines of this theosophy have made the Sohar their text-book, 
and the principal writers have contented themselves more 
or less with writing commentaries on this gigantic pseudonym. 

1290-1350. Foremost among these is Menahem di Becanti, 
who was bom in Eecanti (Latin Becinetum) .about 1290. He 
wrote, when about forty years of age (1330), a commentary 

11 Cooip. Tennemann, GeachichU der PlUloiophie, vol. viii. p. H37. 

12 Bicitur haec doctriua Kabbala quod idem est secundam Hebraeos ut re- 

ceptio veritatis cujuslibet rei diviuitus revelatae animae rationali Est igitur 

Kabbala habitus anima rationalis ex rectSl ratione divinatum rerum cognitivus ; 
propter quod est de maximo etiam diidno cons quntive diviila scieutia vocari 
debet. Comp. J7e Audita Kabbalittico, live , ad amna tcientUa introdutorium. 
Strasburg, 1051.. 



201 

on the Pentateuch, which is little else than a commentary on 
the Sohar. This commentary — which was first published by 
Jacob b. Chajim in Bomberg's celebrated printing establish- 
ment, Venice, 1523, then again, ibid, 1645, and in Luhlin, 
1696 — has been translated into Latin by the famous Pico della 
Mirandola.'^ 

1320. At the beginning of the fourteenth century Joseph 
b. Abraham Ibn Wakkar (flour. 1290-1340) endeavoured to 
reconcile this theosophy with philosophy, and to this end 
wrote a Treatise on the cardinal doctrines of the Kabbalah, 
which is regarded as one of the best if not the best intro- 
ductory compendium. This production, which is unpublished, 
and a MS. of which exists in the Bodleian Library (Codex 
Land. 119; described by Uri No. 384), consists of four parts 
or Gales, subdivided into chapters, as follows : — 

Gate I, which is entitled, On the views of the Kahhalists 
respecting the Primari/ Cause, blessed be he, and the Sephi- 
roth, as well as their names and order, consists of eight 
chapters, treating respectively on the fundamental doctrines 
of the emanations of the Sephiroth from the First Cause, as 
transmitted from Abraham and indicated in the Bible and the 
Eabbinic writings in Gematrias (cap. i) ; on the unity of the 
Sephiroth (cap. ii) ; the relation of the Sephiroth to each other, 
the First Cause itself being a trinity consisting of a threefold 
liirht, tiie number of the Sephiroth being from 10, 20, 30 and 
so on up to 310, stating that there is a difference of opinion 
amongst the Kabbalists whether the Primary Cause is within 
or without the Sephiroth (cap. iii) ; on the three worlds of 
the Sephiroth (cap. iv) ; on the beginninglessness of the first 
and necessary first Emanation, investigating the question as 
to how many Sephiroth this property extends (cap. v) ; on 

13 For the other works of Recanti, both published and unpublished, as well 
.0 for the exnct cUte of his literary Uboura, we must refer to Steinschneider, 
Ca^logm iifrr. Hcbr. in BMioUuca Bodkiana. Col. 1733-1737 ; and to Furst, 
Bihliotheca Judaica, vol. iii, pp. 13», 138. 



202 

the subordination and order of the Sejthiroth and the dia- 
grams, mentioning, in addition to tile three known ones, the 
figure' of bridegroom and bride under the nuptial canopy 
(cap. vi) ; on the names of the Deity and the angels derived 
from the Sephiroth (cap. vii) ; on the unclean (demon) 
Sephiroth or Hells (DIBvp ) and their relation to the- pure 
ones (cap. viii). 

Gate II, which is entitled. On the iirfl.uence of the Sephi- 
roth on the ffoverninent of the world (Providence J , consists 
of six chapters, treating respectively on the relation of the 
Sephiroth to the fundamental characteristics of Providence, 
such as mercy, justice, &C; (nap. i) ; on the corresponding 
relations of the imclenn Sephiroth (cap. ii) ; on the influence 
of the Sephiroth on men, especially on the Hebrew race, and 
their vicissitudes (cups, iii and iv) ; on the possibility of the 
Sephiroth wilhliolding this influence (cop. v) ; and on the 
relation of the Sephiroth to the diiys of the week (cap. vi). 

Gate III; which is entitled. On the names of the Sephiroth 
among the 'Kahhalintn, nnd which is the most extensive part 
of the work, consists of seven chapters, treating respectively 
on the names of tlie Peity, giving the sundry explanations of 
^^■^^* ntyX rrnhi current among the Jewish philosophers 
(cap. 1); on the names of the /*)<?/;//iVo//<,'sfating that there 
is no uniforin principle among the Kabbalists ; that the appel- 
lations are derived from the Bible, the Talmud and later 
literati ; that the greatest diffcsrence of opinion prevails among 
the Kabbalists ns to the mode in which these ancient sources 
are to be interpreted, recommending the following works as 
reliable guides : the Talmud, Midrash Rabboth, Siphra, Siphri, 
Bahir, Perakim of R. Kliezer, the opinions of Nachmanidcs 
and Todros Hn-Levi Abulafia of honoured memory, but 
guarding against the Sohar, because " many blunders occur 
tlierein (cap. ii) ; on the import of the names of the Sephi- 
roth, with examples of interpretation of the Bible and Talmud 



203 

to serve as aids for the student -who is to prosecute the work 
according to these examples, meutioning three exphtnatiuns 
of the word Sephira (cap. iii) ; on the divine names occurring 
in the Pentateuch (cap. iv) ; on tlie masculine and feminine 
nature of the Sephiroth (cap. v) ;.this is followed (cap. vi) 
by an alphabetical dictionary of the names of the Sephiroth, 
giving under each letter the Biblical and the corresponding 
Talmudio appellation appropriated by the Kabbalists to the 
Sephiroth ; and (cap. vii) by an index of the names of each 
Sephira in alphabetical order without any explanation. 

Gate IV, which is entitled On the jJositive proofs of the 
existence of the Kabbalah, describes the author's own views 
of the Kabbalistic system, and submits that the Kabbalist has 
a preference over the philosopher and astronomer by virtue of 
the acknowledged maxim that he has a thorough knowledge 
of a thing who knows most details about it. Now the Kabba- 
lists build their system upon the distinction of words, letters, 
&c., &c., in the sacred writings ; end they also explain certain 
formularies among the Rabbins, which have undoubtedly a 
recondite sense.'* 

1370-1500. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries 
the Kabbalah took deep root in Spain. Its followers, who 
were chiefly occupied with the study of the Sohar, with edit- 
ing some older works, and with writing Kabbalistic com- 
mentaries on the Bible, became more and more aggressive, 
denouncing in unmeasured terms their co-religionists who 
could not see the advantages of this secret doctrine. Thus 
Abraham b. Isaac of Granada — who wrote (1391-1409) a 
Kabbalistic work entitled T/te Covenant of Peace, discussing 

14 The MS. of Ibn Wakknr's Treatise is minutely described by Uri (No 884J. 
It is written in a character resembling the later G srmnn Hebrew, is furnished wilh 
references to the passages in the Bible and verbal translations in Latin, and 
contains such clerical blunders as no Hebrew copyist \vould commit. The above 
analysis of it is taken from the article in Ersek iind Oriiber's Allgemeine Ency- 
klopdd'u, section ii, vol. xxxi, p. 100, &c., written by the emdite Steinschneider. 
For the other Knbbalistic works of Ibn Wakkar we must refer lo the same 
elaborate article. 



204 

the mysteries of the names of God and the angels, of permu- 
tations, commutations, the vowel points and accents — declares 
that he who does not acknowledge God in the manner of 
the Kabbalah sins unwittingly, is not regarded by God, has 
not his special providence, and, like the abandoned and the 
wicked, is left to fate." 

