I have a feeling I’m going to be studying this last one here for a while
Isn’t your main question, Okay, what is this name?
I’m just hopping between Wolfson and Idel for now, and expect that even if they told us the name we wouldn’t know what to do with it- here’s something the latter says though
in my opinion, it was Abulafia himself, who regarded the disclosure of the unknown divine name ʾHWY as the peak of his revelatory achievements.
Do YOU know what to do with that? This was all secret for centuries so just taking small steps toward understanding.
In Abulafia’s day it was considered heretical to seek knowledge of this name.
Idel speculates that there was a “skandalon” in place to prevent it from being known. I.e. a trap is set so people who go sniffing around find themselves upside-down with a rope around their ankle, so to speak. They thought of it as a way to keep evil beasts out of the garden. I know that no Jew has ever looked at me that way!
Abulafia himself was actually persecuted.
Look how helpful google translate it is with what Idel leaves in Hebrew
I’m just going to guess this isn’t an intentional prank?
Why would he cite this book in this context, out of all books?
On the lethal danger related to disclosing secrets to the masses, see Amir-Moessi, The Divine Guide in Early Shi‘ism, 129.
I linked you to that one recently too, as a thorough text on the imams. Idel says it’s an important study for understanding ancient Jewish esotericism related to divine names… strange suggestion, isn’t it?
This is a recurrent theme in Idel
The ineffability of the divine, let me emphasise, is not at stake, but rather the weakness of the human constitution.
Abulafia was in the tradition of Maimonides- he was steeped in a premodern form of rationalism. He thought if you couldn’t talk about certain mystical realities then you were simply confused. In other words, for him the divine names can be known.
Watch, I’m going to be struck by lightning later today for this.
Wow look at this, Abulafia agrees with me
he regard in his eyes and heart each and every individual of the “men of the land,” the foolish ones, as if they are apes and all their deeds are like the deeds of the parrots… [they] are kinds of apes and all their acts are imitative
I’ve drawn from this Idel book before– remember he explicitly frames it as a Straussian approach to Kabbalah
This is quite interesting when you see it side-by-side with Wolfson’s admission that with the subject of the divine names we are discussing the “true Kabbalah” beyond the sephiroth.
Disturbingly enough, I’m trying to get some general idea of what led to virtually all of my fellows being their Golem.
When we go through Idel keep in mind Hoffman’s suspicion about him.
“Whatever, learn the divine names, your people will continue to be our slaves regardless.”
Something funny going on here?
I’d think this was crazy-talk or something, except Wolfson seems to be serious this is the “true Kabbalah”
the other divine names, which point to a more sublime aspect of divinity, are capable of changing the natural order
Enough of this for now.