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CAN BE DEFINED
as the interpretation
texts in the interests of Christianity or the use of kabbalistic dogma. concepts
(or, to be more precise, in sup-
Catholicism); kabbalah Christian
port of Christian
Most scholars locate the origins of the Christian who in 1486 at the nine hundred
in the writings of Count Pico della Mirandola, produced
age of twenty-three the kabbalah traordinary their inherent propriate,
conclusiones, or theses, on a
in Rome for public debate, The ex, with ap' his theses, combined seemed
synthesis of all religions and sciences. Pico not only incorporated into his work, which he presented the subject aplomb considering with which Pico presented the astounding and theologians of many of his propositions.
but made the kabbalah paradox
and at times sheer incomprehensibility,
nature of the claim that he was put, of his day, namely, that esoteric Judaof an authentic celebrated affinity between both
ting to the humanists ism and Christianity Pice's propositions Christian
were in fact one and the same. are hardly proof the concept found many supporters, the Christians' kabbalah
Judaism and Christianity, although of Jewish critics of the kabbalah the kabbalah
and Jewish, While Christians
Pice's theses, a number for very in those aspects of One continues, Jewish
different reasons. It enabled them to expose and denounce which they considered similar judgments the be uri-jewish. fact, to encounter
in the works of modern-day
• Translated by Debra Prager from "Zur Geschichte der Anfange der christlichen Kabbala," in Essays presented to Leo Baeek (London, 1954), 158-93: with reference to the French translation by Paul Kessler in Kabbaltstes chretien; (Cahiers de I'Herrnetisme: Paris, 1979), 19-46.
[ 17 ]
Widmanstadt. applied to the kabbalah. Widmanstadt saw in the Christian kabbalah not so much the ultimate proof of Christian truth. Widmanstadt attended a number of lectures in Turin given by one of Pice's former teachers. fruit trees and living creatures. Certain living seeds lie hidden in the bowels of the earth and in the elements that surround it. While kabbalist literature burgeoned before his eyes. In reality. even those that included reasonably learned Christian Hebraists. Abominable theories would emerge from this seemingly useful construction. theories that contradicted and undertnined the Church's teachings on Christ's work of salvation. over a period of several months. Joseph Perles's suggestion that "Dattilo" may be an alias for the prominent Jewish scholar johanan Alemanno (c. He reports that. 1. "who was quite well versed in the kabbalah. and the fact that his missionary zeal resulted in a general confiscation of books belonging to Catalonian jewish communities. they are eventually admitted into eternal bliss. all the way to the human body. and one who generated varying responses from his listeners! While Pico cited his friend Antonius Cronicus as a witness to a conversation in which Dattilo. Martini lived in Catalonia at the end of the twelfth and well into the thirteenth cenrury. a popular name in Italy But we know of no kabbalist by that name living at this time.270). an unusual understanding both of the kabbalah's true character. the Christian kabbalists' thesis was nothing more than a variation. as if out of a Trojan horse. as in Pice's case. and of the ambiguity inherent in the Christian kabbalist project. at least on this particular point. a Catholic orientalist. The name Dattilo is the equivalent among Italian Jews of the Hebrew Yoab.' Whatever his true identity may have been. by comparison to this [highest soul] inferior and subject to it. Dattilo was definitely aJewish kabbalist. Indeed. to listen to Dattilo's extremely subtle interpretation of arcani de Divino auditu lilni' (although it remains unclear whether in referring to these esoteric books about divine teachings Widrnanstadt mearIS Hebrew kabbalist texts or other writings). In fact. because they are of the earth. that project was grounded in a belief in syncretism as a positive value. a certain Dattilo. Thus.4LAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH scholars.every aspect of this passage is quite remarkable. he was not aware of the existence of the kabbalah. there are some among the kabbalists who believe that all living things are granted the hope of redemption. In the course of this world's [that is. 1 . he was able. while in Turin.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABB. I [here Widmanstadt interjects his own commentary] have quoted all this in order to point out the manner in which monstrous ideas burst forth from the kabbalah of the Jews. these living seeds travel through various [forms of}plants. the quotation itself as well as Widmanstadt's reaction.if we take Widmanstadt's thoughts to their logical conclusion . Martini maintained that both the Talmudic haggadah and midrash already bore signs of Christianity and could be given a Christian interpretation.however. the precise location and period during which a group of kabbalists. but the Trojan horse that . In 1527. the enthusiasm with which Pico and the Christian kabbalists regarded Jewish esotericism was met with equally profound distrust from other circles. began consolidating kabbalisr literature (1I94 . even though they are. Dattilo is mentioned as early as 1487 in Pice's Apologia. bushes. 1435 . In the following passage.after 1504) is most improbable. had innocently hauled into their own camp." 2 [ 18 Widmanstadt must have come away from Dattilo's lectures with an entirely different impression. In an effort to serve the interests of Catholic propaganda. after a heavenly soul has been poured into them.the Christian kabbalists. who was by then quite an old man. For this state of affairs we have the witness of Johann Albert Widmanstadt (150657). According to Widmanstadt Dattilo made frequent references to a theory concerning the possibility of redemption for all forms of life (animantia). launched into the Christian teachings on the Trinity with great enthusiasm. to attack the Church of Christ' Needless to say. collected the texts that would later form the core of an important collection of kabbalistic manuscripts located today in Munich. led by Nachmanides. And thus. and through to the sentient soul. Martini failed to notice. like naive Trojans. Martini pointed to the ancient Talmudists as the principal authorities of Christianity and credited them with a historical function to which they were as unsuited as were the kabbalists who would later replace them. as part of his christological endeavors. Despite Martini's physical proximity. especially when. and as a result of the struggle of creation and decay. of a notion proposed in the thirteenth century by Raymundus Martini in his compendium Pugio ftdei. although his identity and full Jewish name have yet to be convincingly established. Widmanstadt describes and criticizes Dattilo's theory.C. nature's] tireless efforts. Widmanstadrs criticism shows.
perfect opportunity ing with the pope. As we have seen. there remain gaps in their a word-for-word brary of kabbalist texts. Widmanstadt to establish Datty Ius' identity. are identical to the three large Vatican codices Vat. no doubt that at least two of the texts are in the translator's [ 21 ] . there was no consensus could or should be employed kabbalah in Christian ganda. that only "some" all things underwent matter without primordial sage as correct (as I intend to prove). and which I will proceed quotes are not Dattilo's own. These were first described attempted to has attempted a detailed analysis of Pice's ideas and an investigaa synopsis and in places of his sources. and which had been translated by Assemani. of the kabbalah] with great care and enthusiasm already been translated in order to have them translated into Latin tor 1484. was carefully worded his explicita mentio of the kabbalah who may have referred word kabbalah.Iion Nth of the development of the pre-history a topic which has until now reyears has there been any kabbalah. with in the history of the kabbalah. to interpret Blau leaves this question tion in his ApoWgia that he considered to refer directly to the kabbalah" 11 ing. Eugenio has been that the three books (or volumes) to which Pica refers. as well as in his De dignitate hominis. 18991. At the time of his death.'" The pseudo-Rabad commentary on Sefer yesirah was widely circulated in Italy around 1500. I should like to relate something the Christian and its beginnings. acquired them [the books the currently this same text. and Moses Steinschneider of the Christian Rome by 1484. Heb. in his own way. contradiction reigning implicita mentio (which would not have escaped him) by some other author. There is clearly something Until now the assumption kabbalistic writings who would have had a an early meetof in later apologetic in the passage quoted above to mention amiss here. u The translator cause they contain of these codices.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH kabbalist works. it does not explain Pice's blatant where he announces Innocent that Pope Sixtus IV. the cardinal doctrine of all things from the simplest ben Shalom Ashkenazi sefirot. kabbalists to point subscribed it in any number of manuscripts.." Pica's own asserwith good reason: by an the self[l487J himself "the first among Latin scholars could well have been preceded without explicitly mentioning Joseph the Tall. the form. as Widmanstadt within says he did. contributed to progress in !he field. are those concerning and the sources that were available that it would however. in a slightly veiled form. mation II Were there atTempts. into Latin of an entire liand there can be handwriting. the kabbalah from a Chris- life form to the highest level of the of Barcelona. We now have new information which can help to shed some to discuss in some detail. was the first to develop the idea in detail during the period It was the one element new.' while Joseph Blau has produced determine their contents without ever acrually having seen valuable be. also known unanswered. the contrast between teachings had hoped a futile and Christian dogma appears particularly "perhaps simply enable who discovered the passage in one of Widmanstadt's someone lesser-known that would benefit left unanswered kabbalah from criticism dramatic. before Pico's. Dartilo was merely presentconcerning the transforas Rabbi tian perspective) some precision. At the same time.' them. out. which are particularly translation gil both authors had to rely on second-hand sources for their refereacesto the kabbalah. and in both cases. the public good of our faith. joseph 1300-25. joseph Pedes. styles himself Flavius Mithridates."" Sixtus IV died in they would evenrually teachings two years before Pico arrived in Rome." Perles's hope will remain because the "monstrous" light on those problems. and sections OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH or revised treatthe orito its It is true that. and Dattilo could have encountered however. to the belief that because experience redemption. three of them had same process of metamorphosis (pervenerant ad Latinos). ceived little or no notice. and we know of no contact between of opinion whether kabbalist and propaof the pope and the Wunderkind Pico della Mirandola. also treat the concept Here it is ex- plained under the titles din bne lyalof. "law of general transformation. A number of his commentary on Sefer yesirah (later or Rabad) preserved in printed under the name of Abraham ben David of Posquieres. each has. He was quite right. "mystery of the transmission. a more accurate analysis of Pice's ideas as well as those of his successors. Only in the last twenty serious discussion Anagniue . At this point. who is well read in ideas which ment. in the passage quoted above. to the doctrine However." form. Among the questions gins of the Christian adherents. "who preceded VIII. within even if we accept my interpretation of this pas- that was entirely manuscript of other works by joseph. of transformation. We can locate their origins." and sod ha-Sela~.' THE BEGINNINGS research. kabbalist literature one.
