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The Angel Kaphtziel

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History of the Term Kaftziel:

Kaphziel or Katzpiel? (The confusion of the angels of wrath and jumping in Jewish magic and mysticism)


Ben Newman

Independent Study: Jewish Magic

Spring 2004

It is a matter of debate among scholars of Jewish magic as to whether or not it is worthwhile to attempt to ascertain the etymologies of the magical names recorded in books of magic.[2] That being said, there are some names, particularly those of angels with the suffix –el, whose etymologies are perhaps less difficult to derive. One such name, which appears throughout the history of Jewish magic and mysticism in various manuscripts, is that of the angel Kaftziel (Jumping God). This name seems to have only begun to appear in texts in the early Medieval period, with very few, if any attributions before the first millennium. The name Kaftziel also came to be commonly used in various magical spells, and particularly the ‘jumping of the road,’ or kefitzat haderekh formula in medieval magical texts. Logically, the name was used in this particular spell because of its root prefix ‘KFTz’. Before the first attributions of this name in medieval texts however, it was not used in magical ‘jumping of the road’ spells.[3] Therefore, Kaftziel’s origins appear to be somewhat of a mystery. On the other hand, another similar angelic name which appears almost exclusively in the rabbinic and Heikhalot texts of late antiquity is that of the angel Katzpiel (God’s wrath). This name seems to have fallen out of common usage at almost the precise moment in history that the name Kaftziel began to appear. Interestingly, when one investigates the connections between these two angelic names, some striking parallels emerge which would suggest that there is a relationship between them. In this essay, I will attempt to show that this relationship is more than coincidental, and that the Medieval name Kaftziel, in effect, replaced the ancient Heikhalot name Katzpiel, taking on many of its attributes. Perhaps this development was due to the phonetic relationship between the words kefitzah and ketzifah. While Kaftziel seems to have retained the original wrathful connotation implied in the name Katzpiel, it also became one of the angelic names most commonly used in the kefitzat haderekh formulae of the Medieval and Early Modern periods. In this essay I will also suggest that perhaps Kaftziel and Katzpiel are actually two manifestations of the same angel, and that it was as result of the relationship to its predecessor that Kaftziel came to be specifically associated with the planet Saturn, the north, and anger.

The angels Katzpiel and Kaftziel appear to be of a general class of angels whose function is suggested by their name. These angels are derived by combining a Hebrew root with the suffix –el.[4] According to Trachtenberg, “Frequently the root term seems to have been chosen at random, having no apparent relation to the function of the angel as given, though it is likely that at the time of the creation of such names the word employed was intended to indicate the angelic character.”[5] The name of the angel Katzpiel seems to match its wrathful[6] function in the Heikhalot, rabbinic, and magical texts where it is seen.[7] On the other hand, while the name Kaftziel is appropriately associated with kefitzat haderekh (which matches the meaning of the root denoting his function),[8] he is also less appropriately also associated with anger[9] and destruction.[10] Though one could simply assume from this apparent disjunction between name and function that “the root term seems to have been chosen at random, having no apparent relation to the function of the angel…,”[11] a more in-depth investigation into this root reveals that Kaftziel may have indeed earned his maleficent function from his etymological predecessor Katzpiel. Though Trachtenberg[12] and Gaster both suggest that there is little purpose in the attempt “to discover meaning” in magical names, this is one case in which an investigation of the meaning and possible derivation of a magical name may provide a deeper insight into the evolution of angelic attributions, and the relationship between Heikhalot mysticism and later Kabbalah.

The earliest attributions of the angel Katzpiel occur in the text Heikhalot Rabbati, which dates from the Tannaitic[13] period. In this work, Katzpiel appears along with Dumiel as one of the guardians of the sixth chamber:

These people are not worthy of this, and are therefore attacked by the guardians of the Sixth Chamber. You should therefore be careful that you choose for yourselves proper individuals, and they should be members of the society who have been screened.