Similar in import and^tone are the writings of Shem Tob 
Ibn Shem Tob (died 1430). In his Treatise, entitled the 
Book of Faithfulness, which is an attack on the Jewish 
philosophers Ibn Ezra, Maimonides, Levi b. Gershon, &c., 
and a defence of the Kabbalah, Shem Tob denounces the 
students of philosophy as heretics, and maintains that the 
salvation of Israel depends upon the Kabbalah. He also wrote 
Homilies on tbo Pentateuch, the Feasts and Fasts, &c., in 
which the Kabbalistic doctrines are fully propounded.'* 

Moses Botarel or Botax'elo, also a Spaniard, wrote at this 
time (1409) his commentary on the famous Booh Jeteira, an 
analysis of which is given in the foregoing part of this Essay 
(vide supra, p. 147, &c.) Unlike Abraham of Granada and 
Shem Tob, his two contemporary champions of the Kab- 
balah, he praises philosophy, speaks of Aristotle as of a 
prophet, and maintains that philosophy and the Kabbalah 
propound exactly the same doctrines, and that they only 
diflfer in language and in technical terms. In this commen- 
tary, which he wrote to instruct the Christian scholar Maestro 
Juan in the Kabbalah, Botarel shows how, by fasting, ab- 
lutions, prayer, invocation of divine and angelic names, a 
man may have such dreams as shall disclose to him the 
secrets of. the future. In confirmation of his opinions he 
quotes such ancient authorities as Rab Ashi, Saadia Gaon, 
Hai Gaon, &c., whom the Kabbalah claims as its great 

15 This nmio nn3 baa been publisbed in Amsterdam, 1613. 

16 The nf31?3M IDD consists of eleven parts, subdivided into- chapters,' and 
was published in Ferrara, 1557 ; the Homilies, entitled mirm bs Tmcm were 
first published in Venice, 1547, and then in Padua, 1567, 



205 

pillars." It is almost needless to vemark that these men 
lived long before the birth of the Kabbalah, and that this 
mode of palming comparatively modem opinions upon great 
men of remote ages, has also been adopted by advocates of 
other systems who were anxious to invest their views with the 
halo of antiquity. 

As countrymen of the foregoing writers, and as exponents 
of the opinions of older Kabbalists, are to be mentioned — 
(i) Jebudah Chajath who was among the large number of 
Jews expelled from Spain in 1493, and who wrote a commen- 
tary on the Kabbalistic work, entitled The Divine Order ;" 
and (ii) Abraham Ibn Sabba, who was banished with thou- 
sands of his brethren from Lisbon, 1499, and who is the 
author of a very extensive commentary on the Pentateuch, 
entitled The Bundle of Myrrh, in which he largely avails 
himself of the Sohar and other earlier Kabbalistic works.'" 

14G;J-1494. The Kabbalah, which soon after its birth 
became partially known to Christians through Eayraond LuUy, 
was now accessible to Christian scholars through the exertions 
and influence of the famous Count John Pico di Mirandola 
(born in 1463). This celebrated philosopher determined to 
fathom the mysteries of the Kabbalah, and for this purpose 
put himself under the tuition of a Jew, E. Jochanan Aleman, 
who same to Italy from Constantinople. His extraordinary 
intellectual powers soon enabled Mirandola to overcome the 
difficulties and to unravel the secrets of this theoso'phy. His 
labours were greatly rewarded ; for, according to his shewing,' 

17 Botarel's Comiaentary on the Book Jetzira was first published with the 
text of this book and other commentaries, Mantua, 1503 ; then ZoUdeT, 1745 ; 
and in Grodno, )806, 1820. ' 

18 The rmrr nnjo which is a Commentary on the irrt«n n3"»0 was published 
together with it in Ferrnra, 1.^08. 

19 The Commentary lion ins was first published at Constantinople, 1614; 
tlieii in Venice, li'i'A, 1546, 1D66 ; and in Cracow 1595. Pellican has translated 
this Commentary into Latin, und the MS. of this version is in the Zurich 
Library. 



206 

he found that*" there is more Christianity in the Kahbalah 
than Judaism ; he discovered in it proof for the doctrine of 
the Trinity, the Incarnation, the divinity of Christ, original 
sin, the expiation thereof by Christ, the heavenly Jerusalem, 
the fall of the angels, the order of the angels, purgatory and 
hell-fire ; in fact the same Gospel which \f e find in St. Paul, 
Dionysius, St. Jerome and St. Augustine. As the result of 
his Kabbalistic studies Mirandola published, in I486, when 
only twenty-four years of age, nine hundred Theses, which 
were placarded in Eome, and which he undertook to defend in 
the presence of all European scholars, whom he invited to 
the eternal city, promising to defray their travelling expenses. 
Among these Theses was the following, " No science yields 
greater proof of the divinity of Christ than magic and the 
Kabbalah:^^ Pope Sixtus IV (M7I-1484) was so delighted 
with it that he greatly exerted himself to have Kabbalistic 
writings translated into Latin for the use of divinity students.'' 
Mirandola accordingly translated the following three works : 

1, Menahem di Eecanti's Commentary on the Pentateuch, 
erroneously called R. Levi de Recineto (Wolf, ibid, p. 10) ; 

2, Eliezer of Worms' IfSin JIDSH de Scientia animae ; and 

3, Shem Tob Falaquera's ni'?yon 130 

1455-1522. Not only did Mirandola make the Kabbalah 
known to the Christians in Italy, but he was the means of 
introducing it into Germany through John Eeuchlin, the 

20 Vidi in illis (testis est Dens) religionem non tnm Mosaicnm qnam 
CbriBtiaimm ; ibi Trinitiitis mysterinin ; ibi verbi Incarnntio, ibi Mesunc divini- 
tates ; ibi de pecato oi-iginnli, de illius per Cliiistum expiatione, de ccelesti Hieru- 
salem, de casu deemonuui, de ordinihus Angeloiuni, de Purgatoriia, de Inferorum 
poenis; Eadem legi, quae apud Paulum et Dionysiitm, npnd Hieronyinum et 
Angustinnm qilotidie legimus. Coinp. Imltx a Jaeolm Gaffarello, published by 
Wolf, Sibliotlucn Hebraea, vol. i, p. at tbe end of the Toliune. 

21 Nulla est scientia, quae uos magis certiflcet de divinitate Cliristi, quain 
magia et Cabbala, vide Apologia, p. 13, opp, vol. 1. Basil, 1001. 

22. Hie libri ( Cabbalistoram ) Sixtus IT, Pontifex maximns, qui huno, aub 
quo vivimns feliciter, Innocentiuni VIII, proxime antecessit, maxima cura 
studioque curavit, bt in publicam iidri nostras utililnrem, Latinis Uteris mau- 
darentur, jamqne cum ille decessit, tres ex illis pervenerant ad Latino). Fide 
Gaffarelli in Wolf, Bibliothefa ffebmca, appendix to vol. i, p. 0, 



207 

father of the German Reformation. This eminent scholar, — 
•who is also called by the Greek name Capnion {Kawiov), or 
Capnio, which is a translation of his German name Eeuchlin, 
i.e. smoke, in accordance with the fashion of the time ; just 
as Gerard, signifying amiable, assumed the name of Desi- 
DERiDS Erasmus, and Schwaetzerth, denoting hlack earth, 
took the name of Melanchthon, — was bom at Phorzheim 
December 28, 1455. At the age of seventeen he was called 
to the court of Baden, and received among the court singers 
in consequence of his beautiful voice. His brilliant attain- 
ments soon attracted notice, and he was sent (1473) with the 
young Margrave Frederick, eldest son of Charles II, after- 
wards bishop of Utrecht, to the celebrated high school of 
Paris. Here he acquired, from Hermonymus of Sparta and 
other fugitive Greek literati, who went to Paris after the 
taking of Constantinople (1453), that remarkable knowledge of 
Greek which enabled him so largely to amass the Attic lore and 
rendered him so famous through Europe. He went to Basle 
in 1474, delivered lectures on the Latin language and the 
classics, and had among his hearers nobles of high rank both 
£pom France and Germany. He went to Tubingen in 1481, 
where his fame secured for him the friendship of Eberhard 
the Bearded, who made him his private secretary and privy 
councillor, and as such this prince took Eeuchlin with him 
to Rome in 1482; where he made that splendid Latin oration 
before the Pope and the cardinals, which elicited from his 
Holiness the declaration that Eeuchlin deserved to be placed 
among the best orators of France and Italy. From Rome 
Eberhard took him to Florence, and it was here that Eeuchlin 
became acquainted with the celebrated Mirandola and with 
the. Kabbalah. But as he was appointed licentiate and 
assessor of the supreme court in Stuttgard, the new residence 
of Eberhard, on his return in 1484, and as the order of Domini- 
cans elected him as their proctor in the whole of Germany, 
w 



208 

Reuohlin had not time to enter at once upon the study of He- 
brew and Aramaic, which are the key to the Kabbalah, and he 
had reluctantly to wait till ! 493, when he accompanied Eberbard 
to the imperial court at Ling. Here he became acquainted 
with E. Jacob b. Jeohiel Loanz, a learned Hebrew, and court 
physician of Frederick III, from whom he learned Hebrew.*' 
Whereupon Reuohlin at once betook himself to the study of 
the Kabbalah, and within two years of his beginning to learn 
the language in which it is written, his first Kabbalistio 
treatise, entitled Dff Verba Mirifico {'B&sle, 1494), appeared. 
This treatise is of the greatest rarity, and the following 
analysis of it is given by Franck. It is in the form of a 
dialogue between an Epicurean philosopher named Sidonius, 
a Jew named Baruch, and the author, who is introduced by 
his Greek name Capnio, and consists of three books, accord- 
ing to the number of speakers. 

