Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller
Item #52028 Ilan ha-Gadol (The Great Tree of R. Meir Poppers) [THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE KABBALISTIC SEFIROT PRINTED BY JEWS]. Isaac ben Solomon Luria, Meir ben Judah Loeb ha-Kohen Poppers.
Ilan ha-Gadol (The Great Tree of R. Meir Poppers) [THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE KABBALISTIC SEFIROT PRINTED BY JEWS]
Ilan ha-Gadol (The Great Tree of R. Meir Poppers) [THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE KABBALISTIC SEFIROT PRINTED BY JEWS]
Ilan ha-Gadol (The Great Tree of R. Meir Poppers) [THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE KABBALISTIC SEFIROT PRINTED BY JEWS]
Ilan ha-Gadol (The Great Tree of R. Meir Poppers) [THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE KABBALISTIC SEFIROT PRINTED BY JEWS]
Ilan ha-Gadol (The Great Tree of R. Meir Poppers) [THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE KABBALISTIC SEFIROT PRINTED BY JEWS]
Ilan ha-Gadol (The Great Tree of R. Meir Poppers) [THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE KABBALISTIC SEFIROT PRINTED BY JEWS]
Ilan ha-Gadol (The Great Tree of R. Meir Poppers) [THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE KABBALISTIC SEFIROT PRINTED BY JEWS]

Ilan ha-Gadol (The Great Tree of R. Meir Poppers) [THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE KABBALISTIC SEFIROT PRINTED BY JEWS]

Warsaw: [A. Bomberg Press for Efraim Fischel Geliebter and Josef Asher Zelig Weinryb], 1864. First edition. Broadside. Paper scroll (8 by 132 in.) consisting of 9 sheets of text glued to paper backing. Top 5 inches of scroll stained and torn, lacking a word or two at the beginning of the first six lines. Else generally clean with only occasional mild stains. Text in Hebrew and Aramaic.

The first printed ilan ha-Gadol to appear since the engravings found in Christian Knorr von Rosenroth's Kabbala Denudata (Sulzbach, 1677), and the first to be printed by Jews for their own use. "Despite the opening of the floodgates to the printing of Lurianic works a century earlier, this was a Rubicon that had yet to be crossed" (Chajes).

The author, Meir ben Judah Loeb ha-Kohen Poppers (1624-1662), was "a kabbalist of Ashkenazi descent who was active in Jerusalem after 1640. A pupil of Jacob Zemah, he became the last editor of the Lurianic writings... This tree, however, shows the distinct influence of Israel Sarug's version of Lurianism, which is not to be found in Poppers' other writings" (EJ). Commissioned by Efraim Fischel Geliebter and Josef Asher Zelig Weinryb, the work consists entirely of printed tables which illustrate the Sefirot in their various permutations according to the Lurianic Kabbalah, with textual explanations in Hebrew. These graphic depictions are based upon Poppers' thorough synthesis of the Lurianic system in its various demensions.

Geliebter and Weinryb obtained the approbation by R. Isaiah Muskat (1783-1868), a Hasidic rabbi who headed the rabbinic court in the Praga suburb of Warsaw. "Muskat was the relatively rare Hasid who thought it worthwhile to acquire a true knowledge of the Lurianic system, something the ilan could reasonably claim to facilitate... The three factors that prompted his consent were the attribution of the ilan to Poppers, the fact that it constituted a précis of the entire Lurianic corpus, and its pedagogical utitlity. The ilan was the ideal entré to the study and practice of Lurianic Kabbalah. The publishers clearly understood the commercial potential of a printed ilan. Students of Kabbalah who could not afford to buy a handwritten one would be interested in such an acquisition, and others, perhaps many others, might be enticed into buying one as an amulet. In this regard, Geliebter and Weinryb anticipated the market for ilan amulets -- or, more accurately, they attempted to create such a market in eastern Europe. The publishers of the 1864 Warsaw ilan soft-pedal the point, appending promises that the ilan will protect 'from any pain or damage' and serve 'as a charm to raise children' in small print just beneath the approbation" (Chajes). A much revised edition of Poppers' ilan was published at Warsaw in 1893; this version, however, largely dispenses with the graphic content, and presents the information mostly in book-form.

Contents: [1] - Or ha-En sof she-hotsi Ba'al ha-ratson 'a.y. ha-roshem [2] - 'Olam ha-malbush bi-zeman she-hayah meḳapel et-levusho ḥetsyo be-ḥetsyo ṿe-ezehu tsimtsum ha-Makom panui ha-niḳra aṿir ḳadmon [3] - Olam ha-malbush ha-meḳupelet Adam ḳadmon setima'ah ha-maḳif ha-tehiru ṿe-hem 'aśarah 'igulim ṿa-'aśarah aṿirim 'eser sefirot b.H. [4] - Keter 'Elyon she-bo ḥulshat ha-koaḥ she-lo hayah yakhol le-hakhil kol ha-'or penimi ṿe-yardu mimenu novelet ha-shemarim le-'atid le-ṭal shel teḥiyat ha-metim [5] - En sof let elaha le-'ela mine 'ateret ba-rosh ha-niḳra rosh hurmanita de-Malka [6] - 'Igul zeh niḳra ḥokhmah de-Arikh anpin [7] - 'Ateret ha-Melekh t. t. ha-melukhah de-Yiśra'el Sava ṿe-Aba ṿe-Ima [8] - Arikh anpin ṿe-hi En sof [9] - Hevel ha-yotse min ha-Yesod [10] - He lakh 'olam ha-yetsirah. Good to very good condition. Item #52028

References: J.H. Chajes, The Kabbalistic Tree (Pennsylvania Univ. Press, 2002), pp. 321-332; illus. figs. 108-111. Enc. Jud. (1st ed.) vol. 13, col. 866. Wiener 614.

Price: $6,750.00