Page 75 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

Basic HTML Version

6 7
The study of the Kabbalah of the age of the Zohar has been
enriched by three source books. First there appeared D.C.
Matt’s edition of
The Book of Mirrors
(Chico, CA, Scholars Press,
1982). This translation of David ben Yehudah he-Hasid’s
Mar’ot ha^Zov’ot
has stimulated research into other Kabbalistic
tracts. A second book can be seen as an important asset for
the study of the Kabbalah of the Zohar period —
M e’irat
by Isaac of Acre, one of the fathers of ecstatic Kabbalah.
Until now, his book could be consulted by scholars only in man­
uscript form (Ms. Miinchen 17). A. Goldreich has supplied us
with the first printed edition, together with a scientific intro­
duction and partial annotations. A copy of Goldreich’s doctoral
thesis, it was published by the Institute For Advanced Studies
of the Hebrew University (Jerusalem, 1984). We look forward
to the publication by Goldreich of a comprehensive critical edi­
tion, along the lines of the excellent method he has already
A third source work is to be found in the pages of a scholarly
journal. A. Green recently published Rabbi Isaac ibn Sahula’s
Interpretation of the Song of Songs
(Peirush Shir ha-Shirim) in
rusalem Studies in Jewish Thought,
6(1987), pp. 393—491. This
Kabbalistic book, which has survived only in a rare manuscript
at Oxford, represents the “other side” of the famous contem­
porary of the author of the Zohar. Rabbi Isaac ibn Sahula is
best known as the distinguished author of
Meshal ha-Kadmoni,
a maqamah written in a colorful Hebrew style and modelled
after the well-known collections
Kalila and Dimna
The Voy­
ages of Sindbad the Sailor.
When we turn to the books dealing with post-Zoharic and
pre-Lurianic Kabbalah we find two critical editions of texts. First
there appeared a partial edition of
Galya Raza,
edited by R.
Elior (Jerusalem, Institute of Jewish Studies of the Hebrew Uni­
versity, 1981). This important Kabbalistic book, which was only
available in part in an unscientific edition, was now made avail­
able in a better form .16 However, a great part of the book is
16. See the review by D. Tamar in
Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought
pp. 645-655, and Elior’s response, ibid., 3(1984), pp. 493-506.