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Seven Mystical Poems on the Hebrew Vowels as Interpreted by Yosef Giqaṭilla and Mordekhay Dato

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Abstract One of the most original facets of Yosef Giqaṭilla’s mystical concept is his approach to the symbolical meaning of the Hebrew vowels. Throughout his life, he wrote several treatises about this subject, which deal with the Hebrew vowels as fundamental elements within Creation and the structure of the cosmos. About three hundred years later, the Italian kabbalist Mordekhay Dato wrote a commentary on the Secrets of the Vowels which actually is an interpretation of the poems written by Giqaṭilla in order to condense his theses about the Hebrew vowels. The present paper explores the following questions: (1) From where did Dato derive the seven poems, which, on the one hand, are part of Giqaṭilla’s discussion about the vowels, but on the other, have been transmitted separately? (2) Did Dato know their original context? (3) In what way does his interpretation of these verses differ from Giqaṭilla’s?


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