Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Abulafia (Abū ʾl-ʿĀfiya), Abraham ben Samuel
(921 words)

Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia (1240–after 1291) was the founder of prophetic Kabbala. Born in Saragossa, he moved to Tudela and then in 1260 left Spain for the land of Israel in search of the legendary river Sambation. The war between the Mongols and Mameluks, however, forced him to return to Europe. In the early 1260s he was in Capua, studying Maimonides’s Guide of the Perplexed, after which he returned to Spain. In 1270, in Barcelona, he began studying an unusual version of Kabbala whose most important exponent was Baruch Togarmi and received a revelation th…

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Moshe Idel, “Abulafia (Abū ʾl-ʿĀfiya), Abraham ben Samuel”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 05 December 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0000580>
First published online: 2010

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