Moses Botarel

Moses Botarel (or Botarelo), a Jewish writer of Spanish birth, who flourished in the 15th century, is the author of a commentary on the famous Book Jezirah (q.v.), entitled פֵּרוּשׁ סֵפֶר יצַירָה, which he wrote for a Christian scholar, Maestro Juan, in 1409, and wherein he praises philosophy, speaks of Aristotle as of a prophet, and maintains that philosophy and the Kabbalah propound exactly the same doctrines, and that they only differ in language and in technical terms. In this commentary Moses Botarel shows how, by fasting, ablutions, prayer, and invocation of divine and angelic names a man may have such dreams as shall disclose to him the secrets of the future, and quotes in confirmation of his opinions such ancient authorities as Rab. Ashi, Saadia Gaon, Hai Gaon, etc., whom the Kabbalah claims as its great pillars. Botarel's commentary was first published with the text of the Book Jezira and other commentaries (Mantua, 1562; Zolkiew, 1745; and in Grodno, 1806, 1820). Moses also wrote a work entitled מַשׁפָּט עֵין, on astrology, redemption, and prophecies. See Furst, Bibl. Jud. 1:128; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden, 8:106, 107; Ginsburg, The Kabbalah, page 122; Jellinek, Biograph. Skizzen. volume 2; Mose Botarel, in L.B. des Or. 1846, No. 12; Job. Steudner, Mos. Botarel de mysterio Trinitatis (Lat. vers. et illustr. [reprinted in his Die judische ABC-Schule, page 27]); Cassel, Leifadenfur jud. Gesch. u. Literatur. page 75. (B.P.)

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