Book I, the exponent of which is Baruch the Jewish 
Kabbalist, is occupied with a refutation of the Epicurean 
doctrines, and simply reproduces the arguments generally 
urged against this system, for which reason we omit any 
further description of it. 

Book II endeavours to shew that all wisdom and true 
philosophy are derived from the Hebrews, that Plato, Pytha- 
goras and Zoroaster borrowed their ideas from the Bible, and 
that traces of the Hebrew language are to be found in the 
liturgies and sacred books of all nations. Tlien follows an 
explanation of the four divine names, which are shown to have 
been transplanted into the systems of Greek philosophy. 
The first and most distinguished of tliem T\T\^ ~\'^H T]''T\^ 
ego sum qui sum (Exod. iii,' 12), is translated in the Platonic 
philosophy by to owjtws uiv. The second divine name, which 
we translate by NIH He, i.e., the sign of unchangeableness and 

33 " Is (Jekiel Loan?.) me, supra (luam dici queat, fideliter literos Hebraicos 
primus edocuit." Comp. Sudim, ffcbr. p. 3. 



209 

of the eternal idea of the Deity, is also to be found among 
the Greek philosophers in the term lavruv, which is opposed 
to S'arcptiv. The tliird name of (jocl used in Holy WritislCN 
Fire. In tliis form God appeared in the burning bush when 
he first manifested himself to Moses. The prophets describe 
him as a burning fire, and John the Baptist depicts him as 
such when he says, " I baptize you with water, but he who 
Cometh after me shall baptize you with fire." (Matt, iii, II.) 
The fire of the Hebrew prophets is the same as the ether 
{ai ^i)p) juentioned in the hymns of Orpheus. But these threor 
names are in reality only one, showing to us the divine nature 
in three different aspects. Thus God calls himself M« Beiriff, 
because every existence emanates from him ; he calls himself 
Fire, because it is he who ilUiminiUes and animates all things 
and he is always llii, because he always remains like himself 
amidst the infinite variety of his works. Now just as there 
are names which express tlie nature of the Deity, so there are 
names which refer to his iittributes, and these are the ten 
Sephirolh. (f we louk away from every attribute and every 
definite point of view in which the divine subsistence may be 
contemplated, if we endeavour to depict the absolute Being 
as concentraiinc himself within himself, and not aifording us 
any explicable reiauon to our intellect, he is then described 
by a name wliicli it is forbidden to pronounce, by the thrice 
holy Tetragriinuuaton, the name Jehovah (miT) the Shem 
Ba-Mcphoru^h (:VS'\-ZrS\ OV). 

There is no doulH that ihe tetrad {TiTpaxrvs) of Pythagoras 
is an imitation of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, and that the 
worship of the decade has simply been invented in honour of 
the ten Sephirolh. 'J'he four letters composing this name 
represent the four fundamental constituents of the body {i.e., 
heat, cold, dryness and humidity), the four geometrical prin- 
cipal points {i.i\, the point, the line, flat and body), the four 
notes of the musical scale, the four rivers in the earthly 



210 

paradise, the four symbolical figares in the vision of Ezekiel, 
&c., &o., See. Moreover if we look at these four letters 
separately we shall find that each of them has equally a recon- 
dite meaning. The first letter ^ which also stands for the 
number ten, and which by its form reminds us of the mathe- 
matical point, teaches ua that God is the beginning and end of 
all things. The number ^i;«, expressed by il the second letter, 
shows us the union of God with nature — of God inasmuch as 
he is depicted by the number three, i.e., the Trinity ; and of 
visible nature, inasmuch as it is represented by Plato and 
Pythagoras under the dual. The number six, expressed by \ 
the third letter, which is like\yise revered in the Pythagorean 
school, is formed by the combination of one, two, and three, 
the symbol of all perfection. Moreover the number six is 
the Symbol of the cube, the bodies (solida), or the world. 
Hence it is evident that the world has in it the imprint of 
divine perfection. The fourth and last letter of this divine 
name (H) is like the second, represents the amahei^ce, and 
here symbolizes the human and rational soul, which is the 
medium between heaven and earth, just as. five is the centre 
of the decade, the symbolic expression of the totality of 
things. 

Book III, the exponent of which is Capnio, endeavours to 
shew that the most essential doctrines of Christianity are to 
be found by the same method. Let a few instances of this 
method suffice. Thus the doctrine of the Trinity is to be 
found in the first verse of Genesis. If the Hebrew word ^t^3 
which is translated created, be examined, and if each of tlie 
three letters composing this word be taken as the initial of 
a separate word, we obtain the expressions li< nn P Son, 
Sjnrit, Father. Upon the same principle we find the two 
persons of the Trinity in the words, " the stone which the 
builders refused is become the head stone of the corner " 
(Fs. cxviii, 22), inasmuch as the three letters composing the 



211 

word PK atone, are to be divided into p 3M Father, Son. 
Orpheus, in his hymn on the night, described the Trinity of 
the New Testament in the words, vwf, lApavhs, a^p, for night 
which begets everything can only designate the Father; 
heaven, that olyphus which in its boundlessness embraces all 
things, and which proceeded from the night, signifies the Son ; 
whilst ether, which the ancient poet also designates^Vry breath, 
is the JETo/y Ghost. The name Jesus in Hebrew n"V'»"n"» 
the vtvraypafiitaTov yields the name nin' Jeltovahs and the 
V) which' in the language of the Kabbalah is the symbol of 
fire or light, which St. Jerome, in his mystical exposition 
of the alphabet, has made the sign of the A^yoc. This mys- 
terious name therefore contains a whole revelation, inasmuch 
as it shows us that Jesus is God himself, the Light or the 
Logos. Even the cross, which is the symbol of Christianity, 
is plainly indicated in the Old Testament, by the tree of life 
which God planted in the midst of the garden ; by the pray- 
ing attitude of Moses, when he raised his hands towards 
heaven in his intercession for Israel during the combat with 
Amalek ; and by the tree which converted the bitter waters 
into sweet in the wilderness of Marah.''* 

The Treatise de Verho Mirifico is, however, only an intro- 
duction to another work on the same subject which Reuchlin 
published twenty-two years later, entitled De Arte Cabalistica. 
Hagenau, 1516. This Treatise, like the first, is in the form of 
a dialogue between a Mohammedan named Marrianus, a 
Pythagorean Philosopher named Philolaus, and a Jewish 
doctor named Simon. The dialogue is held in Frankfort, 
where the Jew resides, to whom the Mohainmedan and 
Pythagorean resort to be initiated into the mysteries of the 
Kabbalah. The whole is a more matured exposition and 
elaboration of the ideas hinted at in his first work. 

24 Comp. Franck, Die Kabbalah oder die Seligiom Pkilotophie der Hebrier 
libertetzt von Jellinek, Leipzig, 1844, p. 8, tv. 



SI2 

The Kabbalah, according to Eeaohlin, is a symbolical 
reception of Divine revelation ; nnd a distinction is to be 
made between Calalici, to whom belongs heavenly inspira- 
tion, their disciples Cahalaai, and their imitators Cahalistae. 
The design of the Kabbalah is to propound the relations of 
the absolute Creator to the creature. God is the Creator of 
all beings which emanated from liim, and he implanted 
aspirations in them to attain actual communion with him. 
In order that feeble man might attain this communion, God 
revealed himself to mankind in various ways, but especially 
to Moses. This Divine revelation to Moses contains far 
more than appears on the surface of the Pentateuch. There 
is a recondite wisdom concealed in it which distinguishes 
it from other codes of morals and precepts. There are in the 
Pentateuch many pleonasms and repetitions of the same 
tilings and words, and as we cannot charge God with having 
inserted useless and superfluous words in the Holy Scriptures, 
we must believe that something more profound is contained 
in them, to which the Kabbalah gives the key. 

