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Updated: 2008.05.05

menorah

mᵊnor•âh; candelabra.

(Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or; "The Candelabra of the Luminary") is the text codifying early Yemenite views on Talmudic Ha•lâkh•âh, was authored by (Yi•tzᵊkhâq A•bu•hâv), a Jew who was perhaps in contact with the Tei•mân•im (as Maimonides was), and may have been Tei•mân•i himself. A•bu•hâv lived in the Netherlands, or perhaps Spain, at the end of the 14th century. His grandson lived in the Netherlands.

"His use of passages from aggadic works now lost and the variants in the talmudic and midrashic texts he cites make the Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or of great importance for establishing the text of the Tal•mud used in the Spanish-North African [i.e., Sᵊpha•rad•i; ybd] academies as distinct from that of the Franco-German [i.e. Ash•kᵊnazi; ybd] school" ("Aboab, Isaac I," Ency. Jud., 2.91).

A•bu•hâv "combines the teachings of Maimonides, whose Mi•shᵊn•ëh Tor•âh and Guide he cites constantly, with the ideas of the teachers of Qa•bâl•âh, though the complete absence of quotations from the Zo•har has puzzled some scholars" (loc. cit.; emphasis added; ybd).

The reason that "the ideas of the teachers of Qa•bâl•âh" are found in Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or while A•bu•hâv knows nothing about the Zo•har is because A•bu•hâv's Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or preceded the authoring of the Zo•har, and represents pre-Zo•har, pre-Medieval mystic, pre-Qa•bâl•âh, pristine Judaic esoteric tradition dating back to Har Sin•ai!

The "teachers of Qa•bâl•âh," therefore, devised their magical and medieval "ideas… of Qa•bâl•âh" either from the same tradition as A•bu•hâv's Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or records, or from A•bu•hâv's Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or itself!!! The medieval magical ideas of the Zo•har—and the resulting Qa•bâl•âh, being a consequent product of the Zo•har—are intractably contradictory to Tor•âh and Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or. Therefore, the Zo•har is clearly a perversion of Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or!

A•bu•hâv's pre-Qabbalist and pre-Zo•har Judaic esoteric tradition in Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or is documented from Tal•mud. "The great teachers of that time were also generally conversant in mystical studies of the highest order. This is clear from the Tal•mud's description of Rav Yo•khân•ân Bën-Za•kai (ca. B.C.E. 30-90 C.E.) as the most junior of the students of Hi•leil the Elder who, nevertheless, did not fail to study even one great or one small thing. The Tal•mud goes on to explain that 'a small thing' refers to the questions and legal arguments of Ab•ay•i (born about the close of the third century; died 339 C.E.) and Râbâ (b. 270 C.E.), while 'a great thing' refers to the nature of the [Më•rᵊkâv•âh ('Divine Chariot')] (Suk•âh 28a)…

"At the time of the closing of the Tal•mud, Rav Ash•ei [beginning of 5th century]… realized that, as much as it was important to compile and record the legal aspects of the Tor•âh, it was equally important to preserve for posterity these teachings that dealt with the highest of matters… To achieve this purpose, Rav Ash•ei included all of these chronicles and teachings in the Tal•mud and interspersed them among the discussions of the legal parts of the Tal•mud. This aspect of the Tal•mud ['the highest of matters,' i.e. pristine Judaic esoteric tradition] became known as the Ha•jâd•âh and the legal aspect as the Ha•lâkh•âh" (Rabbi Yaakov Yoseiph Reinman, "Menoras Hamaor," an English translation of Lamp #1, including "Profile of the Mᵊnor•âh" 1982: (Lakewood, NJ: Chinuch Publ), p. 238).

This work is not the same work as its offspring of the same name by Rab•einu Yi•sᵊr•â•eil Bën-Yo•seiph al-Nakava ("al-Nakawa").

Orientation of Lamps in Mᵊnor•at ha-Mâ•or: Tᵊhil•im 34.15:

Section: "Turn aside from wrong,

Lamp:

  1. That One Not Pursue Luxury (, sections 1-29)

  2. That One Not Be Indiscreet Through Ugly Speech (, sections 30-77)

Section: Do good;

Lamp:

  1. To Perpetuate The Mitz•wot (, sections 78-237)

  2. On The Topic Of Tal•mud Tor•âh (, sections 238-274)

  3. In The Ways Of Tᵊshuv•âh (" – ", sections 275-312)

Section: Request peace and pursue it."

Lamp:

  1. In The Ways Of Shâ•lom and Love (, sections 313-329)

  2. On The Topic Of Humility (, sections 330-338)


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