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History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Aviva Ben-Ur

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Full-Text Articles in European History

“Kabbalistic Pharmacopeia: Wellbeing In The Atlantic Jewish World”, Aviva Ben-Ur May 2015

“Kabbalistic Pharmacopeia: Wellbeing In The Atlantic Jewish World”, Aviva Ben-Ur

Aviva Ben-Ur

This article describes and analyzes a rare manuscript bearing the lead title Ta‘alumot Hokhmah and purchased at auction in 2013. The document was composed by many hands and in many lands, largely in Portuguese and Dutch, with significant portions in French and Italian, and a smattering of Spanish, English, German, and Yiddish. Most manifestly, it is a receipt book, a compendium of medical, culinary, and housekeeping recipes, sometimes mingled with kabbalistic directives; it also incorporates memoirs and biographical annotations. The multiple layers of text collectively represent the transmission of knowledge within a single family and mark the major transitions ...