This key consists in permutations, commutations, &c., &o. 
But this act of exchanging and arranging letters, and of in- 
terpreting for the edification of the soul the Holy Scriptures, 
which we have received from God as a divine thing not to be 
understood by the multitude, was not communicated by Moses 
to everybody, but to the elect, such as Joshua, and so by 
tradition it came to the seventy interpreters. This gift is 
called Kabbalah. God, out of love to his people, has revealed 
hidden mysteries to some of them, and these have found the 
living spirit in the dead letter ; that is to say, the Scriptures 
consist of separate Tetters, visible signs which stand in a 
certain relation to the angels as celestial and spiritual emana- 
tions from God ; and by pronouncing them, the latter also 
are afTected. To a true Kabbalist, who has an insight into 
the whole connection of the terrestrial with the celestial, these 



213 

signs thus put together are the means of placing him in close 
union -with spirits, -who are thereby bound to fulfil his 
wishes.'* 

The extraordinary influence which Reuohlin's Kabbalistio 
Treatises exercised upon the greatest thinkers of the time and 
upon the early reformers may be judged of from the un- 
measured terms of praise ■which they bestowed upon their 
author. The Treatises were regarded as heavenly, communi- 
cations, revealing new divine wisdom. Conrad Leontarius, 
writing to Wirapheling on the subject, says — " I never saw 
anything more beautiful or admirable than this work {i.e., De 
Verho MirificoJ, which easily convinces him who reads it 
that no philosopher, whether Jew or Christinn, is superior to 
Eeuchlin." Aegidius, general of the Eremites, wrote to the 
holy Augustine " that Reuchlin had rendered hiro^ as well as 
the rest of mankind, happy by his works, which had made 
known to all a thing hitherto unheard of." Philip Beroaldus, 
the younger, sent him word " that Pope Leo X had read his 
Pythagorean book greedily, as he did all good books ; after- 
wards the Cardinal de Medici had done so, and he himself 
should soon enjoy it."-'' Such was the interest which this 
newly-revealed Kabbalah created- among Christians, that not 
only learned men but statesmen and warriors began to study 
the oriental languages, in order to be able to fathom the 
mysteries of this theosophy. 

U50-1498. Whilst the Kabbalah was gaining such high 
favour amongst Christians both in Italy and Germany, through 
the exertions of Mirandola and Renchlin, a powerful voice was 
raised among the Jews against the Sohar, the very Bible of 
this theosophy. Elia del Medigo, born at Candia, then in 
Venetitt, 1450, of a German literary family, professor of 

a.'5 Comp. The Life and Times of John ReucMin, by Fi-ancU Besham, 
p. 102, &c. 

26 P'lde Life of John Revchlin, p, 108. 



214 

philosophy in the University of Padua, teacher of Pico de 
Mirandola, and a scholar of the highest reputation hoth 
among bis Jewish brethren and among Christians, impugned 
the authority of the Sohar. In his philosophical Treatise on 
the nature of Judaism as a harmonizer between religion and 
philosophy, entitled An Examination of the Law (/Ttn /UTTl), 
vrhich he wrote December 29, 1491, he puts into the mouth 
of an antagonist to the Eabbalah the following three argu- 
ments against the genuineness of the Sohar : 1 , Neither the 
Talmud, nor the Gaonim and Rabbins knew anything of the ' 
Sohar or of its doctrines ; 8, The Sohar was published at a 
very late period ; and 3, Many anachronisms occur in it, 
inasmuch as it describes later Amoraic authorities as having 
direct intercourse with the Tanaite R. Simon b. Jochai who 
belongs to an earlier period.*^ 

1522-1670. The voice of Elia del Medigo and others, 
however, bad no power to check the rapid progress of the 
E^abbalab, which had now found its way from Spain and Italy 
into Palestine and Poland, and penetrated all branches of life 
and literature. Passing over the Iiost of minor advocates and 
teachers, we shall mention the two great masters in Palestine, 
who formed two distinct schools, distinguished by the promi- 
nence which they respectively gave to certain doctrines of the 
£abbalah. The first of these is Moses Cordovero, also called 
Bemak = p'DT from the acrostic of his name llWnip 
R. Moses Cordovero. He was bom in Cordova, 1522, studied 
the Kabbalah under his learned brother-in-law, Solomon 
Aleavez, and very soon became so distinguished as a Eabbnlist 
and author that his fame travelled to Italy, where his works 
•were greedily bought. His principal works are : I, An In- 
troduction to the Kabbalah, entitled A Sombre or Sweet 

27 The nm niTra was first published ia a collection of diverse Treati."es, 
in Basle, 1620-31 ; and then iu Vienna, 1833, with an elaborate philosophical 
eommenlarj hj T. S, Beggio. The arguments against the Sohar are in thii 
edition, p. iS. 



S15 

Light (3iy3 IW) first published in Venice, 1687, then in 
Cracow, 1647, and in Furth, 1701 ; 2, Kabbalistio reflections 
and comments on ninety-nine passages of the Bible, entitled 
The Book of Retirement (I'l^nj 13D), published in Venice, 
1543 ; and 3, A large Kabbalistic work entitled The Garden 
of Pomegranates (D'JIST DHnS)), which consists of thirteen 
sections or gates (D''ny^£/) subdivided into chapters, and dis- 
cusses the Sephiroih, the Divine names, the import and 
significance of the letters, &c., &c. It was first published in 
Cracow, 1591. Excerpts of it have been translated into 
Latin by Bartolocci, Bibliotheca Magna Rahhinica, vol. iv, 
p. 3^1, &c., and Knorr von Eosenroth, Tractatus de Anima 
ex libra Pardes Rimmonim in his Cabbala Denudata, Sulz- 
bach, 1677.«8 

The peculiar feature of Cordovero is that he is chiefly 
occupied with the scientific speculations of the Eabbalah, 
or tlie speculative Kabbalah (IVyfV n7Dp), as it is called in 
the modem terminology of this esoteric doctrine, in contra- 
distinction to the wonder-working Kabbalah {rfvyo TV'Zp), 
keeping aloof to a great extent from the extravagances which 
we shall soon have to notice. In this respect therefore he 
represents the Eabbalah in its primitive state, as may be seen 
from the following specimen of his lucubrations on the 
nature of the Deity. " The knowledge of the Creator is 
different from that of the creature, since in the case of the 
latter, knowledge and the thing known are distinct, thus 
leading to subjects which are again separate from him. This 
is described by the three expressions — cogitation, the cogitator 
and the cogitated object. Now the Creator is himself know- 
ledge, knowing and the known object. His knowledge does 
not consist in the fact that he directs his thoughts to things 



28 For the otber works of Cordovero, both published and unpublished, vt 
must refer to Fiirst, Bihliotluca Judaiea, vol. i, p. 187, &c. ; and Steinsohneider, 
Oatulogut Libr. Hebr. in Bibliotheca BodUiana, col. 1793, &o. 