When you come and stand before the door of the Sixth Chamber, show three seals to the guardians of the door.

Show two seals to Katzpiel, the angel whose sword is unsheathed in his hand. Lightning flashes from him, exploding and blinding all who are not worthy of gazing at the King and the Throne. Nothing can hold him back. His outstretched sword screams out, "Destruction and Annihilation!" He stands at the right of the lintel…

His authority is over the right lintel, and it is the same as the angel Kaptziel [sic!]. But there is no enmity, hatred, jealousy, or competition between them, since both of them serve only for His Glory…

The two seals of ZHRRYAL… and those who do His works, show to Kaptziel. The [seal of] Broniah show to the angel Dumiel, an upright and humble angel.

Kaptziel [sic!] immediately then draws his bow and fires it. This brings a stormy wind (Sa'arah), and places you in a chariot of Brightness (Nogah). They trumpet before you with eighty million horns, thirty million shofars, and forty million bugles...[14]

This text illustrates the earliest appearance of Katzpiel as the guardian of the 6th palace, and as a dangerous angel of destruction. He is associated with a stormy wind (sa’arah) and also judges the qualifications of the mystic, destroying them if they are not worthy.

In another text from the same period, Katzpiel appears in a magical context.[15] In this case, Katzpiel appears on an Aramaic magical bowl with the angel Samael. There, it is recounted that “t,kcj hftkn kthpmeu ktnx,” (Samael and Katzpiel [are] angels of destruction [habalta]).[16] Also, in a magical text from this period, Katzpiel is mentioned along with Samael and Ragziel “in an incantation for placing strife between a man and a woman.”[17] From these instances, we see that not only was Katzpiel viewed as a deity relating to the attribute of anger, but he was also used to evoke this quality in a magical context.

The angel Katzpiel is also attested to in conventional rabbinic literature as well, though not in precisely the same manner. In his rabbinic manifestation, Katzpiel occurs as Ketzef, without his divine suffix. The first instance of Katzpiel appearing in this peculiar manner occurs in Deuteronomy Rabbah (III:11):

R. Hiyya b. Abba said: When God said to Moses in heaven: ‘Arise, go down hastily from here ' (ib. 12), five angels of destruction overheard this and they sought to harm him. These are they: Af, Hemah, Kezef, Mashhith, and Mekaleh. When, however, Moses made mention of the merits of the three Patriarchs, as it is written, Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel Thy servants (Ex. XXXII, 13), Kezef, Mashhith, and Mekaleh fled and only the two fiercer ones, Af and Hemah, were left…[18]

In this example, though Katzpiel seems to have lost his theophorous suffix, he is depicted as an angel “of destruction [habbalah]” along with four other malakhey habbalah, including Af, Hemah, and Mashhit.

Another example of Ketzef in rabbinic literature which is worth noting occurs in the Talmud (Sabb. 55a). Here Ketzef appears with the same four malakhey habbalah as in the Deuteronomy Rabbah text with one additional companion, Meshabber (Breaker):

The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Gabriel, ‘Go and set a taw of ink upon the foreheads of the righteous, that the destroying angels may have no power over them; and a taw of blood upon the foreheads of the wicked, that the destroying angels may have power over them.’ Said the Attribute of Justice before the Holy One, blessed be He, ‘Sovereign of the Universe! Wherein are these different from those?’ ‘Those are completely righteous men, while these are completely wicked,’ replied He.… And straightway, And behold, six men came from the way of the upper gate, which lieth toward the north, every man with his slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man in the midst of them clothed in linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side…The Holy One, blessed be He, spake thus to them; Commence [destruction] from the place where song is uttered before Me. And who were the six men? — Said R. Hisda: Indignation [Kezef], Anger [Af], Wrath [Hemah], Destroyer [Mashhith] Breaker [Meshabber] and Annihilator [Mekaleh]…[19]

