Sefer ha-Kavvanot, R. Isaac b. Solomon Luria (ha-Ari), (45498)

הכונות - Kabbalah

Bidding has ended on this item.

Your Listing Options

for more options
Status: Unsuccessful  
Current Bid:  
Reserve Price Not Met  
Auction Ends: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:11:30 AM
Bid History: 16 Bids  
Page Views: 489  

Listing Details

Lot Number: 45498
Title (English): Sefer ha-Kavvanot
Title (Hebrew): הכונות
Note: Kabbalah
Author: R. Isaac b. Solomon Luria (ha-Ari)
City: Cracow
Publisher: דפוס פייטרו ולוריצנו [!] בראגאדיני בבית ייואני קאיון
Publication Date: 1600
Estimated Price: $2,500.00 USD - $4,000.00 USD
Content/listingImages/20180218/a417e14c-29fd-4959-964f-42f44591ead0_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20180218/60dddfa2-dd10-408a-bf32-532db1447a23_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20180218/f9f8ac91-d232-4c26-841d-9fd3fa7f9b15_fullsize.jpg


Physical Description

First edition. 65, [2] ff., quarto, 185:144 mm., age staining, wide margins, expert paper repairs), old stamp on title. A very good copy bound in recent quarter cloth and marbled paper over boards, rubbed


Detail Description

Sefer ha-Kavvanot is an aid to proper liturgy, individual and even more so traditional communal prayer. Gershom Scholem describes this understanding of liturgy as being a silken cord aiding the mind in its difficult path through the darkness to God. Mystical meditation via prayer discovers the stages of this passage into the deepest recesses of the soul. Furthermore, one’s kavvanah in prayer affects the spheres through which with one moves, achieving a spiritual tikkun. No two such prayers are alike, so that each individual’s meditation contributes to the overall tikkun. Achieving a true level of mystical achievement in prayer is not simple, for as Scholem observes, “I have had occasion in Jerusalem to meet men who to this day adhere to the practice of mystical meditation in prayer, as Luria taught it, for among the 80,000 Jews of Jerusalem there are still thirty or forty masters of mystical prayer who practice it after years of spiritual training.” It is Scholem’s opinion that Sefer ha-Kavvanot was primarily taken from the writings of R. Hayyim Vital, the leading student of the Ari and the foremost proponent of Lurianic Kabbalah.

R. Isaac ben Solomon Luria (ha-Ari, 1534–1572). The title page states that the book is the customs of the Ari, his manner of prayer, and that it is the unadorned, “desirable and sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (cf. Psalms 19:11) according to the truth. It was brought to press by R. Samuel Heller av bet din of Safed and is dated, “shout for joy, and be glad” (Psalms 35:27). There are approbations from R. Abraham Ashkenazi of Jerusalem, R. Meir ben Isaac Auerbach of Jerusalem, R. Raphael Ma’aman of Tiberius, R. Samuel Abo of Safed, R. Jacob ha-Kohen and R. Mordecai Ma’aman. The text begins with Shivhei ha-Ari, legends about the Ari, continues with his customs, kavvanot, and pashtei ha-Ari. A copperplate of ma’arot Machpela serves as a tail-piece after Shivhei ha-Ari.

The Ari revolutionized the study of Jewish mysticism through Kabbalah. He was born in Jerusalem in 1534 to Ashkenaz parents. His father died when he was young, and Luria was brought up by his mother in the house of her brother, Mordecai Frances, a wealthy tax-farmer. In Egypt, Luria studied Jewish law and rabbinic literature under Rabbi David ben Solomon ibn Abi Zimra and Zimra's successor, R. Bezalel Ashkenazi. Luria's teachers considered him outstanding in non_mystical study and he collaborated with Ashkenazi on shitah mekubbetzet, a work on Jewish law based on Tractate Zevachim in the Talmud. In addition to study, Luria earned a living through commerce. When the Ari was 15 years old, he married his cousin. He spent approximately six years studying with R. Ashkenazi, then moved to Jazirat al-Rawda, a secluded island on the Nile that was owned by his father-in-law. He visited his family only on the Sabbath and the few words he spoke were always in Hebrew, directed solely to his wife. During this period, he concentrated his studies on the Zohar and the works of earlier Kabbalists. He was also particularly interested in his contemporary, Kabbalist R. Moses Cordovero. It was at this time that Luria wrote his commentary on the Sifra Di-Zenivta section of the Zohar. Luria believed that deceased teachers of the past spoke to him and that he had frequent interviews with Elijah the prophet. In one of these "interviews," Luria believed that Elijah instructed him to move to the land of Israel, so, in 1569, he moved to Safed where he studied Kabbalah with Cordovero until Cordovero's death in 1570.

Ha-Ari originally won fame as a mystical poet. He later started teaching Kabbalah in an academy, and would occasionally speak in Ashkenazi synagogues. He was friendly with other Safed scholars, and formed a group of Kabbalists who met each Friday to confess their sins to each other. He revealed to his disciples the locations of graves of rabbis that he claimed to have discovered through spiritual revelations. He taught his students orally, teaching both theoretical Kabbalah and methods to communicate with the souls of tazddikim (righteous people). He felt that he could see people's sins by looking at their foreheads. On the Sabbath, he dressed in white and many followers considered him a saint. Some say he believed himself to be the Messiah, the son of Joseph.

Ha-Ari was known for his innovative ideas in understanding creation and various other metaphysical concepts. He created the idea of zimzum, the belief that G-d in a way "shrunk himself" to leave a void in which to create the world. He was conservative in interpreting Jewish law and believed that each commandment had a mystical meaning. He respected all strains of tradition and customs in Judaism and although he was of Ashkenazic descent, preferred Sephardic prayer liturgy. Lurianic Kabbalah refers often to Messianism and many say that his Messianic ideas paved the way for the false Messiah, Shabbetai Zvi. Ha-Ari died in an epidemic in the summer of 1572 and was buried in Safed. His teachings were recorded by his disciples, particularly Rabbi Chaim Vital.


Hebrew Description:

להרב... יצחק לוריא זצוק"ל... סודו'... על התפלות וחיבוט הקבר ועניני' אחרים ... ופשטים רבים (עם מנהגיו)... הביאו לדפוס... ר' משה טרינקי...

דף מד, ב-סה, א: קצת פשטים מהאר"י.
קולופון: ותשלם המלאכה יום ג ה לחדש אב שנת באותו ה'פ'ר'ק' [לפ"ג, ש"ף] שנתבקש בישיב' של מעלה... ר' חיים ויטאלי...
בראשי העמודים: כונות האר"י.
לדעת ג' שלום הספר נלקט מכתבי ר' חיים וויטאל, שהעלה על הכתב את תורתו ומנהגיו של רבו האר"י. אך לדעת אביב"י עיקר סדר הכוונות הוא של ר' יהודה רומאנו (מתלמידי האר"י). רק המנהגים והליקוטים ומקצת הכוונות הן של ר' חיים וויטאל.
כוונות אחדות הן מספר "כנפי יונה" ומכתבי ר' ישראל סרוק. עיין: י' אביב"י, כתבי האר"י באיטליה עד שנת ש"פ, עלי ספר, יא, תשמ"ד, עמ' 101 הערה 27.



CD-NLI 0143717; Marvin J. Heller, “Clarifying the Obfuscation Surrounding the Reissue of Sefer ha-Kavvanot,” Quntress 1:1 (winter, 2009), pp. 1-8; Heller, 17th Century; Gershom Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, pp. 276-78.