ASK THE POSEK
THE BOOK RAZIEL HAMALACH, READ IT OR NOT?
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Ofer Gamliel wrote:
Why is it recommended not to read the book of Raziel the Angel? Thank you.
Dear Ofer Gamliel,
I heard the following from known Kabbalists here in Jerusalem. There is an ancient authoritative Kabbalistic work called Raziel HaMalach (Raziel the Angel). This book is cited by the Zohar, but the book itself was lost over a thousand years ago.
What is known today as the book of Raziel HaMalach is actually a distorted version of a genuine Kabbalistic work written by one of the Rishonim (11th - 15th century commentators). One of the Rishonim wrote a Kabbalistic work, not called Raziel Hamalach. Later, probably before the time of the Arizal (16th century), somebody took this work, added his own ideas to it and added pieces from sources inconsistent with traditional Jewish thought. He then published it under the title Raziel HaMalach. This work is not studied in the Kabbalistic schools.
Originally posted on the Kabbalah-Wannabee Ask the Rabbi Section