In this instance, in addition to being one of the malakhey habbalah, Ketzef appears to be a servant of the angel Gabriel. In addition, it appears that the tradition associated with these angels is that they appear from the north, bringing destruction. The fact that the ideas mentioned above are associated with the angels Katzpiel and Ketzef will be important to remember later in our discussion of Kaftziel.[20]

It is also noteworthy that in both of the examples mentioned from rabbinic literature, it appears that the angels of destruction are stopped by magical means. In the first case, Moses stops the angels through calling on the merit of the patriarchs in addition to the help of God. In the second example, the angels are either spurred on or halted by the appearance of the letter tav on people’s forehead in either ink or blood. According to this second text there are several interpretations of the meaning of the tav. Some of these interpretations include: “tihyeh” and “tamut”; “the merit of the patriarchs is exhausted” and “the merit of the patriarchs will confer grace”; and, “While Resh Lakish said: Taw is the end of the seal of the Holy One…The seal of the Holy One…is emeth [truth].”[21] The tav in this instance seems to have the magical power to control these angels of destruction.[22]

It would appear that the final significant reference to Katzpiel in kabbalistic literature occurs, almost parenthetically, in the Zohar:

The black color: this color descends into the world, and it descends to take control of all the wounds and blows, captivity, impaling, and strangling, in order to bring evil upon mankind continually.

These three colors separate from one another through all the corners of the world and spread among the world's inhabitants. The color of the smoke descends into the world and this is the first color that emerged from the sunken point, from the shadow that we have mentioned, which is Samael riding upon a camel, as we have explained. And this smoke color is called "Kazpiel," the prince, and this is the anger of men that hardens the heart through anger. Below this one thousand and six hundred companies have been appointed, which are the anger that is in men's bodies, for there is an anger that rules in the world in order to pass judgment," but this is the anger that rules and enters into men's bodies and they are made angry by this anger. This anger is the foundation of all the other colors with which the whole structure of evil is erected, because this smoke came out of the anger of the supernal, flaming fire, and it is the prime [element] of that fire.

Four angers separate from this anger…[23]

At this point in history (13th C), while Katzpiel is mentioned briefly in the Zohar, references to Kaftziel (both in magical and theosophical texts) seem to steadily increase. This increase appears to have begun in the early Medieval period with the appearance of Kaftziel. On the other hand, the reference to Katzpiel from the Zohar mentioned above would seem to be one of the last. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that in this allusion to Katzpiel, he has literally gone up in smoke! I will attempt to show through the remainder of this essay that for the most part, Katzpiel’s identity and function as one of the malakhey habbalah is eventually subsumed by his linguistic relative.

Though there are numerous accounts of the magical formula called kefitzat ha-derekh (jumping of the road) in the rabbinic period,[24] it would seem that none of them make mention of the angel Kaftziel, who will become one of the main angels (if not the primary angel) involved with this task. One of the earliest mentions of this magic spell in Jewish literature occurs in the 4th century[25] work, the Sword of Moses (Harba de-Moshe):

If you desire to contract the land in front of you, say ‘Aptigonanya and until Yoloyeho’ [my best vocalizational rendition of these words] over a single lotus [trans. uncertain] reed[26]

Although Adler and Verman remark that “Determining when path jumping became dependent upon the recitation of a Divine Name would require a systematic study…”, it would seem that the appearance of this spell in the 4th century Harba de-Moshe is indeed the earliest source available which contains an attestation of kefitzah which utilizes a Divine Name. For the purposes of this study, it is simply worth mentioning that this is most likely the earliest specific example of path jumping with a magical name which actually appears in the body of the text, and it does not contain the name of the angel Kaftziel. In fact, according to an analysis of pages 135-140 of Verman and Adler’s extensive study on path jumping, though formulae were utilized in the Hasidei Ashkenaz magical tradition, the use of the magical name Kaftziel in connection with kefitzah does not appear until the 14th century[27] texts The Wisdom of the Chaldeans[28] and Berit Menuhah[29]. Before these texts, there are a number instances where kefitzah is achieved through the use of a divine name, but none of them mention Kaftziel.[30]

