Genève, Bibliothèque de Genève, Comites Latentes 145
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Description by Yael Okun, Jerusalem, for e-codices 2011.

Manuscript title: Collectanea of kabbalistic and magical texts.
Place of origin: Ottoman Empire, Byzance (?)
Date of origin: The major part of the ms dates to the 15th century. Parts were copied in different Oriental scripts of the 17th or 18th centuries (pp. 1-17, 123, 127, 149, 325-327, 471-472, 587-589, 599, 613-626, 629, 631-653, 654-656, 657-668, 669-672).
Support: Paper
Extent: 672 pp. Blank pp.: 20, 124, 128, 328-330, 590, 600, 603, 611, 628
Format: 210 x 150 mm
Foliation: No original foliation. A later hand added the pagination, probably when the catalogue of the Sassoon collection was in preparation.
Collation: Many pp. missing:
4 fols. missing between pp. 118-119 (§§ 226-243)
4 fols. missing between pp. 122-123 (§§ 258-264)
7 fols. missing between pp. 126-127 (§§ 270-287)
1 fol. missing between pp. 138-139 (§§ 313-322)
1 fol. missing between pp. 140-141 (§§ 331-334)
10 fols. missing between pp. 146-147 (§§ 344-366)
1 fol. missing between pp. 164-165 (§§ 378-388)
1 fol. missing between pp. 168-169 (§§ 393-400)
5 fols. missing between pp. 202-203 (§§ 455-464)
2 fols. missing between pp. 238-239 (§§ 533-538)
3 fols. missing between pp. 242-243 (§§ 546-548)
1 fol. missing between pp. 260-261 (§§ 571-572)
3 fols. missing between pp. 264-265 (§§ 590-621)
2 fols. missing between pp. 282-283 (§§ 727-742)
7 fols. missing between pp. 316-317 (§§ 834-903)
1 fol. missing between pp. 318-319
? fols. missing between pp. 331-332 (beg. of § 904)
2 fol. missing between pp. 340-341 (§§ 923-943)
22 fols. missing between pp. 378-379 (§§ 948-999)
3 fols. missing between pp. 404-405 (§§ 1059-1061)
8 fols. missing between pp. 412-413 (§§ 1075-1095)
1 fol. missing between pp. 430-431 (§ 1116)
3 fols. missing between pp. 432-433 (§§ 1116-1117)
1 fol. missing between pp. 456-457 (§§ 1166-1177)
3 fols. missing between pp. 466-467 (§§ 1228-1246)
12 fols. missing between pp. 470-471 (§§ 1251-1286)
2 fols. missing between pp. 474-475 (§§ 1297-1302)
29 fols. missing between pp. 476-477 (§§ 1304-1439)
15 fols. missing between pp. 488-489 (§§ 1444-1681)
1 fol. (?) missing between pp. 498-499 (§ 1725)
2 fols. missing between pp. 520-521 (§§ 1787-1795)
1 fol. missing between pp. 522-523 (§§ 1805-1820)
1 fol. missing between pp. 556-557 (§§ 1895-1910)
10 fols. missing between pp. 564-565 (§§ 1917-2097)
1 fol. missing between pp. 566-567 (§§ 2100-2115)
1 fol. missing between pp. 568-569 (§§ 2123-2135)
? fols. missing between pp. 580-581
3-4(?) fols. missing between pp. 624-625
? fols. missing between pp. 629-630
? fols. missing between pp. 670-671
Page layout: Pp. 22-58, 317-323, 489-526, 537-588, 595-598: two columns.
Writing and hands: The major part of the ms (pp. 21-598) were copied by Joseph ben Elijah Tirshom in the 15th cent. in a Byzantine semi-cursive script. The other pages were copied in various Oriental semi-cursive scripts of the 17th or 18th centuries.
Decoration: Tables and diagrams appear throughout the text, especially on pp. 115-117, 151-152, 169, 174, 205, 221-223, 238, 263, 280, 322-324, 401, 409, 426, 448, 462, 468, 516, 552, 553, 599, 630, 654, 670-672.
  • pp. 1-17 Israel Sarug: Commentary on the Sabbath hymns by R. Isaac Luria.
    Extant in dozens of mss. First edition in Tikkune Shabbat (Novy Oleksinets 1766).
  • pp. 21-598 Joseph b. Elijah Tirshom: Kabbalistic compendium.
    • (pp. 22-58) Indexes (complete up to 1795). The ms contains 2174 numbered paragraphs (§§). The index does not accurately reflect the contents of the ms as it refers to paragraphs that are no longer extant in the ms and omits paragraphs that are found.
      The index was edited by M. Benayahu, Temirin, I(1972), 187-269 (in Hebrew).
    • (pp. 60-84) Harba de-Moshe (Sword of Moses). Book of magic. Edited by Moses Gaster from his own ms, formerly MS Gaster 78, now London, British Library MS Or. 10678: The Sword of Moses (London 1896).
      A new edition based on this ms with variants from MS Gaster and other mss was edited by Yuval Harari (Jerusalem 1997, in Hebrew).
    • (pp. 85-92) Magical texts associated with Harba de-Moshe . Edited in the 1997 edition, pp. 139-149.
    • (pp. 61-70) (lower margins) in a different hand: Sefer Razim (Book of Secrets).
      Edited from other mss by M. Margalioth, Sepher ha-Razim (Jerusalem 1996). Many variants from the edition.
    • (p. 61) (lower margin): The beginning of Ma'ase Bereshit Rabba. The continuation was not copied.
      Same text as printed in Sefer Raziel (Amsterdam 1701, fol. 35r).
    • (pp. 93-107) Seder Shem 'Ayin-Bet. A treatise in Arabic on the mystical uses of the Holy Name of seventy-two letters. Seven chapters. The scribe left space in a separate column on each page, probably for a Hebrew translation, that was never copied.
      On p. 95 a late hand added a formula for a magical charm to harm one's enemy.
    • (p. 97) An amulet attributed to a R. Menahem who received it from R. Barukh, his father-in-law, also found in Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, MS Rossiana ebr. 356, p. 96v, followed by a formula for a spell by R. Abraham Maino.
    • (pp. 107-114) A treatise on the invocation of angels who have authority over the seven days of the week. Attributed to the Babylonians (Kasdim).
    • (pp. 115-118) Ha-Ne'elavim Treatise on magical therapies for the treatment of epilepsy. Like most mss does not include the preface where the illness is called kefia.
      Cf. G. Scholem, Catalogus Codicum Cabbalisticorum Hebraicorum (Jerusalem 1930), pp. 183-185.
    • (pp. 118-612) Collection of charms, amulets, holy names and other recipes, mostly magical or kabbalistic and dissertations on philosophical topics.
      Inter alia, on pp. 137-146, by R. Eliezer (§319), R. Aaron ha-Levi (§332) and R. Joseph Gikitilia (§350). §§ 344 (end)-366 missing. §383 (pp. 156-163): a philosophical dissertation on the eternity of the universe, mentions Ibn Rushd (p. 159). §417: kabbalistic commentary on the prayer Aleinu le-Shabeah, mentions Moses b. Nahman and Abraham ibn Daud. In the index it is attributed to Joseph della Reina. §417 (pp. 176-180): essay on the date of the coming of the Messiah attributed to Joseph della Reina in the index. Includes critical remarks on Jesus and Mohammad. §419: homily on the sacrifices by Meir Ashkenazi as reported by Isaac Fansi. §441: Perek Mishnat ha-Met , a treatise on burial procedure, attributed to the Tana Hillel. Edited from this ms by M. Benayahu, Jerusalem Studies on Jewish Thought, iv (1982), pp. 139-143. §442: Sod ha-Hakafot , another treatise on the same subject. At the end, the scribe wrote that the scribe of the ms from which he copied transcribed a note by Isaac Della Reina concerning his burial as dictated by his father Joseph Della Reina. §446: The Alphabet of R. Akiva , a brief midrash on the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, different from the printed editions. §450: a note on the sefirot by R. David, the scribe's teacher. §473: On writing the mezuzah according to the kabbalists. Attributed to French rabbis. At the end, mentions the school of R. Ezekiel of Africa which sent this treatise to Worms from which it reached Lunel. §475: kabbalistic piece on the 42 Holy Names and angels, mentions Sefer ha-Gevura. §499: Quotes R. Meshullam Zarfati and R. Samuel. §504: Charm attributed to R. Samuel ibn Tibbon who received it from R. Azriel [sic]. §506: Another charm also attributed to Samuel ibn Tibbon who received it from R. Ezra [sic]. §509: A recipe to ask questions in a dream attributed to R"S, one of the tosafists, who received it from R"Y [Yona=Jona?] of Gerona, followed by a piece by R. Shem Tom Falkon. The copyist, Joseph, added a note. §514-519: Kabbalistic instructions to ask queries to heaven, to be answered in dreams. §527: kabbalistic piece on the 18 benedictions attributed to R. Azriel who received it from R. Isaac. §529: Sod ha-Kabbala by Abraham Abulafiya. §565: Charm by R. Dan. §566: Attributed to R. Judah Hasid. §570: Ma'amar ha-Ayin on the evil eye by Meir b. Eleazar (end missing). §695: Magical uses of the Holy Name in 14 sections (ma'alot). §724: Charm found in an autograph book by Isaac of Acre. §743: Charm by Joseph della Reina (also §§ 1117, 1700, 1744). §643: Charm by Joseph della Reina. §758: Another charm by Isaac of Acre. §763 and 766: Shem ha-kotev on automatic writing. §765: Magical properties of the letters of the alphabet (end missing). §§805-832 pp. 302-308: Another version of Sefer ha-Razim. §833, pp. 311-316: Astrology. In the index it is called Sefer ha-Malbush. An abridged and different redaction from the text edited in Sefer Raziel. End missing. Pp. 317-324: Charms, etc. in a different hand. pp. 325-326 in Arabic. §905: The seventy-two names of Metatron. §909: Prayer for a prisoner. §944 (pp. 342-356): Kabbalistic treatise on the left azilut (emanation) by Isaac ben Jacob ha-Kohen. Edited from other mss by G. Scholem in Mada'ei ha-Yahadut , ii(1927), pp. 244-264. §945: Extracts from the kabbalistic works Shimusha Zutra, Shimusha Rabba and Sidrei Hekhalot. §§1000-1063 (pp. 379-408): kabbalistic and magical extracts, including procedures to ask "questions" from above, mentioning, inter alia, Judah of Anian[?] (§1000), Marcos to Joseph ben Abraham of Alimana in Lunel and Elijah ben Moses of London (§1001) - the latter is also quoted in the following §§- Moses of Leon (§1007), R. Azriel (§1013) and R. Judah he-Hasid (§1037). §§1064-1074 (pp. 408-41 2): Twelve charms. §1104 (pp. 416-426): Extracts found in Egypt. §§1121-1159: Extracts from the book Shulkhan ha-Sekhel copied in Jerusalem. §§1305, 1311: Charm attributed to Moses ben Nahman. §1306: Charm attributed to Moses Botarel. §1306: Charm to heal the daughter of Menahem Hazzan of London. §1384: Sefer Nissayon attributed to archangels who gave it to Shem, son of Noah. §1913 (pp. 558-564): Extracts from Sefer ha-Meshiv. Cf. M. Idel, in Sefunot, xvii(1983), pp. 185-266.
