Printed in Western Ukraine

AZOULAI Abraham ben Mordechaï

Sefer Hesed le-Avraham Hibro Hekhino ve-gam Hikro Ha-Aluf

[Mercy to Abraham]

Publication: Zhovkva, Gershon (Letteris) Volf, 1802.

AZOULAI Abraham ben Mordechaï, Sefer Hesed le-Avraham Hibro Hekhino ve-gam Hikro Ha-Aluf

Rare edition of this important cabalistic treatise, a lovely production of a provincial Ukrainian city.

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Our Notes & References

Scarce edition, from provincial Ukraine, of an important cabalistic treatise, first published, posthumously, in 1685 in Amsterdam. The city of Zhovkva (Жовква) lies just north of Lvyv, now in Ukraine. At the time of publication though, it was integrated in the Austro-Hungarian empire and was home to a large Jewish community, founded in 1593. It flourished under the reign of Jan Sobiewski and welcomed its first printers from 1690, of which Gershon Volf represents the fifth generation.

Abraham ben Mordecai Azulai, cabalist and biblical commentator, was born in Fez around 1570 where his family had taken refuge after the Spanish Inquisition. He then fled Morocco to the Holy Land and died in Hebron in 1643. The present Kabalistic treatise is his most celebrated work; he wrote it during his stay in Gaza, where he fled the plague of 1619.

Rare: we could trace only three copies in institutions (Munich, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania).

Item number



Physical Description

Large octavo of 61 leaves with 11 woodcuts in text.


Later cloth spine over red marbled boards, marbled edges.


Binding rubbed; rather fresh internally in spite of the relatively poor paper used, some outer corners creased, occasional light spotting, an illegible ?Polish stamp on title, flyleaf with 19th-c. inscriptions in Hebrew letters.

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