In spite of the paucity of attestations to Kaftziel in path jumping literature before the 14th century, the angel himself does, in fact, appear much earlier. It may indeed be that there are earlier spell books which are unknown to this author that contain the use of the angel Kaftziel in connection with kefitzah. In any case, in the opinion of this author, it would seem that Kaftziel was not associated with path jumping until the early Medieval period.[31]

In any case, it is likely that the first appearance of Kaftziel in general as a character in Jewish literature occurs in the Geonic period. According to Trachtenberg: “An old tradition, dating back at least to Geonic times, had it that there are seven archangels, each of whom is associated with a planet: those already mentioned [Michael Gabriel and Raphael], and Aniel, Kafziel, Zadkiel, Samael…”[32] This tradition related Kaftziel to the planet Saturn,[33] which according to most commentators[34] is associated with malevolence, the north, death, the left side, the color black, the spleen, and a host of other negative characteristics.[35]

Of particular interest is a list in the commentary of Yehuda Barzillai[36] to Sefer Yetzirah of the angels who rule over the planets. This is because the same list is recounted in The Wisdom of the Chaldeans (as mentioned earlier, this is one of the first texts with a kefitzat haderekh formula that includes Kaftziel.) In Barzillai’s list, Kaftziel is also recorded as ruling over the planet Saturn.[37]

It is unclear exactly when commentators started associating the angel Kaftziel with the negative planet Saturn. However, a particularly significant commentary on Ezekiel’s vision by Yosef Gikatilla (late 13th C.) may provide us insight as to how commentators began to attribute such a negative meaning to an angel whose prefix implies at worst the attributes of ‘closing’ or ‘jumping,’[38] two words which on their own do not seem particularly negative. Gikatilla writes:

“And the face of a bull was on the left… (Ezekiel 1:14)” The camps and the chariots on the left side are generally called ‘a bull’, The head of the chariot of this camp is the angel Gabriel, and two ministers are appointed under him, Kaftziel and Hizkiel. The horns of this bull are between his two eyes, whose appearance are frightening. His eyes burn strongly with a fiery flame and he has no compassion. When he growls, the sound of his growl brings forth from the depths of the great abyss several thousand warriors of the camps of the angels Mashhit, Af and Hemah. They roar and bellow to meet him, floating before him. Ledgers of sins hang from his horns, all the deeds of the sinners are known to his soldiers, and they remind him of the sins of Israel.[39]

It is easy to deduce from this description, given the preceding discussion of Katzpiel, how Kaftziel eventually became an angel of destruction associated with the north and negativity. This description of Kaftziel as an angel of destruction is strikingly similar to the rabbinic passages mentioned earlier containing Ketzef and the malakhey habbalah. In fact three of the very same angels (mashhit, af and hemah) mentioned in the Talmud (Sabb. 55a) and the Midrash (Deut. Rabb. 3:11) are mentioned here, but instead of being included with the angel Ketzef, they are now included with Katzpiel. It would seem that for some reason, Gikatilla substituted Kaftziel for Katzpiel. Perhaps he did this because he knew of a tradition relating Kaftziel to the negative Saturn and the north, and assumed (because of Kaftziel’s phonetic similarity to Katzpiel) that they were the same angel. Or maybe, he thought that these two angels were in fact two different ‘faces’ of the same angel, for he does indeed recognize that in Ezekiel’s vision, the animal in the north is described both as an Ox, and as a Cherub.[40]