216 

without him, since in comprehending and knowing himself, 
he comprehends and knows everything which exists. There 
is nothing which is not united with him, and which he does 
not find in his own suhslanoe. He is the archetype of all 
things existing, and all things are in him in their purest and 
most perfect form; so that the perfection of the creatures 
consists in the support whereby they are united to the primary 
source of his existence, and they sink down and fall from 
that perfect and lofty position in proportion to their separation 
from him."^' 

1 534- 1 572. The opposite to this school is the one founded 
by Isaac Luria or Loria, also called Ari = '"IN from the 
initials of his name pHS' '1 'tjaiyNil E. Isaac Ashkanazi. 
He was born at Jerusalem 1 53i, and, having lost his father 
when very young, was taken by his mother to Eahira, where he 
was put by his rich uncle under the tuition of the best Jewish 
master. Up to his twenty-second year he was a diligent 
student of the Talmud and the Babbinic lore, and distin- 
guished himself in these departments of learning in a most 
remarkable manner. He then lived in retirement for about 
seven years to give free scope to his thoughts and meditations, 
but he soon found that simple retirement from collegiate 
studies did not satisfy him. He therefore removed to the 
banks of the Nile, where he lived in a sequestered cottage for 
several years, giving himself up entirely to meditations and 
reveries. Here he had constant interviews with the prophet 
Elias, who communicated to him sublime doctrines. Here, 
too, his soul ascended to heaven whenever he was asleep, and 
in the celestial regions held converse with the souls of the 
great teachers of bygone days. When thirty-six years of age 
(1570) the Prophet Elias appeared to him again and told him 
to go to Palestine, where his successor was awaiting him. 
Obedient to the command, he went to Safet, where he gathered 

39 Pardet Bimmenim= The Garden of Pomegruiates, &9 a. 



217 

round him ten disciples, visited the sepulchres of ancient teach- 
ers, and there, by prostrations and prayers, obtained from their 
spirits all manner of revelations, so much so that he was con- 
vinced he was the Messiah b. Joseph and that he was able to 
perform all sorts of miracles. It was this part of the Kabbalah, 
i.e., the ascetic and miraculaus (JT»ya rb2.\)), which Loria 
taught. His sentiments he delivered orally, as he himself did 
not write anything, except perhaps some marginal notes of a 
critical import in older books and MSS. His disciples treasured 
up his marvellous sayings, whereby they performed miracles 
and converted thousands to the doctrines of this theosophy. 

1 543- J 620. The real exponent of Loria's Kabbalistio 
system is his celebrated disciple Chajim Vital, a descendant 
of a Calabrian family, who died in ] 620 at the age of seventy- 
seven. After the demise of his teacher, Chajim Vital dili- 
gently collected all the MS. notes of the lectures which Loria's 
disciples had written down, from whicTi, together with his own 
jottings, he produced the gigantic and famous system of the 
Kabbalah, entitled the Tree of Life (D''^nn yv). This work, 
over which Vital laboured thirty years, was at first circulated 
in MS. copies, and every one of the Kabbalistic disciples had 
to pledge himself, under pain of excommunication, not to 
allow a copy to be made for a foreign land ; so that for a time 
all the Codd. remained in Palestine. At last, however, this 
Thesaurus of the Kabbalah, which properly consists of six 
works, was published by J. Satanow at Zolkiev, 1772. New 
editions of it appeared in Korez, 1785; Sklow, 1800; Do- 
browne, 1804; Stilikow, 1818; and Knorr von Eosenroth 
has translated into Latin a portion of that part of the great 
work which treats on the doctrine of the metempsychosis 

(C^hj'?jn).3o 

1558-1560. The circulation of Loria's work which gave 

30 For s description of the component parts of the D"nn y» IBD es well ea for 
an account of the sundry editions of the several ports, published at different times, 
we must refer to Fiirst, BiUiotheea Jadaica, vol. iii, pp. 479-4S1, 



218 

an extraordinary impetus to the Eabbalab, and which gave 
rise to the new school and a separate congregation in Palestine, 
was not the only favonrable circumstance which had arisen to 
advance and promulgate the esoteric doctrine. The So/tar, 
which since its birth had been circulated in MS., was now for 
the first time printed in Mantua, and thousands of people 
who had hitherto been unable to procure the MS. were thus 
enabled to possess themselves of copies." It is, however, 
evident that with the increased circulation of these two Bibles 
of the Eabbalah, as the Sohar and Loria's Etz Chajim are 
called, there was an increased cry on the part of learned Jews 
against the doctrines propounded in them. Isaac b. Immanuel 
de Lates, the Eftbbi of Pesaro, and the great champion for the 
Eabbalah, who prefixed a commendatory epistle to the Sohar, 
tells us most distinctly that some Rabbins wanted to prevent 
the publication of the Sohar, urging that it ought to be kept 
secret or be burned, because it tends to heretical doctrines.'* 

1571-1648. Of the numerous opponents to the Eabbalah 
which the Sohar and Loria's work called forth, Leo de Modena 
was by far the most daring, the most outspoken and the most 
powerful. This eminent scholar who is known to the Christian 
world by his celebrated History of the Rites, Customs and 
Manners of the Jews, which was originally written in Italian, 
published in Padua, 1 640, and which has been translated into 
Latin, English, French, Dutch, &c., attacked the Eabbalah in 
two of his works. His first onslaught is on the doctrine of 
metempsychosis in his Treatise -entitled Ben David. He 
composed this Treatise in 1635-36, at the request of David 
Finzi, of Egypt, and he demonstrates therein that this doctrine 

31 An analysis of the Sohar, as weU as a description of the different editions 
of it, are given in the second part of this Essay, p. 160, &c. 

38 Comp. his Hesp., ed. Vienna, 1880, p. 2i, &e., iwpa ■«)» D'mn la pDB 
•no^nn riEna ■» nn'mrt nrm DSian nmin noBTi art; and again, ibid. p. 20, 



219 

is of Gentile origin, and was rejected by the great men of the 
Jewish faith in bygone days, refuting at the same time the 
philosophico-theological arguments advanced in its favour.'' 
It is, however, his second attack on this esoteric doctrine, in 
his work entitled TJie Roaring Lion (DHU nX), which is so 
damaging to the Kabbalah. In this Treatise— which Leo de 
Modena composed in 1639, at the advanced age of sixty-eight, 
to reclaim Joseph Chamiz, ai beloved disciple of- his, who was 
an ardent follower of the Kabbalah — he shows that the books 
which propound this esoteric doctrine, and which are palmed 
upon ancient authorities, are pseudonymous ; that the doc- 
trines themselves are mischievous ; and that the followers of 
this system are inflated with . proud notions, pretending to 
know the nature of God better than anyone else, and to 
possess. the nearest and best way of approaching the Deity.'* 

1623. The celebrated Hebraist, Joseph Solomon del Medigo 
(horn 1591, died 1637), -a contemporary of the preceding 
writer, also employed his vast stores of erudition to expose 
this system. Having been asked by B. Serach for his views 
of the Kabbalah, del Medigo, in a masterly letter, written in 
1623, shows up the folly of this esoteric doctrine, and the 
unreasonableness of the exegetical rules, whereby the followers 
of this system pretend to deduce it from the Bible.'* 

1 635. We have seen that the information about the Kab- 
balah, which Mirandola and Beuchlin imparted to Christians, 
was chiefly derived from the writings of Kecanti aud Gikatilla. 
Now that .the Sohar had been published, Joseph de Voisin 

89 This Treatise is published in the collection entithd dpi D$io by Eliezar 
Ashkanozi, Frankfort-on-the-Maine, 1894. 

3:1 The crra <-<h was published by Dr. Jalius Fiirst, Leipzig, 1 8:10. Leo de 
Modenu's relation to the Kabbalali, the Talmud and Christianity is shown in an 
elaborate Introduction by Geiger in the raai yua iqho Berlin, 189(1. See also the 
article Leo de Modeha, in Alexander's edition of Kitto's Cyclopadia of Biblical 
Literalure, vol. ii, p. 811. 

3-) This Epiiitle, together with a German translation and learned notes, has 
been published by Geiger in his collection of sundry treatises, entitled Meto 
CiMfnajim. Berlin, 18&. 



220 

determined to be the first to make some portions of it accessible 
to those Christian readers who did not understand the Aramaic 
in which ihis Thesaurus is written. Accordingly he translated 
some extracts of the Sohar which treat of the nature of the 
human soul.'* 

1 052- 1654. Just at the very time when some of the most 
distinguished Jews exposed the pretensions of the Kabbnlah, 
and denounced the fanciful and unjustifiable rules of inter- 
pretation whereby its advocates tried to evolve it from the 
letters of the revealed law, the celebrated Athnnnsius Kircher, 
in a most learned and elaborate treatise on this subject, 
maintained tliat the Ivabbalah was introduced into Egypt by 
no less a person than the patriarch Abraham ; and that from 
Egypt it gradually issued all over the East, and intermixed 
with all religions ond systems of philosophy. What is still 
more extraordinary is that this learned Jesuit, in thus exalting 
the Kabbalah, lays the greatest stress on that part of it which 
developed itself afterwards, viz., the combinations, transposi- 
tions and permutations of the letters, and does not discriminate 
between it and die speculations about the En Soph, the 
Sephiroth, &c., which were the original characteristics of 
this theosophy.^' The amount of Eastern lore, however, 
which Kircher has amassed in his work will always remain 
a noble monument to the extensive learning of this Jesuit. 