often with hints of irony and criticism. In the Condusiones secundum propriam opinionem on Zoroaster and the Chaldeans (that is. Pice's report seems to be historically incorrect. who was Simply extolling his own virtues.!7 The translator has.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH From 485. Mithridates spent several years in close contact with Pico della Mirandola. We can now draw a direct parallel between the Vatican codices and three texts which. which have since been rendered invalid.before they had been translated for him by an expert. as is so often the case.If Pico commissioned him to do the translations around that time. appear to stem from the codices themselves. Before being forced to flee the city because of some unspecified crime (perhaps secretly practidngJudaism?). however. the science of the combination of letters. They can therefore be dated to the period between 1485and 1489. Mithridates. 191. All these texts appear at the end of Mithridates' Latin collection in Vat. and then have copied the entire text again. MS 189)are the work of one translator. 190 and 191. in general. The translator frequently mentions him by name. then that would correspond with the pre-history of the nine hundred theses." Contrary to a number of wayward hypotheses." The manuscripts contain extensive passages that correspond to the teachings of Abulafia and to the disdpline which he calls ~okmat ha-~eruf.This was just one name among others that the talented scholar and convert took on in the course of his adventuresome career. Even so. Heb. I happen to have pubA lished the entire passage containing the quotation some years ago. Munich 209). the translations were produced not for Pope Sixtus IV. we can assume that at least the manuscripts Vat.lead us to believe that he learned about it from these manuscripts. Heb. The Bahir ends on fo!' 326r and Pice's citation appears later in the text on fo!. and as such." as an example of Flavius Mithridates's translating technique. according to Gaffarel. Pico's repeated references to it."'· In actual fact.but for Pico della Mirandola himself. Perhaps he was given the information by Mithridates." I find it more credible that Mithridates.which contain the kabbalist material proper. were translated for and belonged to Pica and which Gaffarel claims to have bought in Venice" We can be certain that all three of Caffarel's volumes (of which only the second one contains the identical texts to one of the Vatican codices. The antiquated descriptions by Bartolucci and Assemani of the Mirhridates codices fail to mention that the translations include a number of direct references to Pico. of whom vanity and boasting were by no means uncharacteristic. Gaffarel appears to have misundersrood the many marginal notes that make critical and even malicious reference to both Pico and Mithridates himself. after the end of Bahir. was Simply mi-Sleading Pico della Mirandola about a commission from Pope Sinus TVThat commission was most likely never given. based on the so-called Chaldean Oracles). with the spirits. the pseudonym Mithridates masked none other than the former SicilianJew Samuel ben Nissim Abu'l-Parad] of Agrigento. one must read in the book Bahir about what are the affinities of goats. whose father we know as a very learned translator of a number of Hebrew texts. as his instructor in Hebrew and Chaldean. and what of sheep. and deduced that they must have been the work of another transla- [ 22 ] . in his writings of 1486and 1487. let alone carried out. a mistake can tell us a great deal. extremely difficult! .and their various inaccuracies. According to my own examination of the Vatican codices.they are.s. in fact. begun the new text in the same line. remained a somewhat enigmatic figure in the literary history of his day. "In order to understand what Zoroaster has to say about goats. it appears that Mithridates was a successful scholar and had some influence at the Vatican." We know that Mithridates returned to Italy from Germany in 1485. I find it hard to believe that Pico would have studied all of these texts in the original . In certain manuscripts (such as Cod. It is highly unlikely that Mithridates would have translated these works for the pope before meeting Pico. he became an ordained priest and adopted the name Guglielmo Raimondo Moncada sometime around 1467. Could he have suggested to Sinus IV that he himself translate the kabbalist texts? It is quite possible.without a break. as well as with the fact that Mithridates mentions Pice's absence at least once (we know for a fact that between July 1485and March 1486 Pico spent some time in Paris). was actually in Rome between 1477and 483. Pico writes. were translated at the beginning of the association between Pico and Mithridates and before Pico wrote his nine hundred theses. there is no such passage in the book Bahir. Because a number of Pice's kabbalist condusione. complete with additional notes and commentary written specifically for Pico. But Umberto Cassuto has been able to give us a definitive account of Mithridates' career and identity. we find the reference among the passages that immediately follow the Bahir. After converting to Christianity. Moreover. 331V! s chance would have it.
In fact. as his translations contain numerous passages that discuss the messiah.ll and believes they will help him to persuade Jews to accept the doctrine of the Trinity. One should note here that Arnaldo does not mention the kabbalah. Arnaldo published a tract entitled AlloClitio super Tetragrammaton (published by Carreras in its entirery)" in which he (like Pico later) interprets the consonants of the biblical name of God according to the doctrine of the Trinity: yod refers to the Father and the existence of a principle without beginning. would have to have contained the same tendentious mistranslation. a whole chain of facts prove chat converted Jews were producing "Christian kabbalist" arguments long before Pico." then Pice's translations. as opposed to the italic that was customary for direct quotations. it would appear to me that Gaffarel. "in the shadow of the crucified. the Vatican codices are devoid of any Christian interpolation or attempts on the part of the translator to "improve" the text (as was the case with Jean de Pauly's French translation of the Zohar). nor does he cite other Jewish speculations on the letters of the name of God. Admittedly. It was probably they. as Abulafia reports. stresses the originality of his speculationsl." In reality. we must however pay attention to one assertion of Gaffarel regarding his manuscripts." A:3 far as I am aware. B III It would make logical sense. A clarification of Gaffarel's misquotations would require closer examination of Mithridates' codices. reading :l1'S. but by no means the first Christian. Much of Caffarel's very dramatic interpretation of the glosses can be attributed to his penchant tor exaggeration. The succession of Jewish convert kabbalists goes down to the years just prior to Pice's appearance on the scene. on account of its missionary focus and its isolation from the important intellectual developments of the day. speaks rather for the unusual accuracy of Mithridates's translations than the opposite. who printed this passage in ordinary type. this version of Christian kabbalah. the famous Spanish doctor and later Spiritual Franciscan. one can speak within certain limits of an inner parallel in the approaches of the two men: both attempted to discover the secreta majestatis. that converted Jews such as Mithridates would have been the first to point him in the direction of kabbalist literature and its real or supposed affinity to Christianity. or. But it had played a certain role in the JeWish-Christian debate."" There have been attempts in recent years to determine whether Abulafia exercised any influence on Arnaldo de Villanova. Any mistakes he might have made in translation were most probably made in good faith. The oldest documentation of a conversion to Christianity attributable to kabbalist methods of exegesis (although not kabbalist theologoumena) is found in the work of Abraham Abulafia (b. and it is the various stages of this role. as far as they are clear to me. Admittedly. and its inlluence on Pico's famous and at the time "scandalous" theory that the kabbalah and magic were the most convincing proof of the divinity of Christ. to go through this kind of thought process. who studied Hebrew in Barcelona with Raymundus Martini for a time. who rearranged the letters of the word 1'S:l ("in his shadow") in Song of Songs 2:3 as 1:l'S Chis cross") to yield the meaning "I love his cross" or "I live happily in the shadow of his cross". on the other hand. remained unproductive until it was taken up by Pico. What I have read of these texts. and is connected directly to him by at least one witness. et potentiae Dei through the speculative interpretation of the letters of the . in the historical context of Pico's work. For our question about the origins of a Christian interpretation of the kabbalah. is the one to blame for erroneously paraphrasing a passage that has a completely different meaning in the original. He appears to refer to a group of pupils whom he had taught in Capua and who later apostatized." Still. and he to the Holy Spirit as a spiritual breath emitted by the first two principles. 1240). he was quite correct to point out Pico's brief. I feel I must say that the text of the Allocutio taken as a whole does not substantiate any historical connection between Arnaldo and Abulafia." waw to the Son and a principle of beginning. however. handwritten notes on the translation of Menahem Recanari's commentary on the Torah. that I would now like to pursue. Arnaldo. If Gaffarel had really read in Mithridates' translation of Recanati's commentary on the Torah a passage about the coming of the messiah which stated that he had "already come." 30 and in particular some contact with Abulafia's principal work Or 1w. too. Carreras assumes "undoubtedly a certain influence of the prophetic kabbalah upon Arnaldo. Pico would eventually draw on these notes to write many of his kabbalist conclusions.sekel (written in Italy in 1285)· Precisely because it was my research on Abulafia" that led Carreras to his assumption. In 1292. Pico was the first Christian of non-Jewish origin.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH - tor.
