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Kabbalah, also spelled Qabalah or Cabala, is the term traditionally used to describe the mystic and secret teachings in Judaism. The word kabbalah is derived from the Hebrew root kbl meaning ‘to receive’. In rabbinic literature kabbalah referred to any tradition received orally. Its definition changed around the 10th century CE when it started to refer more specifically to a secret form of received Jewish tradition that dealt with issues relating to the Divine names. 

By the 13th century CE, as the word kabbalah became more widespread in literary sources, its significance – secret knowledge or understanding – imposed itself as the principal meaning of the term. This type of hidden wisdom that has been conveyed over the centuries, attempts to clarify the relationship between the Divine and earthly worlds.

Three different works are contained in this manuscript, which was completed sometime in the 18th century CE. The first work is Sefer ha-heshek (Book of Delight), a kabbalistic treatise dealing with the Divine names and their efficacy. The semi-cursive and cursive Hebrew scripts used to pen the text are typical of Italy, where the manuscript most probably originates from.

Browse through the entire manuscript on the Digitised Manuscripts website.

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