This possibility of a dual nature to the angel Kaftziel may be the reason why the Zohar (which is from the same time period as Gikatilla) mentions both Kaftziel and Katzpiel. The passage containing Katzpiel was mentioned earlier when it was noted that it seems that this is the latest appearance of this angel in the bulk of medieval kabbalistic literature. The passage in the Zohar where Kaftziel is mentioned is a bit more in-depth than the Zohar’s Katzpiel passage, and is intriguingly similar to the above passage from Gikatilla’s Perush ha-Merkavah:

Then follows the third standard to the north. It had for its ensign Ox and was accompanied by the angel Gabriel and his two chieftains, Kafziel and Hizkiel. The Ox, being of the left side, has horns between his two eyes, which flame as it were with burning fire; he gores and tramples with his feet ruthlessly. When he moos there emerge out of the hollow of the great abyss numerous spirits of wrath who proceed in front in a chorus of shrieking. Seven fiery rivers flow in front of him, and when thirsty he draws up a whole riverful at one gulp. Yet this river is straightway filled again as before, unfailingly. And were it not for a stream of water from the region of the lion quenching the fiery coals, the world could not endure. It is a region where the sun never rises, and where numberless spirits roam about in the darkness, and the fire of the burning river is itself dark and black.[41]

In this passage, we see many of the same elements mentioned in the Gikatilla commentary. Here Kaftziel is again associated with the north, negativity, the Ox from Ezekiel’s vision, and the angel Gabriel.

Perhaps with the preceding introduction, it will be easy for the reader to discern how in the magic book Wisdom of the Chaldeans, the following passage can occur in which Kaftziel is associated with strife and Saturn, in addition to a formula for kefitzat haderekh:

On the seventh day rules Qaphsiel. This angel is of bad augury, for he is appointed only over evil. He is in the likeness of a man in mourning, and has two horns, and angel servants as the other angels aforementioned. On his right hand serves Qubiel, on his left Phashiel, on the right horn Safriel, on the left horn Iahsiel behind him stands Ahiel, and at his feet Lahabiel. If thou wishes to make use of them to lower a man from his high position, make a tablet of tin and draw on it the likeness of an old man with out stretched hands; under his right hand draw the image of a little man, and write on his forehead Qubiel ; on the left, the image of a man crying... The use of this tablet is that if thou placest it on the seat of a mighty man, or a king, or a priest, he will fall from his position, and if thou puttest it in a place where many people are assembled, they will scatter and go away from that spot. If thou placest it in a spot where they are building a town, or a tower, it will be destroyed... Write the name Qaphsiel, and those of his angels, on pure parchment, and place it in a reed cane with seven knots, and utter the following conjuration whilst thou ridest upon that cane: "I conjure thee, Qaphsiel, and thy host, in the name of the most holy (the three times holy), guide me (carry me) to that and that place without hurt or harm." They say that a man will ride in one day the distance of an hundred days' travelling. Write and draw the images as described above and the name of a man and of his mother, and place it in any­thing thou likest (in whatever it may be), and tie it unto the wings of a dove, or of a bird of the desert, and conjure : "I conjure thee, Qaphsiel, and thy whole host, that thou drivest away so and so, that he be wandering about, to and fro, in the same manner as the Lord drove Cain away, to be wandering to and fro, so shall so and so be; -he shall find no rest to the sole of his feet." He is then to let the bird fly. That man will be wandering to and fro without rest and without ceasing… It must be written in the hour of Shabbetai (Saturn). On the back of the tablet, or the parchment, write Ani, for this is his Sigil.[42]

One can see in the above example from The Wisdom of the Chaldeans all of the negative elements which were mentioned above, which I contend were adopted by Kaftziel from his predecessor Katzpiel. These elements include destruction, strife, the north, and the planet Saturn. Also, there are several spells in this passage associated with Kaftziel. One spell is the familiar path jumping spell (here associated with a reed); another spell creates destruction (perhaps drawing on the qualities of Katzpiel); and a third spell (perhaps a combination of the two) causes a person to wander. The sigil here for Katzpiel is depicted as the word “ani,” however, I am not yet sure of the significance of this.