  • pp. 601-611 Divine Names, Biblical passages and permutations of letters for magical uses.
  • p. 612 At the bottom of a blank page, the copyist, Joseph [Tirshom] added instructions for asking a query of heaven in a state of awakeness, attributed to R. Simeon the Great and other formulas.
  • pp. 613-627 Charms (segulot), amulets, queries to heaven to be answered in dreams and short kabbalistic works in §§109. Lacuna between §§56-98. On p. 620 a recipe by Trostlein the prophet, i.e., Nehemiah ben Solomon of Erfurt. On pp. 626-627 a note on the Divine Name of Seventy-Two Letters by Eleazar of Worms, followed by spells in Ladino in a later hand. (pp. 626-627)
  • p. 629 End of a treatise on astrology.
  • pp. 631-653 Collection of kabbalistic and magical pieces. Includes, inter alia, Seder Sod Etz ha-Hayyim (pp. 631-632), spells and charms, among them by R. Jacob Berab [the third] (p. 632), queries, among them by R. Shabbetai (pp. 633-634), permutations, Holy names, etc.
  • pp. 654-656 (in a different 17th cent. hand): Spells, including incantation bowels with drawings, instructions to exorcise possessing spirits from the book Or Tzach u-Metzuchtzach, an otherwise unknown tract and a tradition from R. Jacob Berab "may he live" who received it from R. Hayyim Vital.
  • pp. 657-668 Kabbalistic treatise on the Holy Names. End missing.
  • Pp. 629, 669-672 Treatise on astronomy. Incomplete. Beginning missing. Ends on p. 629 which is bound out of place. Mentions eclipses of the sun and the moon from the years 1153 until 1443.
Provenance of the manuscript: Elijah ben [=son of] Joseph Tirshom, son of the main copyist (p. 59), Aaron Altaras (p. 1), David ben Mehalalel (p. 21), Jehiel ben Mehalalel, 1629 (p. 21), Jehiel b. Shalom ben Mehalalel (p. 21), Shabbetai Zevi, the false messiah (?) (p. 522), the latter, perhaps, only graffiti. On p. 59 Elijah Tirshom wrote that he lent the ms to Raphael and noted that the ms had 362 folios, 32 of which were blank.
Acquisition of the manuscript: The ms was purchased by Solomon David Sassoon and was sold at the sale of the Sassoon mss in 1975 and was acquired by Mr. Sion Segre Amar of Turin and Montana, Switzerland and later deposited in the Comites Latentes foundation which entrusted its collection for safe-keeping to the Bibliothèque publique et universitaire in Geneva.
  • D. S. Sassoon, Ohel Dawid (אהל דוד) – Descriptive Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the Sassoon Library, London, I, London 1932, pp. 443-446;
  • Thirty-eight Highly Important Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts from the Collection Formed by the Late David Solomon Sassoon, Which Will Be Sold at Auction by Sotheby & Company at Baur au Lac Hotel, Zurich ... on Wednesday, 5th November, 1975 [London 1975], lot 1;
  • Harba de-Moshe (Sword of Moses), edited by Yuval Harari (Jerusalem 1997) (in Hebrew);
  • M. Benayahu, 'Sefer Shushan Yesod by R. Joseph Tirshom', Temirim, I(1972), pp. 187-269 (in Hebrew);
  • Ibid., '"Mishnat Ha-Met ("The Treatise of the Dead") and "Seder Rehizah Gedolah" ("The Order of the Great Washing") attributed to Hille the elder', Jerusalem Studies on Jewish Thought, iv(1982), pp. 139-143 (in Hebrew).