of an erymology symbolism was developed. midrash BEGINNINGS correctly OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH to trends and intellecfrom the and alphabet." a Hebrew book which unforrunately in Spanish.that although Baer's research based on the whole range of Abner's him and the themes of his he wrote the work and in the ten sefirot unity and plurality also say that the . who worked and Franciscans. makes absolutely the complete of its discussion kabbalists of the shi'ur komah and the Incarnation to which a group Elsewhere. then there the Spanish version Mostrador dejusticia of his extensive principal workMoreh trace in the AUocutio.THE Hebrew BEGINNINGS But neither OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH were the first to ibn Ezra's treawork. appeared to Loeb clearly bases of however. were known ibn Ezra. which. be suspected Anything sent from the Ailocutio. .was Abner of Burgos." reinterpretation of such concepts by speculative speculations. Arnaldo speculations suggests. if not more probably. situates Abner's ideas in relation that were quite christological different take up this approach. of the Incarnation!] recognized is proven in their books. adhere and this [their bias towards the in a dislike the that the philosophers." that was widespread among thirteenth- Isidore Loeb has characterized on Abner's reports than "a type of kabbalistic his comment work full of bold mysticism. only in excerpts and quotations existed simultaneously "Similarly the kabbalists the Godhead" MilJ:!amotAdonai. which Baer Castilian text of while Arnaldos of the shekinah and the Jewish gnostic fragments of the body" (sc. J9 While still a Jew (that is. on very detailed interpretations Therefore. But Alfonso. The first converted became doubtless Valladolid. may have associated unprovable but that his writings." Instead. Based on these fragthe work as less a book of polemic "34 T.in the theory in God. in spite of such statements. the body of God). for example. similar Christian kabbalisr into Jewish sources. age (probably and took about reads: "This is the root of the faith of the kabbalah. and exactly this proof All. more than a continuation of the haggadah Martini. komah.although it has partly published tion of the kabbalists at the conclusion in Parma. If Arnaldo had been familiar with it. survives ments. Jews who call themselves doctrine kabbalists. with the meditations Both works could just as is completely Abulafia's His use of kabbalisr sources is nothing interpretation found in the Pugio fidei of Raymundus necessary. ciples. He makes frequent in Hebrew. of the body of Jewish tradition. ticism with the figure of the Son in the Trinity. These clearly demonstrate cated although chiefly in philosophy. to read the Christian have to have proof of some sort of contact is not forthcoming. as Carreras would have to be some recognizable guish Arnaldos speculation conclude dependence own christological the "deluded jews. hasekel. of visions in which (just in the manner also identifies Metatron of ancient Jewish Merkaba Abulafia) letter combinations him. He 52) after what was in 1320 at an advanced inner the name Alfonso of cussion of the Trinity. In order to there was a secret and implicit of Jewish sources. Alfonso emphasizes ."" of attributes played only a very secondary a prolonged to . in Italy. "measure filiation with the kabbalah. Jew to refer specifically to the kabbalah role in his thought struggle. a Christian Thanks I would not rule out the possibility.ocutio anticipates. as I have noted above. we are well informed God was one in substance.which would Alfonso. reasoning. literary thought. in myswas ourput. "The Battles of God. who here and there in of having inspired Arnaldo's that is in any way specific to Abulafia's position and I can find no point of contact in Arnaldo's on the name of God that characterize relied heavily on the Pugio fidei. These Martini had not yet doc- on the individual letters of the alphabet. Italian Joachites able. 1300). who in his incarnation . it lacks a direct historic suggested with the were books. or those of his disand quite improb. if only to distinfrom parallel ideas held by of any Jewish and he says of the Jews appears to be ignorant ~edek first published attention I am grateful passages to Baer for bringing to my a few characteristic from the Paris manuscript that Alfonso." However. Judah Halevi's Kusan and Abraham tual developments of the systematically and far removed tises arc based on the same widely-held easily. one would in its in detail. I consider by Baer. respectively three names. Raymundus included in his Christian In his lengthy conception philosophical as Abraham trine of the Incarnation" discussions. as a covert Christian). Alfonso attempts that. He focuses on the rabbinical on the shi'ur thinkers such no menas well as on the text. had also read kabbalist that they quod univasaliter illilLS nominis sacramentum ignorant. 'you' and 'he' encompass seem to suggest that Alfonso had read one of Joseph Gikarilla's works (written c. also employed as he thought the kabbalah reference to it. interpretation who was highly edubooks. in which this particular his interpretation century kabbalists. Baer's treatment." that Abulafia. abtext Or THE probably kabbalah. Abulafia nor the kabbalists concept. of the Mostrador. to Arnaldo. It should be noted that the Hebrew from a manuscript in this context.
the pure light and the radiant with Metatron. In 1397 the Spanish scholar wrote Kelimat ha-goyim. which was chiefly concerned do not. which they Abner of Burgos. was vehemently kabbalist in his commentary denounces as heretics could be equated This author in the thirteenth has resulted from their misunderstandspecifically. such as those of century of the shi'ur kemah. as a symbol of the Shekinah christological attacked to accommodate could mean more." was an angel (as in the texts of Merkabah books he himself had found the assumption John and Paul had misunderstood in particular. ish circles in 1350 if not earlier. by a series of Christian of fifteenth-century converts When in the fourteenth believe that the origins of the kabbalah were ancient. While in this case it was a follower of the kabbalah of kabbalists Christian insisted that the Christian out of the deterioration kabbalistic assertions. [according that he [Metatron] speak. Duran reports that during his as well as Christian He adds that.even Chris- Son and Holy Spirit. of the but that the name also.":" Thus. and in this matter the Christians about Metatron]. just as Profiat Duran did three centuries ish understanding as a polemical of the relationship between reversal of the Christian the two doctrines which was then shared by certain kabbalists. the idea that the to in the Tif'n-et and MaHeut. and they have taken all [this doctrine] to the Talmudic interpretation" And that is the first thing against which God warned Moses of Exodus 23:21]: do not think seize upon this issue and as teachings on] the is God. in fact.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH between in Jewwork the "messenger.it had taken over the idea from Christians:" Jews. of the kabbalist concept of light . however. interpretations Son. "Ignominy dedicated to the philosopher youth he had learned from followers of the Christians. "and that is the claim of the nonand speak of the Father. mistakenly in as much as of the sefirot. placed the doctrine of the three lights in parallel to that of the Christian Trinity. who interpreted Christian perspective. regarding to derive the Christian kabbalist The doctrine of the three lights c. who is also referred of the Incarnation books as na'aT Cyouch"). since both camps.':" Thus the author claims that the doctrine out of a misunderstanding Metatron. Unlike the work of Alfonso. Jewish and Christian. And all philosophers with the non-Jews. argue that Metatron even be regarded appeared German Shekinah Merkabah of the kabbalah. possibly originated in the 'mys- on the fragments those who support light. a misunderstanding of adopting Seventeenth-century the divine nature tails. and had applied it to the doctrine perceive in the Godhead. while studying to be confirmed. which radiate between responsum ture." were described in the oldest texts of the Toledot Yeshu.. the kabbalah and Christian a variety treatises mysticism) which by a circles in the thirkabbalistic ish counterpart Judaism to the Christian kabbalah. one promulgated by baptized jews dogmas of the Trinity and Incarnation and misinterpretation century such as Abner-Alfonso. not the of the Trinity developed of the "youth" to Hai Gaon. the three lights: the original Similarly. These heretics. remains an open question on the basis of the known authentic falsifications texts from his from Juwhich helped validate the decomes from of what were in fact valid many Jews began to that and sorcerers." but. with the relationship It must have been current work." Whether case. it could itself. according to the author. A number an anti-Christian Talmudist did in fact occupy Jewish and kabbalah-oriented of thirteenth-century Hasdai Crescas. incorrectly. "The doctrine ing of this science [of the kabbalah]. from this [belief are mistaken [the angels and souls in bodies] of which the kabbalists were in complete was pre-Christian! agree."only their kabbalah was filled with mistakes." of the kabbalah . quite constitute But the question doctrine teenth and fourteenth and Christianity simply reversed. some concluded Jesus and his disciples had been not mere magicians . 1250 in a its dethe Jeworiginated a result they claim. God forbid. but I do not think it is impossible. ment concerning the (erroneous) chronology tians had long shared the belief that the kabbalah only required a simple reversal of judgment theory from the orthodox attributed Jewish opinion. but this is. a real Christian between kabbalah. as they sources. the Logos and the Holy Spirit. symbolism the kabbalistic and it appears to have generated of this theory of different responses. ten sefirot originated that all of these [kabbalist En-So! and the first sefira first appeared Christian kabbalists. before filtering into the kabbalist literawhile disregarding earlier. kabbalists This thesis formed the Jew- sources along where they did not sufficiently Documentation of these textual manipulations . the kabbalah daism was characterized the authentic sired position. in certain circumstances. their doctrine tery of the garment' of the Trinity." from a German Profiat Duran of the relationship centuries. who accused a group there were others who developed misconceptions.."" These very isolated references to the kabbalah in Alfonso's with other examples of Jewish writing. This symbolism.