In addition, it is now clear why Berit Menuhah, a magical text[43] which combines Heikhalot names (such as Akatriel and Azbugah) and Zoharic theosophy,[44] would associate Kaftziel with both kefitzat ha-derekh[45]and the northerly direction. We may also see from the above discussion why Hayyim b. Moshe b. Bakuda[46] was able to write in Sefer Tzerufei Shemot ha-Kodesh[47] (an introduction to Berit Menuhah):“…and say this facing the north: ‘Nuriel, Aniel, Kaftziel, who are appointed over destruction [habalah]…’”

So it is as well that Isaac Luria in his Etz Hayyim[48] is able to associate Kaftziel with Saturn, while many later Jewish magicians utilized this very same angel of destruction in their path jumping formulae.[49] Perhaps this may also help us understand why in a popular Baal Shem Tov story from the Hasidim of Skulye,[50] a disciple of the Besht must go to an island where the people’s souls are only in their body on Shabbat (the day ruled over by Saturn) in order to acquire for his teacher the kefitzat ha-derekh formula.

[1] Picture from JTS MS 1867 f. 4b

[2] Trachtenberg discourages the practice of etymologizing magical names: Trachtenberg, Joshua. Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion. Macmillan, New York, 1939, p. 99. This is in contrast to an article by Abrams which traces the ‘career’ of Akatriel: Abrams, Daniel. “From Divine Shape to Angelic Being: The Career of Akatriel in Jewish Literature,” in The Journal of Jewish Religion, 1996 pp. 43-63. This is also different from Rohrbacher-Sticker’s perspective. Rohrbacher-Sticker. “From Sense to Nonsense, From Incantation Prayer to Magical Spell,” in JSQ, (1996) (pp. 26-7). She writes: “It is their [magical names’] very strangeness which makes them magically potent, and in view of their potential powers even the slightest alteration must be avoided. In effect, it is the incomprehensible that is preserved with the utmost care—a principle which seems to have applied to magic at all times. It accounts for the painstaking perseverance by which innumerable words, lines, and even entire paragraphs of ‘nonsense’ were preserved throughout the centuries.” Here, Rohrbacher-Sticker implies that even the most nonsensical names stay the same, and as a result, tries to figure out the derivation of several names from the Sword of Moses. Note, on the other hand, the words of Gaster (Gaster, Moses. Three Works of Ancient Jewish Magic: The Sword of Moses, Chthonios Books, London, 1896, p. 19): “Nothing is more fallacious than to try etymologies of proper names. The omission or addition of one letter by a careless copyist suffices to lead us completely astray. It is therefore difficult to advance any interpretation of even a few of the names found in this text that have a familiar appearance.” Though this author does not believe that names do not change over time, it is exactly for this reason that the chronological evolution of these names may be traced by scholars.

[3] E.g.—Gaster, Sword of Moses p. 41. (This is the earliest attested path jumping spell which used magical names, and it does not contain the angel Kaftziel. See discussion below)

[4] Trachtenberg (p. 98): “Their names were usually concocted of a root indicating the function, and a theophorous suffix, usually ‘el.’” Cf. Gaster, Sword of Moses, p. 11.

[5] Trachtenberg, p. 99.

[6] The root KTzF means wrath (Jastrow, Marcus. A Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Babli, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature, Judaica Press, New York, 1996, p. 1406).

