Joseph Karo: Lawyer and Mystic by R. J. Zwi Werblowsky

By R. J. Zwi Werblowsky

Joseph Karo (1488-1575) was once one of many maximum figures of rabbinic Judaism and the writer of the Shulhn Arukh, the normal code of Jewish legislations. Like many different rabbinic ascetics, who might write on talmudic or kabbalistic topics but conscientiously disguise their intimate mystical stories, Karo left a diary, Maggid Mesharim, recording the messages that he acquired from a celestial mentor. As Karo was once a number one member of the Safed circle that integrated Solomon Alkabets and Moses Cordovero, his diary yeilds new insights into the realm of sixteenth-century pre-Lurianic kabbalism.

In this magisterial learn R. J. Zwi Werblowski examines the debatable diary. He additionally describes Joseph Karo's existence and instances. specially, besides the fact that, it's the mental curiosity of Maggid Meshrim which makes it a major resource for our wisdom of the kinds of mystical lifestyles cultivated in rabbinic circles. With consummate ability and studying, Professor Werblowsky explores this curiosity to supply a strong portrait of mystic piety as practiced by means of a most popular rabbinic authority.

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Below, p. 25. Similarly also 'Emeq ha-Melekh (Amsterdam, 1648), f. loa, col. ii. * Cf. below, As told by Shlomel, op. cit. p. 132. ; * ' the maggid of karo t8 This characteristic sample of Lurianic hagiography does, however, make use of what must have been common knowledge in Safed Karo's Maggid, the kind of messages he was wont to convey, : and the title of Karo's manuscript diary. , though not doubt about the information. Shlomel makes quite identical with essential correctness of the quite clear that he it is not merely reporting a rumour; people in Safed used to hear the Maggid's voice.

M. NpTriN'? that at some stage in out matter that was in his ' Ibid. 37a-b. Cf. below, p. 170, n. 2. 13a. 2. * Cf. below, p. 203. M. ' Except edn. Lublin, where, however, the word sb. ), ' in the dated Tuesday, 7 Nisan,^ appears to be no lacuna at read with B Kjmp «inm ^'"s ]n^BD nnn nn*' inb. ^ 2. is blurred. THE TEXTUAL EVIDENCE 32 Vorlage. t. ' missing in the Maggid's it duly mortified, is bracketed word is supplied by extant manuscripts. 3 Xim. editions as all The . . "!! \nother such key passage* at a crucial point.

DIT'DT. Cf. also below, p. 264. ' Cf. also the explicit statement in the title of « ' MS. C i . Cf. below, pp. 266 ff. g. Vital's references to Karo's Maggid, above, p. 15, n. TonH « Cf. Epistle: Viij Vij? V'"): ' Shibhey ha-ARI, quoted above, " nrnix ^tti p. 17. ]in"'na (Aikabets, EpistU). "laia "^ipn . (below, ns Appendix 3. sqipji. B>. ; THE MAGGID OF KARO aa indicate that recognize it it was a as Karo's and that hsteners did not any rate, no compelHng different voice own. There at is, reason to assume with Schechter^ that 'the Hsteners recognized in the strange sounds of the Mentor Angel Caro's own voice'.

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