History

Rabbi Shimon Abayov and the Kabbalah Movement of Hebron

The 1730s marked a surge of interest in Jewish mysticism with Hebron being a destination.

31.3.17, 00:13
(IMAGE: An inside page of Bat Melech by Rabbi Shimon Abayov of Hebron. Source: Moreshet Auction House.)
 
The 1730s were an exciting time for Jewish life in Hebron. Despite it's lack of luxuries, many Jews immigrated to the city, enthusiastic to join their countrymen and to live in their ancestral homeland.
 
One such person was Rabbi Shimon Abayov of Hebron, as he came to be known. 
 
The 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia refers to him as Simon Ben David Abiob. The short entry reads as follows:
 
Cabalist of the seventeenth century. He removed to Hebron, one of the chief gathering-places of the Jewish mystics of his day. His work, "Bat Melek" (The King's Daughter), dealing with cabalistic questions, was edited by Solomon Altaras at Venice in 1712.
 
 
The book deals with matters of Kabbalah and segulot. It includes approbations by Rabbi Naftali HaKohen of Frankfurt and Rabbi Shmuel Shatin – Maharshashach. The book was printed together with Zera Kodesh Matzevta, matters pertaining to Ot Brit Kodesh by the kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Graff. [Venice-Frankfurt am Main, 1711-1712].
 
The print sheets for the books were burnt in a fire which erupted in the Jewish ghetto in January 1711, but some of the leaves of Sefer Zera Kodesh were salvaged and integrated into the complete edition of both books printed for the second time in the Bragadini press, Venice, 1712. (Source: Kedem Auction House)
 
Little is known about the rabbi, however the reference to Hebron as being a "chief gathering-places of the Jewish mystics" is further evidence of the rich history that the city of the founding fathers and mothers enjoys.
 
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