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Pardes Rimonim

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Pardes Rimonim (meaning "Orchard of Pomegranates",[1] with the word pardes having the double meaning of kabbalistic "exegesis") is a primary text of Kabbalah composed in 1548 by the Jewish mystic Moses ben Jacob Cordovero in Safed, Galilee.

16th century Safed saw the theoretical systemisation of previous Kabbalistic theosophical views. Pardes Rimonim was the first comprehensive exposition of Medieval Kabbalah, though its rationally influenced scheme was superseded by the subsequent 16th-century Safed mythological scheme of Isaac Luria.

Cordovero indicates in his introduction that the work is based upon notes he took during his study of the Zohar, the foundational work of the Kabbalah. He notes that he composed the Pardes Rimonim "in order not to become lost and confused in its [the Zohar] depths".[2]

The work is an encyclopedic summary of the Kabbalah, including an effort to "elucidate all the tenets of the Cabala, such as the doctrines of the sefirot, emanation, the divine names, the import and significance of the alphabet, etc."[3] The Pardes Rimonim was one of the most widely read and influential Kabbalistic works. It was a considered a basis of the Kabbalistic outlook until ultimately being overshadowed by the works of Isaac Luria.[4]

The Pardes Rimmonim is composed of 32 gates or sections, subdivided into chapters. It was first published at Kraków in 1591. A précis of it was published under the title Asis Rimmonim, by Samuel Gallico; and subsequent commentaries on some parts of it were written by Menahem Azariah da Fano, Mordecai Prszybram, and Isaiah Horowitz. The original work was partly translated into Latin by Bartolocci, by Joseph Ciantes (in De Sanctissima Trinitate Contra Judæos, Rome, 1664),[5] by Athanasius Kircher (Rome, 1652–54), and by Christian Knorr von Rosenroth (in Kabbala Denudata, Sulzbach, 1677).[6]

See also



  1. ^ See Song of Songs 4:13
  2. ^ Ed. Chaim Pearl (1996). The Encyclopedia of Jewish Thought. New York: Digitalia. p. 343.
  3. ^ Jacobs, Joseph. "Moses ben Jacob Cordovera". Jewish Encyclopedia. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  4. ^ Ed. Chaim Pearl (1996). The Encyclopedia of Jewish Thought. New York: Digitalia. p. 343.
  5. ^ "The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia Translations". Study Light. Archived from the original on 2011-08-23.
  6. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia.