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Decorated letter from BL Harley 7586A, f. 2


Decorated letter from BL Harley 7586A, f. 2



Detail of the Hebrew letter ~shin~ decorated with foliate motifs, which served as a book plate of the patron Shabbetai ben Mattatya of Rome (see Narkiss, 1984). Image taken from f. 2 of Guide of the Perplexed (~Moreh Nevukhim~) by Maimonides in Samuel ibn Tibbon's translation (ff. 3-169v); ~Perush ha-milot ha-zarot~ (A glossary of foreign terms) by Samuel ibn Tibbon (ff. 171-188v). Written in Hebrew.

The "BL Harley Manuscript" refers to a collection of medieval manuscripts held in the British Library in London. The Harley Manuscripts are part of the larger collection known as the Harley Collection, which was assembled by Robert Harley (1661–1724) and his son Edward Harley (1689–1741). Robert Harley was a prominent English statesman and bibliophile, and he began amassing a vast collection of books and manuscripts in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The Harley Manuscripts are known for their diversity and include a wide range of texts, including historical chronicles, illuminated manuscripts, legal documents, literary works, and scientific treatises. The collection contains over 7,000 manuscripts, and it is considered one of the most important manuscript collections in the British Library.

The Harley Manuscripts are numbered with the prefix "Harley," followed by a specific manuscript number. Each manuscript in the collection has its own unique content and history, and they cover a broad spectrum of topics and time periods. Some of the manuscripts in the collection are beautifully illuminated, with intricate illustrations and decorations.

Kabbalah developed within Judaism, and kabbalists often use classical sources held by Judaists to explain the inner, real meaning of the Bible and Rabbinic sources. Regardless of Kabbalah's definition, it is an integral part of Judaism, Christian, New Age, and Occultist western esoteric religious systems. For centuries, Kaballah was a concealed teaching. The study of Kabbalah was available only to Jewish scholarly comprising of married Jewish men over the age of forty, and forbidden to all others. This tradition of hidden knowledge existed until 1960s when it started to be popularized by some of the teachers.

Hebrew manuscripts in the British museum





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maimonides the rambam samuel ibn tibbon
maimonides the rambam samuel ibn tibbon