"" The quotation on a marble plaque in the cathedral bears the signature entitled Galerazaya (using one word fur Gale razaya. by Rabbenus (sic) Haccados.. "Neurnia filius Haccanae". does. except that here. as Christian presented trinitarian from THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH the Jews would known in the period just before Pico della Mirandola's Pedro de la Caballeria." propaganda n1i1'Dil n. who had a burning can be explained if Pica's Jewish acquaintances ones such as Flavius Mithridates. in which Haccados responds to eight questions posed by the Roman consul Antoninus. have inconsistencies is made to refer to the much later editor of the Mishnah. and although they appear on the christological such as Yeshu. "Simeon johai F[iliusJ.. holy . The second letter discusses the genealogy Holy Spirit. had an excellent knowledge for the first time.:r. The date and place of this publication. there concerning anecdotes Simeon ben Yohai's name. The narrative imitations at the summit. holy . the sections . tor missionary use among Jews and Saracens. He. which at the under were is no written time had not appeared stems from the sixteenth provides mention in any book. in Spain 35 years before Pico della Mirandola. usually with a postscript of the of Isaiah 6:3 in the form of a quotation "Holy . The fact that he does not mention even here. however. he shares his of the kabbalah. In another '1 nn£l." interest in its contents. sheds some light on the attached to the sixth point. inElijah appears to Simeon ben we have one Rab Isaiah who speaks in the While one could easily imagine text. intended of Jewish literature. Jessa in the Zohar Latin text.and perhaps also ex-Jewish who spurned any kind of falsification . There it suggests before the expulcourtyard and was thus widely circulated. I think it more likely that the plaque since from 1516 on this quotation. In the section corresponding to the fifi:h question. rence.that is the Father. and Latin translation." Jacob Obermayer of conversion" that the plaque was installed "for purposes unusually sion of the Jews from Passau in 1477. in the Zohar at of the subject in the text of the Zohar. editor. ~'n . whose author Gerizim. was well known in print. the Tanna ben Hakanah." If this were true.or secretorum revelator. Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai recounts the prophet Elijah. according to Baer. in Aramaic interpretation the Zohar: ish converts of the Trisagion writes to his son and his son to him. these stories as part of an original Hebrew explanations numerology total disregard to Hebrew sources.that is the appears again later in similar forgeries by JewIt has even been immortalized in Passau in Bavaria. of the forgery. the work Yohai as he prays in the cave of Machpelah.l)." One quotation.conof a text in which teachers of the Mishnah. imitates a formula used frequently the introduction world by Paulus de of a speech. de la Cabellaria's quotation. of the Mishnah. in prayer. vinced him of the inauthentidty presented in wildly inaccurate authentic in form. it would offer an striking proof for the early currency century. The author. as well as the style of dialogue are close of Mount of the corresponding also knows of ascents to the summit IV Pedro Heredia. As for the author's and with the of facts and figures. Zelus Christi us with solid evidence in circulation before 1490. pseudepigrapha that were introduced to the Christian of Aragon. there remains the problem of attributing Nevertheless. Both letters are filled with references to two additional texts: a book of R. and the books Kanah and Peliah. (postiUa) by the translator. speak the language of the Nicene Creed. to the title) or Epistola secretorum (in translation of a Hebrew text entitled This Epistola d£ secretis (according the text) purparrs to be Heredia's Zohar itself. the Son of God and his messianic in the book Peliah. his visions of angels. and the numerical value of various words of it. a Christian not dare to deny" (quarum auctoritatem judei negare non audent). the purported describing encounters messiah. however. of his own: Nehuniah and they are all order. already as the "author" of a number of pseudepigrapha. in a pamphlet published for the first time in 1482 in Flowhich were long unknown. passage. he climbed Mount Gerizim and encountered He describes their discussion revelation he experienced mission. who. even in manuscripts framework.l~ consisting of two letters "whose authority Nehuniah wrote his work Zelus Christi. KABBALAH In 1450 the Marrano. kabbalist literature concerning that is. The first letter treats eight questions biblical secrets related to messianology. would have been unaware make it highly unlikely that Pico. and a book "Mechar" and anecdotes or Mechkar hasodot hoc est investigatio secretorum attribauthor of the Zohar" Formulas with the prophet Elijah clearly imitate uted to Simeon ben Yohai.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN debut. and the how. In any case..that is the Son. Mariam and lnit fit well within the Hebrew for the real chronology fault with other and less eccentric adherents framework. lD~1 ~tm the prophet stead of R. that Christian-kabbalisr falsifications There kabbalist works such as the Zohar. [ 3I 1 .
based on its chaotic Latinisrns. VI Audi lsrahel" etc. it is from this Psalter that Reuchlin took the single quotation from the Epistola de secretis in his De arte cabalistica of 15f7. who in in his commentary on Psalm 67describes the Epistola as a rare book of which perhaps only a single copy existed in all of Europe. hitherto overlooked. worked with a Hebrew text of the first petitio. Pico finds himself justified in pointing out that. One can assume.v Its phraseology shows quite clearly that the Latin translation was in fact based on an original text written in the language of the Zohar. He then attaches to this a Trinitarian continuation on the Son and the Holy Spirit.which is not without a certain adroitness. which he quotes. who accused him or some other Christian of having forged the quotations. 263a.in the language of a fifteenth-century Spanish Jew .a." Unfortunately. 297a) including the Holy Spirit as a kabbalistic symbol and also a three-part concluding formula." Apparently in a hurry. he himself is the first to treat the kabbalah with an explicita mentio. Galatino defends himself against his accusers and Lites as his source "Paulus de Heredia. sometime in the middle of the century after a debate with joannes Catrus. Paulus de Heredia circles around the term. Giustiniani." From what we can tell. The citations appear among the glosses in his polyglott Psalter. In any case. this "quotation" was certainly crafted with more intelligence than the citations supposedly taken from the purely fictitious Gale razaya.the kabbalah. Reuchlin inserted the quotation into the end of his text. While drafting his Apologia Pico would have been familiar with Heredia's work. 6v) the Zohar passage which Pedro de la Caballeria quotes is taken from TargumJonathan to Isaiah 6:3. it is my opinion that we will need additional proof before we can accept this information as an established fact.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH situated several centuries before the birth and life of Jesus which they foresee in great detail. The interpolator begins his text with an authentic opening in which the first of the three divine names in the "Shema" Israel" are linked to the sefira Hokhma as "father". Based on the manner in which he uses the first person in the postifl. we cannot accept his word alone on this very important issue.e to comment on the petitiones. published in 1516 Genoa." Elsewhere (fol. however. the teacher of Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. however. cap. and his method of quoting others. The text explains the precise formulation by Pico that I cited above at the beginning of §II. If his statement is correct. among Latin writers. This text. 6r). According to him (fol.in Spain berween 1460 and 1480. berween Pico and an adherent of the JudeoChristian kabbalah that had Originated in Spain. which was printed in Rome at about the same time that Pico began his studies. In a letter addressed to Pope Paul III and preserved in manuscript. in a preface dedicated to Don Enigo de Mendocza (sic). bishop of Nebia. he cites a passage that is supposedly an excerpt from a "Rabbi Symeonis filii Johai in libro qui scribitur zochar [!) super textum Deuteron. that Heredia (or one of his like-minded friends) drafted the pseudepigraphon perhaps really in Hebrew initially . The Epistola de secretis is first cited extensively by Agostino Giustiniani. Because Heredia's reference to the kabbalah is implicit. The passage fits perfectly into its carefully arranged artificial context. a Sicilian Dominican. Nevertheless. it would prove a direct connection. In fact. therefore. because we cannot depend on Galarinos reliability. which Heredia says he translated. is by no means the putative original.'" the Spanish envoy to Pope Innocent VII!: "Habent siquidam judaicae disciplinae divinarum rerum perspicuam veritatem quae a sanctissimis patribus vetustis cognita atque explicata est et a prophetis diu ante anunciata. however." the author of these "translations" was an AragonianJew who was born at the beginning of the fifteenth century and converted to Christianity late in life. As we have known tor years. who would have been his teacher. The word kabbalah seldom appears in Heredia's writing. which is otherwise devoid of spurious quotations from Jewish sources. When Pietro Galatino quoted explicitly and extensively from these texts in his work "on the secrets of Catholic truth" he came under immediate attack from his detractors." He goes on to explain that Heredia himself was personally involved in the printing of his book. however. one can legitimately regard Paulus de Heredia as the author of the entire publication. Rather." This "jewish discipline on the subject of things divine" which "comes from the patriarchs and the prophets" is . into which he has worked a second passage (Ill. we can be sure that it is a retroversion from the Latin. It is Galatino's other remarks on the subject of the Epistola secrerorvm . there is even a further piece of evidence that points to a personal relationship berween Pico della Mirandola and Paulus de Heredia." This passage is a deliberate Christian interpolation into the authentic text in Zohar Ill. despite the central role of the subject.
