Sunday, April 13, 2008

Vikuach's Addendum pt i

Shadal continues his Vikuach al Chochmat haKabbalah, with an addendum. (See previous segment.) Here, he notes Landauer's theory that the author of the Zohar is false prophet and messiah, Avraham Abulafia, on the basis of similarities of topic (such as of a kabbalistic sexual nature and gematriot), and because Avraham Abulafia wrote many books in which the pseudonymous author's name was the same gematria as his own, which is true for the Zohar as well since Rashbi's name works out to the same gematria. Then Jelinik's theory that it was Rabbi Moshe de Leon and others, but who took material from Avraham Abulafia. The text of the Vikuach follows:


Many days after the writing of this Vikuach {Disputation}, one of the wise men of Ashkenaz (may his soul rest in peace), M. H. Landauer was his name, discovered in the library in the city of Munich (Munako which is in Bavaria) different books in manuscript, which were written by Avraham ben Shmuel Abulafia the Sefardi, who came to Italy and made himself into a prophet and messiah in the days of the Rashba. (See she`elot uTeshuvot haRashba, siman 548, and see also at the end of the introduction of Rabbi Yehuda Chayyat, that his family name of Abulafia is not mentioned in the Rashba, but it is explicit in the words of the Chayyat, and there are brought down as well the names of a few of his books, and they can be found in Munich.) And this Landauer discovered a great similarity between the ways of this aforementioned Avraham in his books and the book of the Zohar, and specifically in the matters of the father, the mother, and the son, and in the matter of the multitude of sayings and expositions on the limb of procreation and on the match itself.

See his words in Orient, 1845, Literatur Blatt, from page 322 and on). And behold, this Avraham, according to the words of the Rashba, loved gematriot, and so does Landauer testifies that his books are filled with them, and some of them extremely disgraceful, such as that the Shechina is the gematria of male and female, and also androgynus; and so too "Matatron the prince of the interior" in gematria is "seminal fluid"; And he calls himself at times by the name Raziel, and sometimes by the name Zecharyahu, and sometimes by other names, where the calculation of each of them is like the calculation of Avraham, which was his name in fact.

For example, in one of his books of prophecy is written, "so Hashem said to Zecharyahu," and in one of them called "Sefer haYashar," it is written "so said Hashem to Raziel." In his book "Imrei Shefer," he mentioned that he made a book Gan Nauel, and in the book Gan Naul (which is found as well in the aforementioned city), but it is written in the beginning of it, "Behold I convey to you my spirit, I make my words known to you." And the words "my words to you" are written in large letters with dots upon them, and Landauer found that the calculation of "my words to you" is like the calculation of Avraham ben Shmuel.

And behold, he found as well that the calculation of Avraham Abulafia Sefaradi is exactly like the calculation of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai z"l, and he explains based on this why this man chose to suspend his book {=the Zohar} specifically upon Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai.

And behold, everyone knows the beginning of the words of the Zohar, which are Bereish Hormenuta deMalka, that the name Rashbi {Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai} is hinted at with the word beReish; And still, Landauer found that the calculation of Hormenuta deMalka is exactly that of Avraham Abulafia Sefaradi (with the aleph written but not pronounced, based on the way of the Arabic language, from which this name is hewn). And many like these, Landauer brings to prove that this aforementioned Avraham Abulafia is the author of the sefer haZohar, and in his opinion he wrote it from the 30th year until the 40th year of the sixth millennium (1270-1280). And this was from the 30th to the 40th year of his life, for he was born in the beginning of the sixth millennium.

And will all this, behold that now, recently, the wise man Jelinik arose and printed a pamphlet (Leipzig, 1851) to prove that the sefer haZohar was the work of Rabbi Moshe de Leon and others with him, with no partnership with Avraham Abulafia, except that those composers who wrote the sefer haZohar saw the books of Abulafia and took from them a few things. And the wise man Jelinik brings a few similarities in thoughts and poetic phrases between the books of Rabbi Moshe de Leon and the book of the Zohar. And more than them one can bring from the books of Rabbi Moshe which are found in manuscript in the hands of my friend Ramshag {?? ... ??}, head of this holy community, and in the hand of my friend the sage Yosef Almantzi.

However, now, I do not have the time nor the desire to increase the readings and the investigations in these matters, for after it became clear to me in my youth that the sefer haZohar and the secrets of the kabbalah did not come from our teachers {Rabbotainu}, I withdrew my hands from them, and placed all my efforts and labors in the wisdom of the peshat. And with all this, I will not hide under my tongue that after I read here and there in the works of Rabbi Moshe de Leon, my heart leans towards declaring Rabbi Moshe righteous, and it is near in my eyes that he was not a liar and forger (as was, without a doubt, Avraham Abulafia), but rather it is possible that a copy of the sefer haZohar came to his hands, and he believed that it was from our Rabbis, z"l, and he learned from his words, and they entered into his books.

{I think that what Shadal is saying is that the similarities to the words of Rabbi Moshe de Leon is a result of Rabbi Moshe de Leon having learned the Zohar, thinking it authentic; but that the gematriot, etc., prove that the author of the Zohar was this false prophet and messiah, Avraham Abulafia.}


Blog Widget by LinkWithin