Mesillot Hokhmah, R. Meir Poppers, Shklov 1785 (46258)

מסילות חכמה - First Edition - Kabbalah

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 46258
Title (English): Mesillot Hokhmah
Title (Hebrew): מסילות חכמה
Note: First Edition - Liturgy - Kabbalah
Author: R. Meir Poppers
City: Shklov
Publisher: דפוס צבי הירש בן אריה ליב וחתנו שמואל בן ישכר בער סגל
Publication Date: 1785
Estimated Price: $1,000.00 USD - $2,000.00 USD
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Description

Physical Description

First edition. 13 ff. octavo 185:112 mm., nice margins, light age and use staining. A very good copy bound in modern cloth over boards.

 

Detail Description

Introduction to the pathways of kabbalah by a disciple and kabbalh master. The small work provides an entryway to the study of the kabbalistic Tree and the ten attributes. The booklet summarizes Lurianic metaphysics in 32 paragraphs.

R. Meir ben Judah Leib Poppers (d. 1662) was a kabbalist of Ashkenazi descent who was active in Jerusalem after 1640. A pupil of R. Jacob Zemah, he became the last editor of the Lurianic writings. He divided the mass of R. Vital's different versions of R. Luria's teachings into three parts, Derekh Ez Hayyim, Peri Ez Hayyim, and Nof Ez Hayyim. R. Poppers' version became the one in most widespread use in Poland and Germany. After 1640 he composed a large number of his own kabbalistical writings in the vein of Lurianic Kabbalah. They are said to have comprised 39 books, each of which contained the word or ("light") in its title, the entire corpus being called Kokhevei Or. Several parts have been preserved (Ms. Jerusalem no. 101, Ms. R. Alter of Gur no. 170). They included commentaries on Sefer Bahir, on Nahmanides' Torah commentary, on the Zohar, and on Luria's writings according to his own edition (Ms. Jerusalem no. 102). In the latter manuscript Poppers reports that he had studied R. Luria's writings for 17 years. Only two of these books have been published, this work and Or Zaddikim (Hamburg, 1690), written in Jerusalem in 1643, and later incorporated in R. Moses Katz's compilation, Or ha-Yashar (Amsterdam, 1709); and Me'orei Or, a dictionary of kabbalistic symbolism, published with copious notes by Jacob Vilna and Nathan Neta Mannheim under the title Me'orot Natan (Frankfurt, 1709). In addition, Mesillot Hokhmah, a booklet summarizing Lurianic metaphysics in 32 paragraphs, later published under R. Poppers' name (Shklov, 1785), was first printed anonymously (Wandsbeck, c. 1700). R. Poppers is credited with the authorship of a graphic description and summary of the Lurianic system, in the form of a scroll, published under the title Ilan ha-Gadol (1864). This tree, however, shows the distinct influence of R. Israel Sarug's version of Lurianism, which is not to be found in Poppers' other writings. Part of his homilies on the Torah were published as Tal Orot (1911). He mentions as his teachers one R. Israel Ashkenazi and his father-in-law, Azariah Ze'evi (probably from Hebron). During the 1650s Poppers spent about two years in Constantinople. He died in Jerusalem.

Hebrew Description

... והם נתיבות וכללים, מהרב... מאיר פאפרש, ומתוכם יפתחו הלבבות... לעלות במסילה דרך עץ החיים להרב ... חיים וויטל ז"ל... ומצורף לזה... פיר[וש] על אילן של הרב... מוהרש"ל [ר' שלמה לוריא]...

מבוא לקבלת האר"י.
דף ח-יג: "פירש על האילן של מהרש"ל ז"ל". ה"אילן" הוא ביאור סכימתי של מערכת הספירות, מספירת כתר עד מלכות.
"אילן" של ר' מאיר פופרש עצמו נדפס בווארשה תרכ"ה ו-1893.

 

References

BE mem 2566; EJ; CD-NLI 0157274