1643-1676. The wonder-working- or practical branch of 
the Kabbalah (JTifyO H/Jp), as it is called, so elaborately 
propounded and defended by Kircher, -which consists in the 
transpositions of the letters of the sundry divine names, &c., 
and which as we have seen constituted' no part of the original 
Kabbalah, had now largely laid hold on the minds and fancies 

36 Comp. Dispntatio Cabalisticu R. Israel filii \fo3i8 dc nnim&, itrc, adjectis 
cominentariis ex Zoluir. Paris, 103.'). 

37 Kii'cher's Tie-itise on the Kabbalah is contained in his stupendous vork, 
entitled (Edipui ^(jtjftineus, vol. ii, pp. 209-3110. Borne, 163.^. 



S21 

of both Jews and Christians, and was producing among the 
former the most mournful and cahimitous effects. The famous 
Kabbalist, Sabbatai Zevi, who was born in Smyrna, July, 
1641, was the chief actor in this tragedy. When a child he 
was sent to a Babbinic school, and instructed in the Law, the 
Mishna, the Talmud, the Midrashim, and the whole cycle of 
Babbinic lore. So great were his intellectual powers, and so 
vast the knowledge he acquired,, that when fifteen he betook 
himself to the study of the Kabbalah, rapidly mastered its 
mysteries, became peerless in his knowledge of " those things 
which were revealed and those things which were hidden ;" 
and at the age of eighteen obtained the honourable appellation 
sage (DDn), and delivered public lectures, expounding the 
divine law and the esoteric doctrine before crowded audiences.' 
At the age of twenty-four he gave himself out as the Messiah, 
the Son of David, and the Eedeemer of Israel, pronouncing 
publicly the Tetragrammaton, which was only allowed to the 
high priests during the existence of the second Temple. 
Though the Jewish sages of Smyrna excommunicated him for 
it, he travelled to Salonica, Athens, Morea and .Terusalem, 
teaching the Kabbalah, proclaiming himself as the Messiah, 
anointing prophets and converting thousands upon thousands. 
So numerous were the believers in him, that in many places 
trade was entirely stopped ; the Jews wound up their affairs, 
disposed of their chattels and made themselves ready to be 
redeemed from their captivity and led by Sabbatai Zevi back 
to Jerusalem. The consuls of Europe were ordered to 
enquire into this extraordinary movement, and the governors 
of the East reported to the Sultan the cessation of commerce. 
Sabbatai Zevi was then arrested by order of the Sultan, 
Mohammed IV, and taken before him at Adrianople. The 
Sultan spoke to him as follows — " I am going to test thy 
Messiahship. Three poisoned arrows shall be shot into thee, 
and if they do not kill thee, I too will believe that thou art the 



223 

Messiah." He saved himself by embracing Islamism in the 
presence of the Sultan, who gave him the name Effendi, and 
appointed him Kafidyi Bashi. Thus ended the career of 
the Kabbalist Sabbatni Zevi, after having ruined thousands 
upon thousands of Jewisli families. ^ 

1 677-1 684. Whether the learned Knorr Baron von Rosen- 
roth knew of the extravagances of Sabbatai Zevi or not is 
difficult to say. At all events this accomplished Christian 
scholar believed that Simon b. Jochai was tlie author of the 
Sohai; that he wrote it under divine inspiration, and that it 
is most essential to the elucidation of the doctrines of Christi- 
anity. With this conviction he determined to master the 
difficulties connected with the Kabbalistic writings, in order to 
render the principal works of this esoteric doctrine accessible 
to his Christian brethren. For, although LuUy, Mirandola, 
Eeuchlin and Kircher had already done much to acquaint the 
Christian world with the secrets of the Kabbalah, none of these 
sclioliirs had given translations of any portions of the Sohar. 
Knorr Baron von Rosenroth, therefore put himself under 
the tuition of R. Meier Stern, a learned Jew, and with his 
assistance was enabled to publish the celebrated work entitled 
the Unveiled Kabbalah (Kabbala Denudata), in two large 
volumes, the first of which was printed at Sulzbaoh, 1677-78, 
and the second at Frankfort- on- the-Maine, 1 684, giving a Latin 
translation of the Introduction to and the following portion 
of the SoAar— the Book of Mysteries (SnW3ST nSD) ; the 
Great Assembli/ (^*3"l Kill*) ; the Small Assembti/ (Kni* 
S*:OV);. Joseph Gikatilla's Gate of Light (mW nyif) ; the 
Doctrine of Metempsychosis (3v1J7jn), and the Tree of Life 
{WT] yy), of Chajim Vital; the Garden of Pomegranates 
■ (D'JID'1 0113), of Moses Cordovero ; the House of the Lord 
{arhii /lU), and the Gate of Heaven (D^Otyn "ySlVf), of 

38 Coinp. Jost, GetchicIUe des Judenthumt nnd seiner Secten, vol. iii, p. 153, &c. 
Leipzig, 1US9. 



223 

Abraham Herera ; the Valley of the King (l^n pO^), of 
Naphtah b. Jacob; the Vision of the Priest (fn3 HNnQ), 
of Issachar Beer b. Naphtali Cohen, &c., &c., with elaborate 
annotations, glossaries and indices. The only drawback to 
this gigantic work is that it is without any system, and that 
it mixes up in one all the earlier developments of the Kab- 
balah with the later productions. Still the criticism passed 
upon it by Buddeus, that it is a " confused and obscure work, 
in which the necessary and the unnecessary, the useful and 
the useless are mixed up and thrown together as it were into 
one chaos,"^^ is rather too severe ; and it must be remembered 
that if the Kahbala Denudata does not exhibit a regular 
system of this esoteric doctrine, if furnishes much material 
for it. Baron von Kosenroth has also collected all the 
passages of the New Testament which contain similar doc- 
trines to those propounded by the Kabbalah. 

1758-1763. Amongst the Jews, however, the pretensions 
and consequences of the Kabbalistic Pseudo-Messiah, Sabbatai 
Zevi, and his followers, produced a new era in the criticism of 
the Sohar. Even such a scholar and thorough Kabbalist 
as Jacob b. Zevi of Emden, or Jabez (VOV), as he is called 
from the acrostic of his name (""iS ]2 ypV''), maintains in his 
work, which he wrote in 1758-17C3, and which he entitled 
The Wrapper of Books, that with the exception of the 
kernel of the Sohar all the rest is of a late origin.*" He 
shows that ( 1 ) The Sohar misquotes passages of Scripture, 
misunderstands the Talmud, and contains some rituals 
which were ordained by later Rabbinic authorities (D'pDIE)). 
(2) Mentions the crusades against the Mohammedans. (3) Uses 

39 Confuaam et obscuram opus, in quo neoessarla onm non ueoesaariis, utila 
cum inutilibus, confuBa aunt, et in unam vnlut nhaos cot^eotu. Introductio te 
Historiam PIdlosophiae Hehraeorum. Halle, 1703. Buddeus gives in ttiis 
Introduction (p. 882, ifcc), a detailed desoriplion of the K'abbala Denudata, 

40 The mron nnoiots of Jabea was published at Altona, 1768. A thorough 
critique of it is giTen by Oraetz, GeichicMt der Juden, tol, vii, p. 494, *o. 



2U 

the philoBophioal terminology of Ibn Tibbon's Hebrew TranB- 
lation of Maimonides' Mere NebucMm, and borrows the 
figure of Jehudah Ha- Levi's Khosari, that " Israel is the heart 
in the organism of the human race, and therefore feels its 
sufferings more acutely " (Khosari, ii, 36, with Sohar, iii, 
221 b, 161 a) ; and (4) Knows the Portuguese and North 
Spanish expression Esnoga. 