Pice's claim to originality remains to a large extent justified. written between 1500 and 1504and based on his religious disputations with Christian clergy at the Ferrara court. which refers it to the Paraclere. to which Graetz first called attention. There is nothing in the contents of the Epistola that would lead us to conclude that Pica della Mirandola's theses on the "true. however." Heredia's text is in fact devoid of any reference to the docrrine of the sefirot. which did not appear until 15[6. by then a septuagenarian. in Spain. an erudite Jew from Ferrara. many turned their faces to the desert" in order to find other. Farissol reports of falsified aggadic-kabbalist pseudepigrapha which had "recently" been produced in Spain by an organized group of converted Jews. but makes no reference to the sefirot symbolism which Pica della Mirandola found so fascinating.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH (discovered in manuscript by Kleinhans) that show his extravagant claims to be less than reliable." that is. This piece of evidence. The passage reads as follows: When the scholars participating in the disputations were unable to disprove the Jewish explanation of the Torah verses. to have reestablished it in its original inregriry'" . though published in 1518. This would appear to add proof to my contention that Heredia did not actually come up with the Zohar "quotation" himself.as if he had actually had the Hebrew at his disposal! We may suppose that Galatino and Giustiniani. the Christian. At those points where both authors do discuss the same topic. He names three members of this group of forgers. preG pared a reprint of Heredia's work at the suggestion of Paulus Capisuchi. had he possessed the Hebrew text in its entirety.and this is without doubt correct . They found their proof in certain passages of the haggadah and midrashirn of our sages as well as in the writing of Jonathan ben Uziel and other scarce texts such as the Midrash 1wzit.. In the 1530S. were in collaboration with one another. alarino. and that consequently. are in any way indebted to Paulus de Heredia. even if. They have used these to prove certain fabrications concerning their messiah and [ 34 1 [ 35 1 . more convincing evidence of the truth of the Trinity and of the birth of the messiah as something already accomplished." What is more. he would have mentioned it in one or another of the many references to other parts of Heredia's work." In his dedication to Capisuchi. which Galatino refers to as "not unskilful. lay far from Pica's concerns. his genealogy.to have emended the many mistakes which the printer had made in Paul de Heredia's translation. their treatment differs dramatically Heredia's "quotations" concerning the name of Jesus" have nothing in common with Pica's Trinitarian interpretation of the three consonants: yod the Father. The Heredia text had apparently become impossible to find. much less modest in his letter to the pope. the virgin birth and the christological exegesis of biblical verses. Galatino claims only . in which he claims to have translated the original text into Latin from the Hebrew text and in doing so. 263a). Thus. kabbalah. Heredia's interests."?" He is. as I take it. Heredia's mariological interpretation of the closed mem in the word i1:nn:r in the messianic prophecy of Isaiah 9:6 differs completely from Pica's."7 Given Galatino's penchant for quoting his sources. were never published. is worth some dose consideration here. whereas just the opposite is the case. they were sent to the bishop for printing and have been preserved at the Vatican. I have even also discovered that because these books with their views were not widely distributed. with the exception of the above-mentioned Trinitarian treatment of the Zohar passage (III.was for the most part completed in ISIS. he was aware of Heredia's publication. which included speculations on the mother of Christ." In his polemical work Magen Abot. Although Calatino's manuscript. He plays with gematria and notarilwn in great detail. along with his preface. but used some other source. which Kleinhans has given us almost in its entirety. He would otherwise have been able to employ the symbolism elsewhere in his text. but unfortunately cites their names in corrupt form. one can assume with some certainty that. who used virtually the same sources." a number of evildoing jews" have written passages in the language of the Babylonian or Jerusalem Talmud. and in the style of the Zohar. bishop of Nicastro. the Midrash to the Psalms" and the Megillot and Bereshit rabbah. converted Jews published and distributed a number of texts in the same genre as Iggeret ha-sodot and Gale razaya is confirmed by the testimony of Abraham Farissol. shin the Logos. waw the Holy Spirit. the purported Hebrew text of the passage in the Epistola secretorum could not in facr have been taken from Ciustimani's Psalter. especially if we concur with Kleinhans that Galatinos work. v The fact that.
Alintiene). The group consists of twelve young people with one leader and the names of three of them are Alitienzio of Monzon. but disappears after 1391 and reappears in 1490 in Huesca. they attempt to prove the Trinity. Yes. and Heredia's authorities (Rabbi Nehunia. of a group of disloyal Jews who not long ago established a small society in Spain. The most interesting is the first. and a third. and before leaving for Italy. He apparently provides their Jewish names. the [virgin] birth. a member of the Alitienzi family. in the language of the Zohar.. for the most part in name only. the Bereshit rabbah or to the work of the kabbalists.. who had gone over to Christianity only recently. have been designed. the resurrection. from a psychological perspective.. drushim]. Did the Aragonian forgers have access to Heredia's text or to his sources? Considering that Heredia most probably wrote in Aragon before 1480. you would never find them there. The manuscripts of Farissol's book refer to the place names as 11~))):J and 11~I. the birth. my place of residence.lIOThe latter does not correspond to any known location. Yet. passages of this sort] were presented to me. Rabbenu Haccados. along with explanations of biblical verses which [according to them] refer to these doctrines. the glorification and other issues that relate to the messiah. it is quite possible. near Saragossa. the glorification [of Christ] and others of the dogmas upon which they have erected the towers of their theses . that is. The family name has an Italian ending. They have written under the names of the sages from the midrashim and claimed to have taken the quoted passages from the rnidrash itself.I think it more likely that we have here a product of the time before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. It is impossible to say for certain whether there was any correlation between the "authorities of the midrash" under whose names the Spanish group produced its work. as Baer has kindly instructed me. In fact. and given the activities of the Inquisition . I was not able to find a single one. when they [sc. [ 37 1 . near Lerida. In them they have defended the doctrines of the Incarnation of God. where the majority of Jewish residents converted to Christianity in 1414. as Alitienzi (or Alitenci. Vidal of Saragossa in Aragon. the group of "young people" which Farissol describes clearly had a richer repertoire at their disposal than Heredia. For what other purpose could such a text.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH related issues. and the Hebrew 1K'~)'V'~ is to be read. of texts that were written in Hebrew and therefore difficult to control . here in Ferrara. and who in the 1490S had not yet forgotten their Hebrew. however. It is more likely that the complete Aramaic text which FarissoJ reproduces was taken from Pedro de la Caballeria's pseudo-Zohar on Isaiah 6:3. It would be a great help to know the exact identities of the three persons whom Farissol names in his report. With the help of such explanations [sermones.T1K The former would be the Catalonian town Monzon. I have just heard. The latter seems more probable to me. before his informants left Spain. written in the language of the Zohar and the midrash. and could be a corruption of some other name. the Incarnation. Bereshit rabbah and the midrashim. The quotation said to come from Targum Jonathan could well have been the one on Isaiah 6:3 which is found in Paulus de Heredia's work. This family name was relatively common in Saragossa in the fourteenth century. was probably in circulation before 1492. the only Jews still residing in Spain after 1492." The collection of pseudepigrapha of which Farissol had heard reports and perhaps saw parts. It is unclear whether Farissol actually saw the collection of pseudomidrashim in its entirety or if he had been shown only quotations which would have fitted a text of this type (whose existence he knew through word of mouth). Simeon ben Yohai). except that Farissol expressly states further on that this particular interpretation was presented to him as having been taken from an authentic rnidrash but one which he himself had been unable to locate. Could it be a reference to iTjJW1~ (Huesca)? Or did the neophyte. These passages they have then attributed to the midrashim.. when I looked for them there myself. It is also possible that the pseudepigrapha were intended to influence the Marranos. from a respected Jewish exile. than as propaganda among Hebrew-readingJews who had not yet converted to Christianity? The answer is not certain. known by his nickname "El-ciccico" [?] de Orson [or de Morson?] of Avila.which would hardly have encouraged the distribution among the Conversos." I was amazed and denied that such a thing could exist among Jews." But whatever the circumstances. This society has written and compiled a small collection of blasphemous midrashim. perhaps later live in Monzon? In any case. No matter how zealous your search." Apparently all of these pseudo-citations passed through many hands and many editions while still in Spain.
and it is quite possible that Farissol's group of twelve were different people. mutability and multiplicity. be one and the same? The "nickname" of the third person is no doubt a Spanish diminutive of the name Isaac. who was a student at the time. who were in agreement with the finest parts of the Platonic world of thought. The father. to have shed a clearer light on some circumstances which help to explain the emergence and development of the Christian kabbalah. This is no more than a hypothesis. it was three. of a number of Jews from Huesca. judging by the arguments he wrote in his own defense." But then.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH thanks to Baer's great work. we have documents detailing the long trial. afier the emergence of Pico della Mirandola. then we could place their activities in the last years before the expulsion. Could Farissol's "Vidal de Saragossa" and Eliezer's friend. Abraham Alitienca. But even he nowhere mentions Pico in this context" Only much later do Jewish kabbalists in Italy refer to or discuss Pica's works. who did their work a few years earlier. the doctor and rabbi Eliezer Alitienca. led to considerable complications in Huesca. It is interesting to note that although Parissol was knowledgeable about the Spanish converts' Christian kabbalah. According to another statement. Yet one detects. a most learned Talmudist and committed Jew. The scholar David Messer Leon of Mantua was close to and inspired by Marsilio Ficinos circle and later wrote a comprehensive important kabbalistic work entitled Magen David in which he examines explicitly the relationship between the "divine Plato" and the kabbalah." One might point out bere. the son of Ismael Abenrabi.juda Messer Leon of Mantua (father of the aforementioned David Messer Leon) rejects those trends among kabbalists in recent generations that he felt could eventually lead to an acceptance of notions of God's corporeality. we know that his father was burned as a martyr in 1490. The two youths went so far as to write letters in Hebrew to one another in which they exchanged oaths that they would convert to Christianity. an indirect polemic against the Christian interpretation of the kabbalah. from converting to Christianity" Could this be the neophyte and author of the Jewish-Christian kabbalist pseudepigraphon whom Farissol mentions first in his list of three names? According to the records of the trial. with this discussion. 85 I hope. and not two. whom he may have known personally. including Abraham Alitienca. that at the time of Pice's writing. They stood accused of attempting in the previous year to dissuade Abraham's son. [ 39 1 . to Paulus de Heredia). however. we have no record of allY reaction from this generation of Jews to Pice's kabbalah (nor. Although there is no mention of Eliezer Alitienca's fate. Perhaps further data will surface from Spanish records which will give us more exact information. however. while Italian Platonists were turning to the kabbalah. In his letter. If the group of twelve neophytes were really connected with the person mentioned in the records of the Huesca trial. He calls instead for a return to the most ancient authorities of the kabbalah. Jewish scholars in Italy were simultaneously turning to a Platonic interpretation of the kabbalah's basic principles. in Juda Messer Leon's extremely interesting letter written in about 1490 to the notables of the Jewish community in Florence. that is. the younger Alirienca's decision to convert to Christianity together with a friend in Saragossa.Jews who committed themselves on oath to convert. from January to June 1489. for that matter. was an official in the community in Huesca and. he makes no mention of the parallel efforts of Pico della Mirandola.
