Monday, April 7, 2014

The Book of Raziel the Angel notes (book 1)

I've been rereading Steve Savedow's translation of Sepher Raziel Hemelech (The Book of Raziel, the Angel), and I am forced to conclude it is very bad.  However, it is the only English version readily available.  I'm going to publish my notes on it here.  To read along, you'll need this edition.

Book One Part One: Of the Vestment
p 1: Contrast with Job 28

Part Two: The Prayer of Adam
p 7: "the names of the Malachim (angels) ministering in the months"  compare with the Heptameron

p 7: "keep the body in purity, bath in the sea of life".  I imagine that "sea of life" is translating "mayim chayim".  Usually, that's translated literally as "living waters".  It means a mikveh (which is a ritual bath).  To keep the body in purity in this sense is about maintaining ritual purity, which mostly means avoiding corpses, contagious disease, semen, and menstrual blood.

However, the mikveh returns one to a state of (almost) ritual purity regardless of what you've come into contact with.  While there are special mikveh pools (any orthodox synogogue can direct you to one), you can also make mikveh in any natural body of water large enough to submerge yourself in.  (Most, but not all, kinds can also be remedied by bathing in rainwater.  I think nocturnal emissions require non-rain water, but I'm not positive; probably you should just keep your genitals on the inside of your body, like a normal person.)

p 8: "stopped to rest, not realizing he rested in the holy place".  See this old post for more on המקום, "The Holy Place".

p 9: more about "ritual impurity" and mikveh

I'm sleepy now.  I'll write about the astrology angels starting on p 11 tomorrow.

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