Rabbi Avraham Abulafia (1240-1291) was one of the most engaged promoters of Prophetic Kabbalah. He wrote over twenty books, mostly concerning the ways to acquire the ecstatic state and have a direct experience of the divine.

Chaye Ha-Olam Ha-Ba - Life in the World to Come

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 Level: intermediate intermediate

Prophetic Kabbalah is a special flavor of Jewish mysticism that owes its name to the Abulafian School. It is different from every other type of Kabbalah, because it does not talk about Sefirot, divine emanations, worlds, etc., but concerns itself with the inner transformation of self and the direct experience of God. Through the aid of the Hebrew letters, and various meditation techniques, the apprentice is led into higher states of consciousness, in order to know his God that created him. Enlightenment is the outcome of those techniques, which open the gates of a new world - the World to Come, or the Next World - to the sincere seeker.

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Get Ha-Shemot - Divorce of the Names

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Level: beginners beginners
Get Ha-Shemot is Abulafia's attempt to describe the general ideology and cosmology that underlie the fundamental principle of Kabbalah - that names and letters are the essential, active, and creative elements of reality. He meant it as a rule of thumb for the masters of the names to know the truth behind the names they use, because no name can properly be used without such knowledge. In this work, which was written from the start for general distribution, Abulafia outlines the cosmic stage on which his entire Kabbalah is set, and explains its general purpose - the perfection of the mind by way of the intellect. This makes Get Ha-Shemot an indispensable introduction to his entire Kabbalah. Abulafia explains that Kabbalah is the part of Torah that must remain concealed from the public, and only received by word of mouth from a worthy teacher to a worthy student. However, to set some guidelines about the form of Kabbalah, Abulafia presents us here with what he takes to be the first and fundamental principles of all of Kabbalah. This masterpiece of Kabbalah is a very lucid and actual introduction to Kabbalah both for beginners and advanced students.

Ner Elohim - Candle of God

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Level: advanced advanced
In "Ner Elohim" Abulafia lays down the foundations of his entire system of prophetic Kabbalah. It begins with an interpretation of the Blessing of the Priests, where Abulafia explains that the effect of the blessing depends on the knowledge of holy names, their composition, and their function. This leads him to describe the basic principles behind the workings of holy names and letter combinations, as outlined in the fundamental kabbalistic text of Sefer Yetzira, since "formation cannot exist without the combination of letters".

Ohr Ha-Sechel, Light of the Intellect

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Level: intermediate intermediate

Amidst the rich panoply of Jewish Kabbalah, Abraham Abulafia (1240-c.1291) resonates the most with modern, philosophically minded seekers of direct mystical experience.

In this Jewish handbook for meditation, Abulafia creatively combines ideas from Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed (Moreh Nevuchim), the ancient Book of Creation (Sefer Yetzira) and Eleazar of Worms’ Book of the Name (Sefer Ha-Shem) into an integrated method of concentrating on the Divine Name that opens the path to fulfilling the soul’s deepest spiritual longings. Intense practice of Abulafia’s methods of meditation propels the attentive soul into a state of awakened receptivity where the active divine influence can reach down to meet and illuminate the human intellect.

Read more: Ohr Ha-Sechel, Light of the Intellect