1642. Amstelodami. Apud Ioannem & Iodocum Ianssonios. 4to . 208 pp errata leaf.
Bound in comptemporary hard vellum in perfect condition. Interior in pristine condition. Title in red & black. Complete of the 2 plates of the kabbalistical tree. Parrallel text in hebrew & latin.
Bound with :
- Maimonides - Consitutiones de fundamentis legis - 1684 Franequerae - Leonardi Strick - 148 pp
- Abravanel - Liber de capite fidei - 684 Franequerae - Leonardi Strick - 118 pp
This is the extremely rare second edition of one of the most important text of the kabbalah.
The Sefer Yetzirah is devoted to speculations concerning God's creation of the world. The ascription of its authorship to the biblical patriarch Abraham shows the high esteem which it enjoyed for centuries. It may even be said that this work had a greater influence on the development of the Jewish mind than almost any other book after the completion of the Talmud.
The Sefer Yetzirah describes the universe as being created through Ten Numbers ('Sefirot,' the origin for the Sefirot of later Kabbalah), Three Mother Letters, Seven Double Letters and Twelve Elemental Letters and that God created the universe through these four structures. These structures correspond to the astrological symbols in the sky, the planets, human physical functions, the parts of the human body.
According to modern historians, the origin of the text is unknown, and hotly debated. Some scholars emphasize its context among various Medieval kabbalistic texts arising after the 10th century CE, while other scholars emphasize the earlier traditions apparently referring to it and its earlier textual features. Some of the core ideas in the book seem to have a Babylonian origin. The idea of the creative power of the various sounds is possibly Egyptian. The division of the letters into the three classes of vowels, mutes, and sonants is Hellenic, although this classification necessarily underwent changes when applied to the Hebrew letters. The historical origin of the Sefer Yetzirah is accordingly placed by Reizenstein in the second century BCE. The Hebrew grammatical form places its origin closer to the period of the Mishna around the second century CE.