1767. Whilst the Jews were thus shaken in their opinion 
about the antiquity of the Sohar, learned Christians both on 
the Continent and in England maintained that Simon b. 
Jochai was the author of the Bible of the Kabbalah, and 
quoted its sentiments in corroboration of their peculiar views. 
Thus Dr. Gill, the fam&us Hebraist and commentator, in his 
work on the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, adduces 
passages from the Sohar to shew that the Hebrew vowel 
points were known A.D. 120, at which time he tells us " lived 
Simon ben Jochai, a disciple of R. Akiba, author of the 
Zohar.'"^' 

1830. Allen, in the account of the Kabbalah in his 
Modern Judaism, also premises the antiquity of the Sohar. 
Taking this pseudonym as the primary source of the primitive 
Kabbalah, Allen, like all his predecessors, mixes .up the 
early mysticism and magic, as well as the later abuse of the 
Hagadic rales of interpretation, denominated Gematria, 
Notaricon, Ziruph, &c., which the Kabbalists afterwards 
appropriated, with the original doctrines of this theosophy.** 

1843. Even the erudite Professor Franck, in his excellent 
work La Kabbale (Paris, 1843), makes no distinction between 
the Book Jetzira and the Sohar, but regards the esoteric 
doctrines of the latter as a development and continuation of 
the tenets propounded in the former. He moreover main- 

41 Gomp. A Dimertatwn coneeming the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, 
Litters, Vowel-points and Accents. By Johu GiU, O.U. London, 1767. 

4a modem Judaism, by John Allen, p. 67-96, 3nd edition. London, 1830. 



2!i5 

tains that the Sohar consists of anoient and modem frag- 
ments, that the ancient portions are the Book of Mysteries 
(Mmy^iST K-13D), the Great Assembly or Idra Rabba (NinN 
Kin), and the Small Assembly or Idra Suta (KJfllt »mi*), 
and actually proceeds from the school of E. Simon b. Joohai, 
■while several of the other parts belong to a subsequent period,*' 
but not later than the seventh century ; that the fatherland of 
the Sohar is Palestine ; that the fundamental principles of 
the Kabbalah, -which were communicated by E. Simon b. 
Jochai to a small number of his disciples, were at first pro- 
pagated orally ; that they were then from the first to the 
seventh century gradually edited and enlarged through 
additions and commentaries, and that the whole of this com- 
pilation, completed in the seventh century, owing to its many 
attacks on the Asiatic religions, was kept secret till the thir- 
teenth century, when it was brought to Europe. To fortify 
his opinions about the antiquity of the Kabbalah, Franck is 
obliged to palm the doctrine of the Sephirotk upon passages 
in the Talmud in a most unnatural manner. As this point, 
howover, has been discussed in the second part of this Essay, 
{vide supra, p. 183, etc.) there is no necessity for repeating 
the arguments here.*' Still Franok's valuable contribution to 
the elucidation of the Sohar will always be a welcome aid to 
the student of this difficult book. 

1845. A new era in the study of the Kabbalah was created 
by the researches of M. H. Landauer, who died February 
8rd, 1841, when scarcely thirty-three years of age. This 
learned Eabbi, whose premature death is an irreparable loss 
to literature, in spite of constitutional infirmities, which 
occasioned him permanent sufierings during the short period 
of his earthly career, devoted himself from his youth to the 

43 Franck's La Kdbbale has been translated into Oerman, with notes and 
oorrections by ihe learned and indefatigable Adolph JeUinek ; Die Kabbala oder 
die Beligioru-Pliilofophie der Hebraer. Leipzig, 1844. 



226 

study of Hebrew, the Mislina, the Tnlmud, and the rich Btores 
of Jewish learning. lie afterwards visited the universities of 
Munich and Tiibingen, and in addition to his other researches 
in the department of Biblical criticism, determined to fathom 
the depths of tlio Kabbalah. It was this scholar who, after a 
careful study of this esoteric doctrine, for the first time dis- 
tinguished between the ancient mysticism of the Gaonim 
period and the real Kabbalah, and shewed that " the former, 
as contained in the Alphabet of R. Akiha (N3''py 'IT ilVJIlN), 
tlie Dimensiuns of the Deity (HOp liy^iy), the Heavenly 
Mansions (/llbj^il), and even the Book of Jetzira {~\'SD 
HTS^) and similar documents, essentially difl'er from the later 
Kabbalah, inasmuch as it knows nothing about the so-called 
Sepkiroth and about the speculations respecting the nature of 
the Deity, and that, according to the proper notions of the 
Kabbalah, its contents ought to be described as Hagada and 
not as Kabbalah."^* As to the Sohar, Landauer maintains 
that it was written by Abraham b. Samuel Abulafia towards 
the end of the second half of the thii.'teenth century. Land- 
auer's views on the Kabbalah and on the authorship of the 
Sohar, as Steinschneider rightly remnrks, are all the more 
weighty and instructive because he originally started with 
opinions of an exactly opposite character. (Jewish Litera- 
ture, p. 299.) 

1 849. D. H. Joel, Kabbi of Sheversenz, published in 1849 
a very elaborate critique on Franck's Relii/ious Philosophy 
of the Sohar, which is an exceedingly good supplement 
to Franolc's work, though Joel's treatise is of a negative cha- 
racter, and endeavours to demolish Franck's theory without 
propoundiog another in its stead. Thus much, however, Joel 
positively states, that though the Sohar in its present form 



44 The Literary Kemains of Landauer, comprising bis reseorches on the 
Kubbalfth, have been published in the Literaturblaii des Orients, vol. vi, 
p. 178, &c. 



227 

could not have been written by R. Simon b. Jochai, and 
though the author of it may not have lived before the thir- 
teenth century, yet its fundamental doctrines to a great extent 
are not the invention of the author, but are derived from 
ancient Jewish sources, either documentary or oral.''^ 

1851. After a lapse of seven years Jellinek fulfilled the 
promise which he made in the preface to his German transla- 
tion of Franck's la Kahhale ou la philosophie religieuse des 
Hibreux, by publishing an Essay on the authorship of the 
Sohar. And in 18dl this industrious scholar published a 
historico-critical Treatise, in which he proves, almost to 
demonstration, that Moses b. Shem Tob de Leon is the author 
of the Sohar.*^ Several of his arguments are given in the 
second part of this Essay /Wife supra, p. 174, &c.), in our 
examination of the age and authorship of the Sohar. 

1862. Whilst busily engaged in his researches on the 
authorship and composition of the Sohar, Jellinek was at the 
same time extending his labours to the history of the Kab- 
balah generally, the results of which he communicated in two 
parts (Leipzig, 1852), entitled Contributions to the History 
of the Kabbalah. The first of these parts embraces (1) the 
study and history of the Book Jetzira, (8) diverse topics 
connected with the Sohar, and (3) Kabbalistic doctrines and 
writings prior to the Sohar ; whilst the second part (1) con- 
tinues the investigation on the Kabbalistic doctrines and 
writings prior to the Sohar, as well as (2) discusses additional 
points connected with the Sohar, and (3) gives the original 
text to the history of the Kabbalah.*' 

1853. Supplementary to the above works, Jellinek pub- 

46 DU Seligioia-philotopliie de$ Sohar, Von D- H. Joel. Leipzig, 1849, 
p. 73, &e. 

48 3foie$ Sen Schem-Tob de teon vtid »«n Verhdltnist mm Sohar, Vou 
Adolpb Jellinek. Leipzig, 1851. 

47 BeUrage zur Oesehiehte der Kabbala, Ton Adolph JeUinek, first and seeond 
parts. Leipzig, 1852. 



SS8 

lished, twelve months afterwards), the first part of a Selection 

of Kahhalistic Mysticism, which comprises the Hebrew texts 

of (1) The Treatise on the Emanations (ni^SM TX^Oti), 

(8) The Book of Institutions (IWH HBD), by B. Chamai 

Gaon, (3) Tlie Rejoinder ofR. Abraham b. Samuel Ahulafia 

to R. Solomon b. Adereth, and (4) The Treatise entitled 

Kether Shem Tab (2)0 Q^ inO), by E. Abraham of Cologne. 

These Treatises, which are chiefly taken from MSS. at the 

public Libraries in Paris and Hamburg, are preceded by 

learned Introductions discussing the characteristics, the age, 

the authorship and the sources of each document, written by 

the erudite editor.** May Dr. Jellinek soon fulfil his promise, 

and continue to edit these invaluable contributions to the 

Kabbalah, as well as publish his own work on the import of 

this esoteric doctrine. 