3. is important enough to be given in the original: "Darylus Pici Mirandulani praeceptor quem ego jam decrepitum menses aliquot audivi. arc bores frucruset animanria sese humanibus corporibus primum. There he calls the Hebrew "Dactylus. Anagnine. see also E. possibly having heard it from Dattilo himself. as Cassuto takes it (G/i Ebrei a Firenze nell'etd del Rinascimento (Florence. Itaque intelligi a nonnullis. se ea inferiorern hanc atque e materia educatam obsequentern habueri(n)t. that he was Pice's teacher (or one of his reachers). that Pico was boasting that he had persuaded Dattilo to acknowledge the Christian dogma of the Trinity. atque ortus interitusque labore. cited by Perles (p. 1918). however. 317).NOTES I. It remains unclear whether Pico had known Dattilo before their meeting or had only sought further acquaintance as a result of this conversation . he only mentions having met with Dattilo at a friend's house. He mentions this in two passages in his writings (cf Perles. Beitrage zur Geschichte dIT hebraischen una aramiiischen Studien (Munich. "Cujus rei [rhe agreement of the kabbalah with Christian teachings] restem gravissimum habeo Antonium Cronicum . 124). 82).' qui suis auribus cum apud eum essem in convivio audivit Dattilum Hebraeum peritum hujus scientiae in Christianorum prorsus de tr initate sentenriam pedibus manibusque descendere" (OpITa omni4Joannis Pici (Basel. It is Widmanstadt who is the first to claim. Joseph Perles. This passage. 191'3. 1884). semina quaedam vitalia in vesceribus terrae aliisque earn ambientibus elementis larere quae indefessa mundi hujus contentione.. Pica delw Miranaaw (Bari. 1934). At the end of his speech on the dignity of man (OpITa. . dicere solebat. 181. Pico himself does nor confirm that Dattilo was his teacher. t81 and 185. (86). 330) Pica repeats the same sentence.if we accept Widmanstadts testimony about Dattilus on this point as reliable. frutices. atque postrerno cum amma coelirus infusa. 4." I do not interpret this sentence to mean. 1557). Perles. Agnanine doubts Widmanstadr's assertion without. ad foelicitatis aeternae partem aliquam admitterentur. 2. indicating his reasons. deinde sentiendi animae insinuarent. per varias herbas.
p. Cf Anangine. ex hac Judeorum Caballa infinita opinionum portenta.o1o e 10Cabala (Mirandola. "Father" and "God" (1601 ed . 325). in a title located on an inside page. The spelling of the word Cabbala (not "Cabala" as Pico spells it without exception) and the fantastic etymology of the word seem to point to still earlier sources: according to the modernos Kabbalistas the word is put together from the rwo Arabic words abba and ala. the period during which he wrote his theses. aliam ." 5. 15. but their mean- 8. Blau. Hebraischc Bibliographie. Sej'tr 4 (1928): 286-302. Cf my essay on the identity of the pseudo-Rabad with joseph the Tall in Kiryat manuscripts of the Yesirah commentary were circulated anonymously." In reality. 5: 486). 17· In Cod. Pico della Mirando1o. Haec idcirco commemoravi. That holds particularly true for the tract de auditu kabbalistico which first appeared in Venice in IS18 and which is described on the title page as Opusculum Raymundinum.ot at the beginning of his "Conclusiones Cabalisticae secundum opinionem propriam. 16. 5 (1941). pars Magiae naturalis suprema. which Pico would have had in his hands-a fact which Anagnine (p. 108. a doctor in Padua around IS20. Only recently among new acquisitions by the British Museum has a fifteenth-century Italian mansucript surlaced which contained the work and a correct identification of the author (MS Orient. The idea which emerges from the title of a parallel between the Lullian philosophy and the Kabbala stems from Pice's Apologia. As of 48S-6. 9. The idea was therefore first published in 1487. In fact. 109-1S." It is easy to demonstrate that Pico here translates as an combinandi. In the epitome of the Qur an. This work is exceptional in its treatment of nearly forgotten writers such as Ricci. lieet forte diverso modo procedant.. 4. 92) has unfortunately not noticed. [ 43 ] . the 1'J)j'~ii TIr. as Thorndyke has establixhed on me basis of recent detailed study (History of Magic. Pice's treatises were printed in December 1486 in Rome. Joseph Weiss has informed me that the manuscript IS described in the British Museum Quarterly 16 (1952). 74-202. Opera Pici. it was Pico who first attracted his fellow humanists in any considerable number to me Cabala. PrOY 31:8 andjob 3PB. Roberto Ketenense interprete.8 is dependent on Pico. Pico has it that the term kabbalah. Blau is the sole author who maintains that the name Pietro Mainardi appears on the title page of the first edition. 12. and. 104. Cabala. joseph Leon Blau.33'8. and the highest level of natural magic: "duas scienrias . veluti ex equo Trojano educta. and the entire word in Latin means pater abundans sapientia! II. sicut apud nostros didtur an Raymundi. Mr.. 11. 19: as well as Giuseppe Oreglia. assigns it to the end of the fifreenth century. everything that Blau cites on pp. is composed of rwo sciences: the combination of letters. 209 in Munich. Of course this does not exclude the possibility that the real author is actually hiding behind this description. as far as I can judge.:l:m of Abraham Abulafia and his school. which appeared in 1543 and was accompanied et est simile quid. Opera. p. unarn quae dicirur ars combinandi et est modus quidem procedendi in scientiis 10. not by him. claims only to have been written in via Raimundi Lulli. 1894). Heb. 4· "Wer war der Orientalist Mithridates?". 122. ut indicarem. 6. by Widmanstadts numerous notationes.791)." Considering these observations. Giovanni Pice della MiranJ. These phrases are taken from the Bible.330. could be written in a fifteenth-century hand. Blau does not mention this. jean Thenaud and others. where the spelling "Cabbala" is explicitly declared to be the correct one). a fact which I was able to establish from the description of a copy of the very rare book in Catalogue 47 of Davis and Orioli in London (no. 21 (1881). whose usage he popularized. however. 190) of one of Abulafia's treatises. 13· vol. and so we have this tenninus post quem for the composition of the tract. J9: "Some of the work mentioned may have preceded Pico . a number of Pice's theses were taken word for word from the Latin translation (Vat. the texts are clearly separated. [944). some may have followed" and "whatever had been done before his time. along with Thorndyke (A history of magic and experimental science. An example is the division of the kabbalah into scuntia Sephirot et S"". Zeitschrift for die Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland 5 (1934): 230-6. Blau. impetum in Christi ecclesiam fecisse. which I have never seen. Pico would have had access to the Latin translations of their writings. I find it doubtful that the manuscript of the tract de auditu leabbalistico which Thorndyke found in the Vatican and which artributes the work to Petrus de Maynardis. Anagnine. 17-.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH animanriurn ornni genere spem salutis propositam esse. iso. 101). Blau correctly on the basis of the unarumous judgment of more recent authorities on Ramon Llull denies his authorship of the tract.. The Christian interpretation of the Cabala in the Renaissance (New York. ings have been completely changed. Heb. In the passage in question. In actuality the book. Almost all of the numerous 7. In actuality the name Petrus Maynardus appears in the colophon of the edition as the editor. vol.
