Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sefer Raziel HaMalach


It is always fascinating to see how many people are interested in Kabbalah today. Maybe I should rather say "Spirituality", as the vast majority has no clue what Kabbalah really means and people are simply looking for esotheric solutions in their lives instead of bother with long studies. Kabbalah simply means "the secrets of the Torah" and thus the studies are Torah studies. This alone does not sound too exciting and this is why people run to the Kabbalah Center. Fast Food Spirituality for everybody and you can even bring your shopping bags.

The Jews in the Middle Ages were a lot into amulets. Today we know this from certain Sephardi communities. However, amulets were frequently used among Jews in Western Europe.
As soon as people come across those old amulets in our times, their eyes begin to shine and they immediately think of something highly spiritual. Without even understanding the amulet. 

Some years ago I bought the book "Sefer Raziel HaMalach" and found it rather confusing. It contains various amulets. For instance an amulet whose task it is to protect a newborn from Adam HaRishon's first wife L.

I am not into amulets or any other kind of superstition (e.g. the red ribbons protecting against the "Ayin HaRah - Evil Eye). Nevertheless, I stumbled over some of the "Raziel" amulets on the Internet and found it quite interesting how it can confuse people's minds.

For Clarification:

Ofer Gamliel wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Why is it recommended not to read the book of Raziel the Angel? Thank you.

Dear Ofer Gamliel,

I heard the following from known Kabbalists here in Jerusalem. There is an ancient authoritative Kabbalistic work called Raziel HaMalach (Raziel the Angel). This book is cited by the Zohar, but the book itself was lost over a thousand years ago.

What is known today as the book of Raziel HaMalach is actually a distorted version of a genuine Kabbalistic work written by one of the Rishonim (11th - 15th century commentators). One of the Rishonim wrote a Kabbalistic work, not called Raziel Hamalach. Later, probably before the time of the Arizal (16th century), somebody took this work, added his own ideas to it and added pieces from sources inconsistent with traditional Jewish thought. He then published it under the title Raziel HaMalach. This work is not studied in the Kabbalistic schools.

Source: Ohr Sameach


  1. Kabbalah will fry your brain unless you follow the prescribed method of knowing Kimat kol hatorah kula before touching it.

    Miriam, your blog feed is broken, if you look at my blogroll it says you've not posted for 7 months, you should sort that out.

  2. B"H

    The Arizal as well as the Maharsha consider it as an obligation to study Kabbalah. Even before the age of 40.
    I assume that they are only talking about men but, these days, many women follow the same path and study it.
    By the way, on can connect the regular Toran and with his kabbalistic studies. Unless he / she has Yeshiva experience.

    I am not too much into feeds or hits. If it says so, so ... let it say it.

  3. I have encountered a name of an angel from a very old manuscript and the owner said its Hebrew.. i would like to know if there is a translation to this phrase :Ango Serumei Talmo Eyeda Guno Binso Antabor Arc Mendiog Apurev Chalatanharaw Ansumabaill (Ansumabaill-name of the angel holding an arrow). Please let me know if you have any feed back about this. thank you!

  4. B"H

    The language doesn't sound Hebrew to me. What I can do is look up the name of the angel in a book called "The Names of the Angels". However, I don't have the book at home but will look it up next time I am going to the library. This will be in the course of next week.

    Personally, I don't concentrate too much on angels because I see them as G - d's internal forces and not as separate living entities.