1866. Dr. Etheridge, in his Manual on Hebrew Literature, 

entitled Jerusalem and Tiberias, devotes seventy pages to a 

description of the Kabbalah. It might have been expected 

that this industrious writer, who draws upon Jewish sources, 

would give us the result of the researches of the above-named 

Hebraists. But Dr. Etheridge has done no such thing ;■. — he 

confuses the import of the Book Jetzira, the Maase Bereshith 

(n»tt>«-)a rm>^) and the Maase Merkaba (naSID HWD), 

with the doctrines of the Kabbalah ; and assigns both to the 

Book Jetzira and to the Sohar an antiquity which is contrary 

to all the results of modem criticism. The following extract 

from his work will suflBce to shew the correctness of our 

remarks : — 

" To the authenticity oi' the Zohar, as a work of the early Kabba- 
listio school, objections have indeed been made, but they are not of 
sufficient gravity to merit an extended investigation. The opinion that 
ascribes it as a pseudo fabi'ication to Moses de Leon in the thirteenth 
century, has, I imagine, but few, believers among the learned in this 
subject in our own day. The references to Sbemun ben Yoohai and the 
Kabala iu the Talmud, and abundant internal evidence found in the 

18 Auawahl Kabbalistischer Mystik, part 1 . Leipzig, 1SS3. 



289 

book itself, exhibit the strongest probability, not that Shemun himself 
was the author of it, but that it is the fruit and result of his personal 
insti-uctions, and of the studies of his immediate discipIes."«o 

Now the bold assertion that there are few believers among 
the learned of our own time in the pseudo fabrication of the 
Sohar by Moses de Leon in the thirteenth century, when such 
learned men as Zunz,»" Geiger," Sachs,*" Jellinek*' and a 
host of other most distinguished Jewish scholars, regard it 
almost as an established fact ; as well as the statement that 
there are references to the Kabbalah in the Talmud, can 
only be accounted for from the fact that Dr. Etheridge has 
not rightly comprehended the import of the Kabbalah, and 
that he is entirely unacquainted with the modem researches 
in this department of literature. 

1867. The elaborate essay on Jewish literature by the 
learned Steinschneider, which appeared in Ersch and Gruber's 
Encyclopedia, and which has been translated into English, 
contains a most thorough review of this esoteric doctrine. 
It is, however, to be remarked that the pages devoted to this 
subject give not so much an analysis of the subject, as a 
detailed account of its literature ; and, like all the writings 
of this excellent scholar, are replete with most useful infor- 
mation.** 

1858-1861. A most instructive and thorough analysis of 
the Sohar appeared in a Jewish periodical, entitled Ben 
Chananja, volumes i, ii, iii, and iv.** This analysis was 

49 Jerusalem and Tiberias ; Sora and Cordova, by J. W. Etheridge, M,A., 
Doctor in Philosophy. London, 1856, p. 314. 

60 Die Qottesdienstlichen Varlrage der Juden. Berlin, 1831, p. 405. 
81 Melo Chajnajim. Berlin, 1840, Introduction, p. xm. 

52 Die Beligiose Poesie der Juden in Spanien. Berlin, 1845, p. 327. 

53 Moses BenScliem Tob de Leon. Leipzig, 1881. 

64 Jewish Literature, from the German of M. Steinschneider. London, 1857, 
pp. 104-122 ; 249-309. 

58 Fersuch einer umstandlichen Analyse drs Sohar, von Schuldirektor Ignat* 
Stem, in Ben Chananja, MonaUchriJi fur jutUsche Theologie, vol. iv. Szegedin, 
1858-1861. 



230 

made by Ignatz Stem, who has also translated into German 
those portions of the Sohar which are called the Book of 
Mysteries, the Great Assembly, and the Small Assembly, and 
has written a vocabulary to the Sohar. The recent death of 
this great student in the Kabbalah is greatly to be lamented. 
With the exception of the analysis of the Sohar, all his 
works are in MS. ; and it is to be hoped that the accomplished 
Leopold Low, chief Eabbi of Szegedin, and editor of the 
Ben Ghatianja, who was the means of bringing the retiring 
Ignatz Stern into public, will publish his literary remains. 

1859. As the Kabbalah has played so important a part 
in the mental and religious development, and in the history 
of the Jewish people, the modern historians of the Jews, in 
depicting the vicissitudes of the nation, felt it to be an essential 
element of their narrative, to trace the rise and progress of this 
esoteric doctrine. Thus the learned and amiable Dr. Jost 
devotes seventeen pages, in his history of the Jews, to this 
theosophy.*" 

1863. No one, however, has prosecuted with more tho- 
roughness, learning and impartiality the doctrines, origin 
and development of this esoteric system than the historian 
Dr. Graetz. He, more than any of his predecessors since 
the publication of Landauer's literary remains, has in a most 
masterly manner carried out the principle laid down by this 
deceased scholar, and has distinguished between mysticism and 
the Kabbalah. Graetz has not only given a most lucid descrip- 
tion of the doctrines and import of the Kabbalah in its 
original form, but has proved to demonstration, in a very 
elaborate treatise, that Moses de Leon is the author of the 
Sohar. ^"^ Whatever may be the shortcomings of this portion 



66 Geschichte des Judenthuma und seiner Secten, Von Dr. J. M. Jost, vol. iii, 
p. 66-81. Leipzig, 1859. 

67 Geschichte der Judm, Von Dr. H. Graetz, vol. Tii, pp. 73-87 ; 412-469 ; 
487-fl07. Leipzig, 1863. 



231 

of Graetz's history, no one who studies it will fail to learn 
from it the true nature of this esoteric doctrine. 

1863. Leopold L6w, the chief Babbi of Szegedin, whose 
name has already been mentioned in connection with Ignatz 
Stem, published a very lengthy review of Graetz's description 
of the Kabbalah. Though the Eabbi laboured hard to shake 
Dr. Graetz's position, yet, with the exception perhaps of 
showing that the Kabbalah was not invented in opposition 
to Maimonides' system of philosophy, the learned historian's 
results remain unassailed. Moreover, there is a confusion of 
mysticism with the Kabbalah through many parts of Dr. Low's 
critique.*^ 

We are not aware that anything has appeared upon this 
subject since the publication of Graetz's researches on the 
Kahbalah and Low's lengthy critique on these researches. 
Of course it is not to be supposed that we have given a 
complete history of the Literature on this theosophy ; since 
the design of this Essay and the limits of the volume of 
"the Literary and Philosophical Society's Transactions," in 
which it appears, alike preclude such a history. This much, 
however, we may confidently say, that nothing has been 
omitted which essentially bears upon the real progress or 
development of this esoteric doctrine. 

Several works, in which lengthy accounts of the Kabbalah 
are given, have been omitted, because these descriptions do 
not contribute anything very striking in their treatment of 
the Kabbalah, nor have they been the occasion of any re- 
markable incidents among the followers of this system. 

Among the works thus omitted are Buddeus' Introduction 
to the History of Hebrew Philosophy ; '* Basnage's History 
of the Jews,"' where a very lengthy account is given of the 

58 Gomp. Ben Chananja Mmuitschriftjur judische 7%eo/ojie, vol. vi, pp. 725- 
783 ; 741-747 j 785-791 ; 805-809 ; 821-828 ; 933-942. Szegedin, 1863. 
69 Jnlroductio ad Hist. PhUosoph. Ebraeomm. Halle, 1702. 
60 Histoire desJu\ft, English translation, pp. 184-256. London, 1708, 



232 

Kabbalah, without any system whatever, chiefly derived from 
the work of Kircher ; Wolfs account of the Jewish Kabbalah, 
given in his elaborate Bibliogi'aphical Thesaurus of Hebrew 
Literature, where a very extensive catalogue is given of Kab- 
balistio authors ; ^' and Molitor's Philosophy of History.^^ 

We sincerely regret to have omitted noticing Munk's 
description of the Kabbalah."^ For, although he does not 
attempt to separate the gnostic from the mystical elements, 
which were afterwards mixed up with the original doctrines of 
this esoteric systerd, yet no one can peruse the interesting 
portion treating on the Kabbalah and the Sohar without 
deriving from it information not to be found elsewhere. 

0! De Cabbala Judeorum, in his Bibliotheca Hehraea, vol. ii, pp. 1191-1317. 
Haiaburg, 1728. 

62 Philsophie der Geschichte oder iiber die Tradition, vol. iii. Miinster, 1639. 

63 Melanges de Philosophie Juive et Arahe, p. 875, &c. Parie, 1889. 



Printed by the Hebiew Publishing Company „Menorah" Ltd. 
Pfague.