Shefa Tal, R. Shabbetai Sheftel Horowitz, Frankfurt/Main 1719 (48388)

שפע טל - Kabbalah

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 48388
Title (English): Shefa Tal
Title (Hebrew): שפע טל
Note: Kabbalah
Author: R. Shabbetai Sheftel Horowitz
City: Frankfurt/Main
Publisher: Simon Katz
Publication Date: 1719
Estimated Price: $300.00 USD - $600.00 USD
Content/listingImages/20191011/2805c954-ad1a-4ec2-aa5c-ef2368192a52_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20191011/bc0e69b8-c278-4cc6-9c91-044d03d68b62_fullsize.jpg Content/listingImages/20191011/dd2f53fc-e40a-439a-9294-9adebe0a13b8_fullsize.jpg


Physical Description

[2], 74, 76-80 ff., folio, 320:196 mm., usual age staining, nice margins,, old hands and stamps. A good copy bound in contemporary boards, rubbed and taped.


Detail Description

Shefa Tal (whose title recalls his name Sheftel; first ed. Hanau, 1612), the Author's major kabbalistic work, with commendations by, among others, R. Isaiah Horowitz and R. Ephraim Luntschits. The central feature of the book is the Iggeret ha-Te'amim of the kabbalist R. Aaron Abraham b. Baruch Simeon ha-Levi. This is accompanied by a short commentary, Shefa, and a detailed one, Tal, which together are called Petah Einayim.

R. Shabbetai Sheftel b. Akiva Horowitz (c. 1561–1619), called "the holy," and a cousin of R. Isaiah Horowitz, author of Shenei Luhot ha-Berit. He was born in Prague where he practiced as a physician. Considering Kabbalah the only source of human happiness, he sought to make this esoteric teaching accessible to many, and had many disciples. He rejected the philosophy of religion, attaching importance only to Maimonides. Although he did not know him personally, he declared R. Moses Cordovero, the kabbalist, to be his chief teacher, comparing him to Maimonides. R. Horowitz' writing is based on the ideas of R. Cordovero and he apologized if he sometimes added something. The main addition concerns his detailed exposition of the doctrine of zimzum ("withdrawal") which he took over from R. Isaac Luria's teaching basing himself (without acknowledgment) on the version of this doctrine preserved by R. Joseph ibn Tabul.

He also wroter: Nishmat Shabbetai ha-Levi (Prague, 1616), a continuation and, according to R. Horowitz, an inseparable part of the former work, also carrying the approbations of the same two scholars. It deals essentially with the kabbalistic teaching about the soul. In the preface, R. Horowitz says that this work is based on "four pillars" of the Kabbalah; namely, Moses, R. Simeon b. Yohai, and the later kabbalists Nahmanides and R. Elijah b. Moses de Vidas. The commentary to R. Samuel Gallico's Asis Rimmonim, which Fuerst and Benjacob (Ozar 485 no. 889) attribute to R. Horowitz and which they say was published in Korets in 1793 with the title Pelah ha-Rimmon, was actually written by R. Mordecai b. Jacob of Prague. It is entitled Pa'amon ve-Rimmon and was published in 1786 in Korets (see Benjacob, Ozar, 492 no. 1043; and Friedberg, Eked, 3 (1954), 806 no. 989). In the preface to Shefa Tal, R. Horowitz refers to his unpublished commentary to Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed. He died in Prague.


Hebrew Description:    

דף [2,א]: הקדמה להמדפיס. בן-יעקב רושם בטעות: תע"ד. עיין "הקדמה להמדפיס" שמסיים: נעשה ונגמר יום ב יג אלול תע"ט לפ"ק.



Benjacob, Ozar, 492 no. 1043; and Friedberg, Eked, 3 (1954), 806 no. 989; Bibliography of the Hebrew Book 1470-1960 #000137593