Sefer Raziel HaMalakh


Sefer Raziel HaMalakh

"Sefer Raziel HaMalakh", (Hebrew _he. ספר רזיאל המלאך "Book of Raziel the Angel”), is medieval Kabbalistic grimoire, primarily written in Hebrew and Aramaic, but surviving also in Latin translation, as "Liber Razielis Archangeli", in a 13th century manuscript produced under Alfonso X.

Textual history

The book cannot be shown to predate the 13th century, but may in parts date back to Late Antiquity, being heavily indebted to the Greek magical papyri.Like other obscure ancient texts such as the Bahir and Sefer Yetzirah, the work has been extant in a number of versions.

The tradition around the book attributes it to have been revealed to Adam by the angel Raziel. The title itself is mentioned in another magical work of late antiquity, The Sword of Moses. Critical historians regard it as a medieval work, most probably originating among the Chassidei Ashkenaz, as citations from it begin to appear only in the 13th century. Sections of it are no doubt older. The likely compiler of the medieval version is Eleazer of Worms.

Contents

It draws heavily on Sepher Yetzirah and Sepher Ha-Razim. There are multiple manuscript versions, containing up to seven tractates. The printed version of Sefer Raziel is divided into five books, some of it in the form of a mystical Midrash on Creation. It features an elaborate angelology, magical uses of the zodiac, gematria, names of God, protective spells, and a method of writing magical healing amulets.

Book six of the "Liber Razielis" is based on the Sefer ha-Razim "Book of Secrets", with various additions including the "Prayer of Adam" of Sefer Adam.

The book becomes notorious in German Renaissance magic, named together with "Picatrix" as among the most abominable works of Nigromantia by Johannes Hartlieb. The prayer of Adam is paraphrased by Nicholas of Cues in two sermons (Sermo I, 4, 16.25; Sermo XX, 8, 10-13) and further made use of by Reuchlin in his "De Arte Cabbalistica". [ WilhelmSchmidt-Biggemann, Reuchlin-Tagung Pforzheim 2001]
Konrad Bollstatter in the 15th century also shows awareness of the Latin version of the "Prayer of Adam" an interpolation in Cgm 252, although he replaces Raziel with Raphael and Seth with Sem. [Cgm 252, f. 142r-144r; Encyclopaedia Judaica 1, 777]

"Tree of Knowledge"

Adam in his prayer to God, apologized for listening to his wife Eve חוה, who was deceived by the snake into eating from the "Tree of Knowledge" - the עץ הדעת, according to the Book of Raziel, God sent the highest of the Angels, Raziel, to teach Adam the spiritual laws of nature and life on earth, including the knowledge of the planets, stars and the spiritual laws of creation.

The Angel Raziel also taught Adam the knowledge of the power of speech, the power of thoughts and the power of a persons soul within the confines of the physical body and this physical world, basically teaching the knowledge with which one can harmonize physical and spiritual existence in this physical world.

The Angel Raziel teaches the power of speech, the energy contained within the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, their combinations and meanings of names.

Adam and Abraham

According to Jewish traditions, the angel Raziel was sent to earth to teach Adam, and due the elevated soul of Abraham, Raziel returned to teach Abraham all the spiritual knowledge and spiritual laws. Raziel was sent to earth with specific purpose to teach Adam and Abraham the ways of Nature. The Book of Raziel explains everything from Astrology of the planets in our solar system, and explains how the creative life energy starts with a thought from the spiritual realms, transcending into speech and action in this physical world. The eternal divine creative life energy of this earth is love, the book explains the spiritual laws of birth, death, reincarnation of the soul, and many spiritual laws of "Change".

In legend

Some Jews believe that even if one does not understand the words of this book or even understand Hebrew, one should have a copy of the this book for spiritual protection, spiritual guidance in ones life, as a sign that one is looking for spiritual and divine inspiration in one's life.

Believers may keep a copy in their pocket, wallet or purse, and sleep with it under their pillow. Keeping it in ones house is believed to bring a special Divine blessing - and especially for pregnant women at the time of the birth, placing it under your pillow - is accepted tradition a "segula" for an easy birth.

As is tradition throughout the generations the strength of this book is in the fact that, it is to be given as a present for free, to someone who needs it. By spiritual law, one cannot charge for this book,Fact|date=March 2008 as this will detract from its spirituality.

Heptameron

The "Heptameron", ascribed to Petrus de Apono, is based on the "Book of Raziel" [http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/heptamer.htm] .

Editions

*Amsterdam (1701) [http://www.yarzheit.com/raziel/raziel.html]
*Steve Savedow (trans.), Sepher Rezial Hemelach: The Book of the Angel Rezial, Red Wheel/Weiser (2000), ISBN 978-1578631933.

Notes

Literature

*Avilés, A.G., "Alfonso X y el Liber Razielis: imágenes de la magia astral judía en el scriptorium alfonsí", Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, Volume 74, Number 1, 1 January 1997, pp. 21-39

See also

*Hebrew astronomy
*Jewish views of astrology
*Kabbalistic astrology
**Sefer Yetzirah
*Zodiac

References


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