Azariel Ben-menachem

Azariel Ben-Menachem a Spanish rabbi, was born at Valladolid about 1160. He distinguished himself as a philosopher, Cabalist, Talmudist, and, commentator, as his works indicate. He was a pupil of Isaac the Blind, who is regarded as the originator of the Cabala, and he was master of the celebrated R. Moses Nachmanides, who was also a distinguished pillar of Cabalism. Azariel died in 1238. He wrote A Commentary on the Ten Sephiroth by Way of Questions and Answers (ספירות על דר ִשאלה ותשובה פירוש עשר). This commentary was first known through the Cabalistic works of Meir Ibn-Gabbai entitled דר ִאמונה, The Path of Faith (Padua, 1563), and עבדת הקדש, The Service of Holiness, also called . מראות אלהים, The Vision qf God (Mantua, 1545; Venice, 1567;' Cracow, 1578). It was published in Gabriel Warschauer's work entitled A Volume of Cabalistic Treatises (ספר לקוטים בקבלה) (Warsaw, 1798), and recently at Berlin (1850). -A lucid analysis of Azariel's Cabalistic philosophy is given by Jellinek, inl his Beitrqae zur Geschichte der Kabbalah (Leipsic, 1852), which is translated by Ginsburg in his Kabbalah (p. 95 sq.), and by Dr. Goldammer in. the Israelite (Cincinnati, Feb. 7 and 14, 1873). See also Graitz, Gesch. d. Juden, 7:69-75; Jost, Gesch. d. Judenth. u.s. Sekten, iii, 71. (B. P.)

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