Fulda: 1701. Hardcover. 4to. 185 leaves. Black cloth. Red edges. Illustrated title-page with Moses and Aaron on the sides and David killing Goliath at the bottom. Commentary on selections of the Zohar and other kabbalistic texts by Mordacai Ashkenazi published with the aid of his teacher Abraham Rovigo. These two kabbalists were both secret followers of the messianic claimant Sabbatai Sevi. Despite Sabbatai's conversion to Islam in 1666 and death in 1676, many of his followers continued to believe in him and worked to spread their particular heterodox brand of Judaism in defiance of the rabbinic establishment. As cover for his Sabbatian agenda, Ashkenazi claimed that “Eshel Avraham” was simply a new interpretation of the Kabbalah based on his prophetic dreams. Ultimately this book is an important example of the success of the early eighteenth century Sabbatian underground to print books under the nose of the rabbinic authorities before it came out into the open with the printing of Nehemiah Hayon's “Migdal Oz.” Text in Hebrew. Backstrip missing, but the book is still intact. Bottom corner chipped. Title-page torn and bottom strengthened. Slight worming to front leaves. Overall in fair condition. fair. Item #33078
Samuel Wiener, Bibliotheca Friedlandiana, 991.