“HIS SOLE AIM WAS SPIRITUAL PERFECTION”: RARE FIRST EDITION OF RABBI AZIKRI’S KABBALISTIC MANUAL, VENICE 1601
(JUDAICA—KABBALAH) AZIKRI, Eleazar ben Moses. Sefer Chareidim. Venice: Daniel Zanetti, 1601. Octavo (small quarto), modern full brown blind-tooled morocco, raised bands; 82 leaves. $3500.
First edition of this spiritual and ascetic kabbalistic manual by the renowned kabbalist Rabbi Azikri, printed in Venice and handsomely bound.
Rabbi Eleazar ben Moses Azikri (1533-1600) studied under Joseph Sagis in Safed; he was ordained in 1596 by Jacob Berab II. “His sole aim was spiritual devotion, purification, and communion with God… Sefer Chareidim is a spiritual and ascetic manual arranged according to the mitzvot in usage at the time and their division according to the limbs of the body and according to time. This book had a wide circulation and was printed in over 27 editions. It was also abridged, and a commentary was added to it… Apart from exercises in meditation [Azikri and his fellow ascetics] recited love poems to God, four of which were printed in Azikri’s book Sefer Chareidim”(Encyclopædia Judaica). Title within typographic border. Text in Hebrew. Vinograd, Venice 925. Steinschneider no. 4917, 1 col. 911. Zedner, 218 (“Ed. Non Frequens”). A few marginal ink notations in Hebrew script, including one on title page.
Some faint dampstaining, not affecting legibility. Attractive morocco binding fine. An excellent copy of this scarce item.