[7] See Heikhalot Rabbati Chpt. 20: “Lightning flashes from him [Katzpiel], exploding and blinding all who are not worthy of gazing at the King and the Throne. Nothing can hold him back. His outstretched sword screams out, ‘Destruction and Annihilation.” (Trans. Kaplan, Aryeh. Meditation and Kabbalah, Samuel Weiser, Maine, 1985, p. 48). Katzpiel also appears on an Aramaic magical bowl (referenced in Schiffman, Lawrence and Swartz, Michael. Hebrew and Aramaic Incantation Texts from the Cairo Geniza, Sheffield Academic Press, England, 1992, p. 79): where it is recorded that “Samael and Qaspiel [are] angels of destruction [habalta].” See also Midrash Deut. Rabbah III:1: “…five angels of destruction [hamisha malakhey habalah] overheard this and they sought to harm him. These are they: Af, Hemah, Kezef, Mashhith…” (Trans. Soncino). A similar attribution also occurs in Sabb. 55a. See also Zohar II: p. 242b-243a where (in seemingly his last appearance) Katzpiel is associated with the black color of the smoke from Samael and Lillith.

[8] According to Jastrow, pp. 1401-3 KFTz means to close or to jump.

[9] Kaftziel is persistently referred to in this wrathful way. E.g.- Tzerufei Shemot HaKodesh JTS MS 1967 (1585) (included in MS with early version of Berit Menuhah) p. 19a: “…and say this facing the north: ‘Nuriel, Aniel, Kaftziel, who are appointed over destruction [habalah]…’”; in the Zohar, III p. 154a-b, III 3b Kaftziel is a servant of Gavriel; in Gikatilla Perush HaMerkavah p. 57, Kaftziel is also Gavriel’s servant and appointed over destruction. These references and others will be discussed later in this essay.

[10] Though one could stretch the meaning of the root KFTz to imply as Schwab does that it means “ferme par Dieu [closed by God],” the derivation of the ‘angry’ function of this angel from this meaning of the root KFTz seems less likely than the one suggested in this essay.

[11] Trachtenberg p. 99.

[12] Trachtenberg p. 99 “Schwab’s work, Vocabulaire de l’Angelologie, which dissects some thousands, often fails to be convincing when it attacks such bizarre names, and in the end adds little to our understanding of the psychology of magic by its rationalistic approach.” While this author found Schwab’s (Schwab, Moise. Vocabulaire de l’ Angelologie. Imprimerie Nationale, Paris, work only minimally helpful, I believe that an extended analysis of magical names such as this (or Abram’s article on Akatriel and Rohrbacher-Sticker’s analysis of names from Harba de-Moshe) can indeed provide interesting results; Also see Gaster’s comment (p. 19) reproduced in footnote #1.

[13] Elior, Rachel. “Mysticism, Magic, and Angelology: The Perception of Angels in Hekhaloy Literature,” in JSQ, vol. 1, (1993) pp. 4-5. Also see Scholem, Gershom. Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, Schocken Books, New York, 1974 (pp. 45-79) and Scholem, Gershom. Kabbalah, Penguin Books, New York, 1978, p. 374.

[14] Heikhalot Rabbati Chapters 19-22. Trans. Kaplan, Aryeh. Meditation and Kabbalah. pp. 48-49. It is interesting to note that Kaplan (or his printer) makes the mistake of writing ‘Kaptziel’ instead of ‘Katzpiel,’ thus illustrating how easy it is for Katzpiel to be confused with Kaptziel, even by a contemporary author. Indeed it is likely that Kaplan views the two angels as one and the same, as in his translation of Sefer Yetzirah, (Kaplan. Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation. Samuel Weiser, 1990, p. 168) Kaplan writes the name Kaftziel in the same way (i.e.--Kaptziel). For a discussion of these angels (Katzpiel and Dumiel) in Heikhalot mysticism see Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, p. 53 and Scholem, Kabbalah, p. 19.

[15] Also, note Elior’s comment in relation to Heikhalot literature and magic: “Along with the numinous perspective and the celestial point of view of the world of the angels, a magical-theurgical view is also represented in Hekhalot literature. This view preconditions mystical ascent with proficiency in magic and endows man with the ability to invoke various divine forces and to subordinate them to his will by means of spells and predetermined ceremonies, which create a significant connection be­tween heaven and earth.” (from Elior, Rachel. “Mysticism, Magic, and Angelology: The Perception of Angels in Hekhalot Literature,” in JSQ,vol. 1, (1993) p. 52.)

