The People in the Books: Hebraica and Judaica Manuscripts from Columbia University Libraries

Mystics > "Unknown"


Derekh ʻets ḥayim.
Manuscript in Hebrew on paper.
18th century.
MS X893 L892
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

One of the owners of this this book called himself "the small," Leib son of Yehuda Shim’on.  It seems that Leib owned and cherished the book, but did not have much knowledge of the meaning in the text itself.  This is unusually clear as he confessed on the page shown:  "I have no idea what this holy book is."

Kabbalah was, and still is, viewed by many people as an obscure topic.  Nonetheless, this did not stop non-kabbalists from collecting and owning books of Jewish mysticism, as the books themselves were deemed holy and a source of protection for their owners.





Derekh ʻets ḥayim: Title page.


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