Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla

Joseph Ben Abraham Gikatilla

Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla

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Joseph ben Abraham Gikatilla (1248 – after 1305) (, , "the little") was a Spanish kabbalist, student of Abraham Abulafia.

Biography

Born at Medinaceli, Old Castile, Gikatilla was for some time a pupil of the kabbalist Abraham Abulafia, by whom he is highly praised; his kabbalistic knowledge became so profound that he was supposed to be able to work miracles, and on this account was called "Joseph Ba'al ha-Nissim" (the Thaumaturge; Zacuto, Yuḥasin, p. 224a). Like his master, Gikatilla occupied himself with mystic combinations and transpositions of letters and numbers; indeed, Abulafia considered him as the continuator of his school (Adolf Jellinek, B.H. iii, p. xl). But Gikatilla was not an adversary of philosophy; on the contrary, he tried to reconcile philosophy with kabbalah, declaring that the latter is the foundation of the former. He, however, strove after the higher science, that is, mysticism. His works in general represent a progressive development of philosophical insight into mysticism. His first work shows that he had considerable knowledge of secular sciences, and that he was familiar with the works of Ibn Gabirol, Ibn Ezra, Maimonides, and others. He died at Peñafiel after 1305.

In different manuscripts of the work the author's name is variously written "Gribzul," "Karnitol," and "Necatil," all corruptions of "Gikatilla."

Works

Ginnat Egoz, גנת אגוז

Gikatilla was a...
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