190 fol.. 30 Codicum Cabalisttcorum manuscriptorum qUibu. fol. Caffarel. IV of my Maj'" trends iltjewish mysticLsm.. I: 3Z7-54. 20-37 and his article in Tarbiz Z7 (1958). In the Paris manuscript of Mostrador(Fonds Espagnol cod.. Eleazar Kalir." next to which "principium ex principio coeternum" would necessarily appear.fol. In the Munich manuscript. certain anti-Christian passages have been intentionally abridged through omission of the most compromising words. Heb. einer Akademie for die WtSseruchaft desjudentums 34. 63-7. 8 Carreras wrote an introductory essay about Arnaldo as an anti-semitic apologist (pp. Ibid. PO-I7). Baer. follows immediately thereafter) from Eleazar of Worms is in no way a semi-Christian midrash.. but rather a completely harmless aggadic interpretation of a masoretic note on the missing consonant gimel in the enumeration of the kings in David's lineage (I Chron. 1946). it contains no mention of an attack on the poet R.. In Hebrew... 22. Arnaldo gives entirely correctly (p. m'O:J7niT. moreover. 38. "). also his German essay "Abner aus Burgos" in Korrespon. in Gaffarel. 1350). [9.denzblatt des VereiltS zur Grundung . my Major trends (revised ed ." The volume is filled with !11J'07 ili1nil 'i:n. In the book Peliah (c. Sejo. In a number of manuscripts the passage is artributed to Isaak ben Jacob Kohen ~'!m)i1 10 JJWi1 m'O£)l) ilt1 .s est usus [cannes Picus '" Index (Paris. Opera. parascia nona.. 83) the general view of Jews on the meaning of the Tetragrammaton and the reason for the ban on pronouncing it Cassuerint enim . fase." 39. 1: 438 (published originally in Hebrew in 1945).rad 8: 61. 32. Baer. Gan na 'ul. dicunt . rationabiliter tenent . I: 344-7. He mostly speaks of himself in the third person: "No one except Mithridates could have translated this section 21.. Venice 1545.. 2-3· 18 (1889): 58. MS Munich 58 1'01. lllV at the end of a passage on the sefiror: " . also at the end of the first volume of Wolf's Bibliotheca Hebraea. natura male innata que non intendit nisi ad adquirendas possessiones er bonas fortunas (ut Mithridates) er voluptates sensibiles (ut Picus). Cf.. The quotation (which.. 36.. 25· Abulafia. 43) fol..fol. 37. 1651). SO well. ssr: "esta es la rayz de la fe de la cabala que tienen la conpafia de algunos judios que se nombran mecubalim segunt que se proeva por sus libros dellos. The passage which Pico dtes is located on p. 62f) has a completely different meaning. 322V: ilJ:l'Pil D1PO il-nOn:J1 (1925). but all this has absolutely nothing to do with the kabbalah and could easily have been taken from philosophical writings or from discussions with educated Jews in Barcelona. Sefarad 9: 88: "principium sine principio. It has yet to be explained why the manuscript with the works of Eleazar of Worms was copied TWice. 49-61). Index.the text is more plainly wrinen out: "from this the madmen and the fools allowed themselves to be seduced and become apostates" (ed. As in Vat. Cf.. 28. 26. des Etwlesjuives 35. contra pertinacissimum quemdam Calliru m. 81.or indeed whether the two copies are identical. I was able to find in MS [90 fols. In this connection there occurs a great deal of self-praise of his translation ability: "pulchre transtuli" and other exuberant statements. [ion'Oil1] from Soria and can be found in my edition of his extant writings in Madda'e Ha ·yahwluth 2 (1927): 279ff. 3I. [05.In vol. 24. 27. This thesis was judged by a papal commission to be particularly offensive. nsr: "[los 1 mecubalim otorgan esto en 10 disen que es dies cuentas maguera que uno en sustancia 1~~1' rrnzirrn i1~il OJJ m~1i OJ'~ n1i11!7 O'J'JJil O~W 0'V1VilW O'iO'~ 'nJJO~ 10:J nrocn O'J"JJJ::I nuarm n£)"~O ~'ilW 1iO~1 'n:JW'1 -rrron [17:'::J] n70 1J£)il 'n:JV" -rrmn [::117:':7'0 17~:JJ iO~ 1:J W"£)W '01 . which is missing in the Vatican translations. In chap. such friendly side-swipes. While Gaffarel's first codex contained Recanati's commentary on the Torah. 283. See the passage in Baer. qui Davidem Messiham esse contendebat. Y." The original passage by Recanati (ed.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH 17il i1t 7JJ1 18. Koretz 1784. 52r). 20. In Sefarad 9 (1949):75-105.. I cite from the more accurate first edition. Ibid. 33. 275-336(confirming Steinschneider's guess) a translation of Recanati's commentary on the prayers. A history of the jews in Christian Spain (Philadelphia. Revue ~3. so difficult is it" and so on.. II: 'Jam dudum venisse asseritur in . 1961). 29.
" More on him in Baer.Ji1 ltlt. de Heredia around in the copy '487 has demonstrated fur Jakob Guttman Rossiano (1915).J1Ptl )'i'tl~m 'is))i1 lV'V i1~. 43.J 'm'i1. 41.. fo!' 1I9. 12:12: Greek word explanation of Metatron as deof metater (read metator) in the sense in Nachmanides' hold their Trinity . published to whom the book was dedicated. fo!' 108r. the pseudo-Aramaic lished by Louis Ginzberg 46. (1907). 2]:20 was interpreted 42· For more on this important ha-Darshan commentary Cf. Jacob of passages on the etymology of Bina as ben ya. 171-3. 34: "Scribunt attribuunt Rabbi Sirneoni Et dictus et magnorum Sanctus Judaei Beniohay tiber scribit antiqui. Baer provides riving from (KorresporuUnzbl." Abner could have found this explanation. in Genizah Studies (1928). 144: mrt ~V) ~) ~V''l71i1~1i11')~ 0'1tll~1 que estos tres nombres Cikatilla's ~1i11')~ 0'~. in 1592). Carlo Montecuccoli extensively.filius in Morgen. Sanh. This 'Aruch. where of the kabbalah. Sancrus In addition. BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH Parma de Rossi THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH Ibid. quem (quod est apud eos dicere: qui sciunt scire divina)inquodam apud peculiares Judaeos." in this context mentions 7~VtlV'.JPi1n'~1 of replacing word the word (1948). my study in and its presumed 49· As in the Introductio in Cabalam by Count 24-6. of the three lights is treated son of the Eliezer on the beginnings the copyist with reads: who lived in Wiirzburg.Jp . in v n.1i1 nD'~::1 in i1D1Si1ol.JiiT mp7 ~7 ':::J 0i17 '1~1mv'v)::J \I~'P 1:1'r-n p ~ on~ )VV rn ~. 1612). est dicere: secretorum cum est in medis maic] quod author states "We however that the sefirot have been called is a corrupda Ruha de Cudsa. which Talmudlst the teachings Christians has spoken of the kabbalists Principle agree with those of the that they are not the that about to be! So it is shown philosophers personifications that German the Incarnation: on the attributes of the highest the truth.'n in~ m::lV~tl 'm. Edom. 324-]8. "Ishmael.J1 i1nmV 1~ 1'i1 0'~. along to Metatron. 3. 44. Zelus Christi (Venice.e. 195-2]8. 38b. author Moshe. Islam. Ricci and Reuchlin plete text of the passage the obviously is on p. "Christianity. Orah (1715). fol.There fragment of a text from I that he had not seen the whole he cites a passage in the Zohar) fascicle (qIWternum).'l'. "E asi dicen los mecubalim la divinidad..JVi1 In)tli1 1J::l O'~Sl'i1 D'1m D')"J:vi1tl i1VVV edition the chapter on the Trinity: 53· A copy of this apparendy as A.rn n:ltl lnp7 7:Jill Vipi1 [nn]1 pm ::J~il 1J::l 'itl1~l 51. apparently the doctrine were unaware 50. ModernesJtulentum extremely of 0"1." This appears also inJoseph Sha'are il~l l'0ip il~ m')il Oil ':::J ~'ilil ilO:ln::J lV::JnWilW il1:)O ~ m~ 1. The com- Pico. to an edition in Rome. from which the high Middle Ages pubin a number 52. i1~. where yo e el e tu encieran it reads is also in the Hebrew manuscript 47· Ibid.JPi1 i1tl i1VV ~mi1 i1tl::lni1tl "VVtli1 P~. but only (treated ends with the statement tion somewhere. he proves that there was only one edition Inigo Lopez in Rome on 13 September 1486. even though the next sentence The main passage 1. and left the city in '488_) .J n'7w from the as referring seems to have been deduced '::I 'nVtlv. c... 1592). The Hebrew Metatron" is in part unclear.J1Ptli1. Freimann festschrift (Starnpa in Rome. qui dicunrur i. I have used the Vatican library which was published given by Freimann 12f7) of the second (1979: It turns out that the references have been refuted de Mendoza. commentary meaning iIDVtl 'P' for example. 33) Abner's an allegedly on Ex. It et est liber magni voluminis est dicere: later Iste est pater. The ambassador only arrived by F. 207. (Modena. Secret. This passage 533 fo!' zrr.Jl nV.il7::JPil TIO::In'7V::J~. 2: 276. took the precaution meaningless 01i~. 45· Cf.undAbendland Dei. Obermayer.J 'nVtlV ntl:Jn 'V)~tl mVtlV p 0.J nnn.att. As is so often the case with manuscripts. According to a following passage. in his brief essay on Paulus edition. and the passage accept appears to contradict itself. 071Vi1mtll~ 101~V i10 lml 'm1:1'O ~~ . rare edition of Epistola de secreris is in Naples. which I truxted. see my Hebrew from Cordoveros Pardes rimmonim (published of the corresponding texts in the pseudo-Hal. 36-7. er glossat libra vocato fere totam Et in Arathe a qui liber est in regno apudJudaeos. 6 Isajae dicit: Sanctus quod David Abba [read Debera Sanctus. lW~. iste est filius.'11'im.Ji OilV ~ il~ lV::J'V1 .. p. p. 11VVtl. 202. In b. Then follows the sentence with the fact that Ex. 143.nsrnso 11~1ns nn'£)t:? 1VVil Jitl~il (the end of the sentence is corrupt).J1Vtl on~.envoy." book ~::J~ ~i . Zohar. of '482. ~ V1::J7il 1t:?0 1::J i lV::JJiVilV il7::JPil n'~1.v. In Adolf Posnanski's iste est Spiritus onVVtl "P) "DtmV ))~ [~tl"P'] 'Pl). mecubalim Castellae bibliam Cefer Azohar.. s.J'v'.THE 40. 10~'W 1W£)'~ [incarnatio = 1 ilOWlilil l')V::J tin . book 48. In Convivium 15 (1957) 33. of 1487 (or '488).
