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ABRAHAM BEN ELIEZER HA-LEVI BERUKIM:

A cabalistic writer; born before 1540; lived for a long time in Jerusalem, and died at an advanced age in 1600. A pupil of Moses Cordovero and Isaac Luria (died 1572), and a man of great piety and sincerity, Abraham, by his earnestness, won many people to a scrupulously religious life. His chief aim was to see the Sabbath observed as strictly as possible and to warn Israelites against its desecration. To this end he urged them to begin its celebration before sunset, and therefrom derived his title "Berukim" (The Sayer of Benedictions). His chief work is "Tiḳḳune Shabbat" (Ordinances of the Sabbath),cabalistic dissertations on the Sabbath, published together with "Ḳiẓẓur Menorat ha-Maor," Amsterdam, 1663, and "Reshit Ḥokmah ha-Ḳaẓer," Verona, 1600.

Other works written by him, but not published, are: (1) "Gale Razyya" (Revealer of Mysteries), on the transmigration of souls; (2) "Ẓirufim" (Alphabetical Combinations and Gemaṭria); (3) "Ha-Beriah" (On Creation), two volumes on the Cabala of Isaac Ashkenazi (see Oppenheimer, "Catal." fol. 886; quarto 930, 1033, 1036, 1056). According to Azulai ("Shem ha-Gedolim") he actually saw the Shekinah, or glorious presence of God, at the Wall of Wailing ("Kotel Ma'arabi") of the Temple ruins.

Michael ascribes to him also the authorship of "Mashre Ḳiṭrin" (Untier of Knots), an apocalyptic work on the Messianic time. Michael also attributes to him the commentary on the Prophecy of Naḥman Kaṭofa; a journal of his wanderings as exile—"Sefer Migroshaw"; another cabalistic work, "Masoret ha-Ḥokmah"; a work on the duty of surrendering life during persecutions ("Megillat Amraphel"); "Ohel Mo'ed," on the Ten Sefirot; and "Sefer Zikkaron," a supercommentary to Rashi, but these are really the works of Abraham ha-Levi the Elder (ha-Zaḳen).

Bibliography:
  • Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, No. 153, who believes this Abraham to be identical with Abraham ha-Zaḳen;
  • Steinschneider, in Oẓar Neḥmad, ii. 148;
  • Zunz, in Kerem Ḥemed, ix. 140.
J. L. S.K.
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