This study explores Jewish medieval esoteric practices of initiation and empowerment of the «magician», which have so far been considered unrelated. The article’s purpose is to uncover their shared formal elements and cultural background, as well as eventual links between them. After a short introduction on the emergence and setting of a multilayered magical tradition in Judaism between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, it delves into the characteristics and comparison of rites, which developed in parallel. On the one hand, it focuses on the malbush ritual, which involves the fabrication of a dress for the «clothing» of the practitioner with the divine name in order to compel and submit the cosmic powers ruling over time, elements and creatures. The instruction is transmitted in different, pre-cabbalistic medieval sources: Torat ha-malbush, Sefer ha-yashar, Sefer ha-malbush (etc.). On the other hand, some evidence of the first golem ritual and an instruction entitled Seder pe‘ulat ha-yeṣirah («Order of the act of formation»), which are based on the use of Sefer Yeṣirah and the Tetragrammaton for giving life to creatures, are analyzed. I will shed light on some aspects of the cultural universe behind these practices, both of which rely on the power of the name of God and on a bodily image of the divine Cosmos.

. «Unravelling “Golem” and “Malbush”. Reflections on Jewish Rituals of Creation»

Abate Emma
2021

Abstract

This study explores Jewish medieval esoteric practices of initiation and empowerment of the «magician», which have so far been considered unrelated. The article’s purpose is to uncover their shared formal elements and cultural background, as well as eventual links between them. After a short introduction on the emergence and setting of a multilayered magical tradition in Judaism between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, it delves into the characteristics and comparison of rites, which developed in parallel. On the one hand, it focuses on the malbush ritual, which involves the fabrication of a dress for the «clothing» of the practitioner with the divine name in order to compel and submit the cosmic powers ruling over time, elements and creatures. The instruction is transmitted in different, pre-cabbalistic medieval sources: Torat ha-malbush, Sefer ha-yashar, Sefer ha-malbush (etc.). On the other hand, some evidence of the first golem ritual and an instruction entitled Seder pe‘ulat ha-yeṣirah («Order of the act of formation»), which are based on the use of Sefer Yeṣirah and the Tetragrammaton for giving life to creatures, are analyzed. I will shed light on some aspects of the cultural universe behind these practices, both of which rely on the power of the name of God and on a bodily image of the divine Cosmos.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/871743
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