ante Salvatoris nostri advenrum anno circirer quinquagesimo. 1926). propter mysteria Christianae fidei in eo contenta. Adonai id est deus hie est spiritus almus [Galatino: sanctus] qui a duobus procedit et vocatur mensura vocis. The main passage reads: "Illum [libellum epistolam secretorum appellatum) ramen Paulus de Heredia. The new tide was to read "Nehurniae filii Haccanae de Messiae mysreriis opusculum epistola secretorurn nuncupatum. who has changed only a few words and slightly rearranged one sentence. from the 63. latinitate donavit et nunc demum Petrus Galarinus revisurn pristinae integritati restiruit. horrus radicum er omnium rerum perfectio et dicitur pater. ut ego reruli. Torus fuit et torus est. it is only a peculiar printing error. tion that the booklet became relatively well known as of 1518. (1979: Actually. According to Freirnann. Galatino also mentions this in the planned subtitle of the second letter: "Paulus de heredia .. He says that it was removed from the manuscripts by Jews in the past." Didot. 169." If Heredia had confused the letters aleph and 'ayin. 98. antiquus antiquorum. p. Neque enim alius ab alio dividi potest. 1966. iussu Regis Catholici cxpellerentur [i. cum esset ab judaica cecitare ad Christianae veritatis lumen conversus atque hebraicae eruditionis peritissimus. of 19gereth! Perhaps. and Sefarad. (1979: See also the text cited by Secret. Calatino. vol. 544. indulges in fantastic explanations about the rarity of the nonexistent book ~'ti "rarissimus est. Et ille quidern hocloco sic ornnino habebat. 32." '7.THE BEGINNINGS 54.That he must have stayed long in Italy can be deduced from the format of the Hebrew title (fol. p. Geschichte der juden. 59· "Audi israhel air rabbi ibba [~:l" 'i as it in fact reads in the manuscripts. est in altero. 1603. Adonai id est deus principium omnium rerum. uti ipse retuli. however. ita prorsus haberur. from the manuscript of Ensis Pauli. where Galatino refutes the interlocutor's objection that modern Jews deny the existence of such a passage in TargumJonathan. It was the Count of Tendilla. p. 8 (1864). Blau (p. Et propeterea ait Seem a idest congrega israhel. whom I quote from the 1603 edition. totusque erit. as does a later work of the author (who had by then had reached old age) dedicated to Pope Innocent VIII that I have not seen myself. then "Nigghereth" could represent a corruption. ipsurn penirus occultanr. 762. but that he himself had seen a manuscript with the passage! ("In vetustissimis tamen libris." There is no doubt that Paulus was actually in Italy. 4V of the incunabulum) "Ex quibus epistolam confaeci eamque Nigghereth hazodoth hoc est episrolarn secretorum appello.) 60. 57- cr the complete text in Calatino. 172. Nouvelle biographie ginh-ale. in SeJarad 26: 264.» 61. Galatinos OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH numerous quotations in De arcanis cathalkae veritacis comprise virtually the entire factual contents of the booklet. johannis Pici Comins mirandulani preceptor. Inigo Lopez de Mendoza. on the twelve-letter name Tetragrammaton and is said to be nothing Vipi1 n1i1. XI Quia repleta erit terra scienria dei sicut aquae maris operientes... Elohenu id est deus noster profunditas fluminum et fons [the forgery begirts here!] scientiarum quae procedunt ab illo patre et filius vocatur. Air aut rabbi symeon: hoc archanum filii non rcvelabirur unicuique quousquam venerit messias ut ait Isaias cap. e. 58.): For ea occule (more complete in Galatino.") Ed. without references to a source). The dedication to "the envoy of His Majesty the King of Spain" proves it. qui rarissimi sunr. 59) did not recognize ing the name of twelve and forry-two letters Pugio [ide: of Raymundus Martini." 65. 487 and 549.) of God which proceeds from the other than the Trinity 1:1 :l~ that this entire passage concerncomes from Paulus de Heredia's book. 62. geheim)! Cf Graetz. as in Giustiniani) it has in Hebrew the barbaric expression i1t1:l Optn i1n~1 which possibly points to a translator whose native language was German and who translated literally "keep it secret" (halte Sif 55· 56. eumque fac unam essentiarn unamque substantiam quia quidquit est in uno. 64. as well as 406. It is via Calarino's publica- tion has been corrected by Prancois Secret. Quorum ipse unum vidi. col. quo tempestate judaei ex toto regno Neapolitano. This is the origin of the citation (without reference to a source!) in Galatino. hunc patrem et filium et spirirum. All of this is also in Galatino (col. unde quidam eorum ilium a nobis confictum esse. col. 42. 41. therefore 1510]. Kleinhans. 364-6. 81: tu autem ea [ortiter occule. in all these authors. primus in latinum venit. col. 34: 945. It is possible that he himself attended to the printing of his book in Rome in 1487. 1957. (1979: But this incorrect idenrifica- . Secret has also shown that the term Cabbala is found once in the Epistola de secretis and several times in his Ensis Pauli from the same year 1487preserved in a Vatican manuscript (Convnium. Marquis de Santillane: cf The passage was published by Arduino Kleinhans in his long essay on Galatino in Antonianum 1 (Rome. Unus est ut unum cum altero concludat et colliget. due to the typical Italian-jewish pronunciation. ac formis excudi fecit. et qui eum habenr. cum esse Licii. the passage is borrowed. 231-2. instead of the ~t1" 'i of the editions] hie est israhel antiquus. ex libro galerazeya Rabbeni Haccados excerptum. cols.
(72). Around 1600 the early Marrano Abraham Herrera quotes a Christian kabbalist 74· This must mean "while profiting from the fact that these books were not well circulated. Baer. col. 67.and held discussions. nos. 1655). and Pico. Herrera's Beth Elohim (Amsterdam. Farissol lived at the court of Lorenzo de Media in 1485. Also quoted in Galatino. was present at numerous disputations in Pice's house. III no. Cf. 69.~. Die juden im christlichm Spanien. 83. fol. opinwlI. FiOOo reports that the learned jewish "doctors" (sc. 68.J l"17'V 'tl '::l ~ij?) . 4I.Jtl m~ O::ln n~tjj jjtl:)n. Cf.) 79· Cf. 226-8 . It is remarkable that Farissol held this midrash. Viitl. created out of the void? 7J.::llO"jj"~ O'tl1:l17l )jj"~ 84.J~i ~V'ij? itl~ The writing of ~. Opera. 96. (1979: This is no longer possible today. 154.Ji instead of ~i. where the passage in question is located in no. 1929-36)..n P'W P'itl~i l~tl '~jj :O'tl17£l .v i"W V . on the question of the order of the ranks of angels.:'" jj)jj i1~'. More precisely. In his antikabbalistic Apparently in religious discussions between jewish and Christian scholars. work An Nohem (ed.rrnosn i1. 412. according to a letter written by Marsilio FiOOo (probably in 1485). Leon Modena writes that the kabbalist Joseph Hamiz. 7 and 14: 70.J "17 ltlj?tl 'TIVi' ~.Ji ~'t1)ij? ~.. Ibid. 75· 76. 1St.THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH 8I. under the two different titles. r: 824. There can be no doubt that his reference is to Pice's conelusw seCllndllm secretam doctTinam Helmuorum. as these midrashim were in fact widely distributed throughout the jewish communities.J i' 1" 0:1 iV~. 72· That is.. Jerusalem. and consequently undertook to explain it as referring. 2: JIl4-90. fol. 9:174· The passage is also printed in the complete edition of the book by Samuel Lowinger in Revue des Etudesjllives 105 (1940): 43-6. 1935). 330. 82. 77- Hebrew "~iV' 'VVi. ros-e. without any polemical criticism. Perles speculated that this might be the same Abraham that..J ~i The complete ten (Lowinger. 85. Libowitz.. . 728. The majority of the charges related to the drcumcision of Christians and the re-conversion of Converses to Judaism. 80. on the word of his (jewish or Christian) informants. 43) is as follows: . 71· ct.~Vi1j? rrrrt ~V'ij? ~i. who lived in Venice.. See also the previous footnote. scientists?) and peripatetics Elia (del Medigo) and Abraham (Farissoll) met there with the neophyte scholar Guglielmus Siculus who we now know was the learned convert Mithridates . 2 (Opera. (Berlin.. THE BEGINNINGS OF THE CHRISTIAN KABBALAH 66. 81). Montefiore (jews' College). rmro nna jj~i' l'i£lt1. 2 vols. The letter is published by Simcha Assaf in the festschrift ill" i1n)tl for David Yellin (jerusalem.. 5V: O''''i:l Farissol apparently found quotations taken from both of these identical books. Ibid. which he himself says was inaccessible.. In the Cone. to the three patriarchs as the prodaimers of monothesim. 290. At the conclusion of De arcanis the author states that the work was completed in September 1516. Hirschfeld no. Kleinhans.Jj?jj'V)~ J1lViOi1'J1lVi. 201. O)n. uncontestedly.. prop.J~i instead of ~. Cf. sec. 1929)." The entire passage is quite peculiar. "Illum iterum ex hebreo in latinum traduxi pristinaeque inregritan restitui" (p. Cod. 78.J ntl~ t"jj i. had Pico's writings in his possession. Perles in the RevIle des Etudesjllives 12 (1886): 251-2. contains the same mistakes as the Latin transcription in Zelus Christi: dabera in a single word. as if it were in the genitive.. i:l1m 'n177. 5'0.Jijj rn-n 'ljj ')t)t n.. Opera. to be authentic.J~ ~i and ~i. col. i::l) '). Galatino.. Graetz.
·!I .26 April 1996 ... j' HARVARD Cambridge COLLEGE I9 LIBRARY Massachusetts 97 .. t i iI . Harvard University u March ../ THE CHRISTIAN KA/SBALAH -: JEWISH & THEIR MYSTICAL BOOKS CHRISTIAN INTERPRETERS a symposium edited by JOSEPH DAN together with the catalogue of an exhibition at the Houghton Library.
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