Page 77 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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CRIES / A DECADE OF BOOKS ON KABBALAH
6 9
and the Frankist Movement
(Jerusalem, Israel Academy of Science
and Humanities, 1984 [Hebrew]). This edition, which presents
the original Polish text, followed by a Hebrew annotated trans­
lation and introduction, differs from the version already used
by A. Kraushar.19 Since it is most likely that the manuscript
Kraushar used is lost, Levine’s book is the only available text
o f this source. A lthough distingu ished scholars like M.
Balaban20 and Scholem21 have deepened our understanding
of the Frankist movement, the Kronika marks a significant con­
tribution to future research into the life and history of the fa­
mous apostate Jacob Frank and his devoted followers.
One of the most creative Kabbalists of all times was Moses
Hayyim Luzzatto, best known by the Hebrew acronym of his
name, Ramhal. This poet and playwright, who is said by many
to have ushered in the era of modern Hebrew literature, wrote
also extensive tracts on Kabbalah which have been only partially
studied. Further investigation may reveal, for example, how his
well-known close relations with the Sabbateans affected his lit­
erary activity. We have now been supplied with an important
tool for fu r the r exploration by M. Benayahu in his
The
Kabbalistic Writings of Ramhal
(Jerusalem, 1979 [Hebrew]).
HASIDIC WORKS
The last phase of Jewish Mysticism, the hasidic movement,
which began to widen its circle of followers beginning with the
last quarter of the 18th century, has attracted the attention of
scholars for many years. The last decade has yielded, for the
first time, critical editions of hasidic books, filling thereby an
urgent desideratum for any serious research into the teachings
of the hasidic masters. Much of this literature was delivered
orally mainly in the Jewish vernacular Yiddish, and was later
19. See A. Kraushar,
Frank i Frankisci Polscy,
I—II (Cracow, 1895).
20. See M. Balaban,
History of the Frankist Movement,
vol. I—II (Tel Aviv, 1934—35
[Hebrew]).
21. See the collection o f Scholem’s writings,
Studies and Texts Concerning the His­
tory o f Sabbatianism and its Metamorphosis
(Jerusalem, Mosad Bialik, 1974 [He­
brew]). Recently, Scholem’s assumption that there was a direct link between
the Haskalah movement and Sabbatianism was examined in detail by S.
Werses in his
Haskalah and Sabbatianism: the Story of a Controversy
(Jerusalem,
Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 1988 [Hebrew]).