[16] Referenced in: Schiffman, Lawrence and Swartz, Michael. Hebrew and Aramaic Incantation Texts from the Cairo Geniza, Sheffield Academic Press, England, 1992 p. 79, (Isabell, Corpus, MS 42 = Gordon Bowl 7).

[17] Ibid. (MS Oxf. G. 3 MS 2764 (fol. 3b).

[18] Mid. Deut. Rab., III:11 [trans. Soncino].

[19] Sabb. 55a [trans. Soncino]

[20] In particular, they will be important to remember in the discussion below of the reference to Kaftziel by Gikatilla in Perush Ha-Merkavah, p. 57.

[21] (Ibid.) Sabb. 55a [trans. Soncino].

[22] Interestingly, this last interpretation of the meaning of Tav (that it is the last letter of God’s seal—i.e. emet) is commonly referred to in folk tradition as the seal which creates or destroys a Golem.

[23] Zohar II: p. 242b-243a (Translation Tishby, I. The Wisdom of the Zohar Vol. II, Littman Library, Washington D.C., 1989, p. 477).

[24] See Adler and Verman’s article “Path Jumping in the Jewish Magical Tradition,” in JSQ 1 (1993/4). pp. 133-135.

[25] See Gaster, The Sword of Moses, p. 26: “…we are justified in assigning to the first four centuries of the Christian era the origin of our Hebrew text…Herein lies also one side of the importance of our text, that it shows how the connection between antiquity and the later ages was maintained…It will also help us in laying bare the fountains from which flowed the whole of the magical arts of the Middle Ages.”

[26] Gaster, The Sword of Moses, p. XVII (L. 19) (original) [trans. mine], p. 41(for Gaster’s translation), also see Verman and Adler p. 135. They translate this passage as follows: “‘If you wish to jump a distance ahead, chant over a branch from a particular sorb bush…’” Also, Verman and Adler note that: “This text is important in that it seems to be the earliest reference to the use of branches/reeds, in conjuction with path jumping—an element that we shall see repeated in medieval sources (p. 135).”

[27] For dating of Wisdom of the Chaldeans to the 14th C., see Gaster, Moses. Three Works of Ancient Jewish Magic: The Wisdom of the Chaldeans, Chthonios Books, London, 1896, p. 1. For dating of Berit Menuhah to the 14th C., see Adler and Verman p. 140 and Scholem Kabbalah, pp. 65, 181.

[28] See Gaster Wisdom of the Chaldeans, p. 17.

[29] Berit Menuhah p. 131: “Kaftziel is appointed over kefitzat haderekh with Mashtiel… [trans. mine]”

[30] For example, one such instance occurs in BT Yevamot 116a. Here, Rashi comments that kefitzah is done by means of a name. Interestingly, this instance is mentioned in conjunction with magically flying on a camel (perhaps this is what the Zohar is drawing on in the last example of Katzpiel mentioned earlier (Zohar II 242b-243a) where Samael rides on the back of a camel.)

[31] According to Schwab (p. 240) however, the name Kaftziel does appear in an amulet in Sefer Raziel (f. 20a) which was used to help one in one’s studies. Gaster places Sefer Raziel in the 13th century (Gaster, Sword of Moses, p. 15).

[32] Trachtenberg, p. 98. Also see pp. 251-252.

[33] Ibid. pp. 251-252 (see the chart on p. 251 in particular).

[34] For example, this was the opinion of the 10th century Shabbetai Donnolo (See Sharf, The Universe of Shabbetai Donnolo, Ktav Publishing House, England, 1976, pp., 29, 58, 62, 180.) On p. 29 Sharf writes, “Thus, Saturn, he [Donnolo] says, governs the black bile in the body. It is a cold, dry, planet, and those born under it are likely to be slow to anger and slow to be reconciled. It is basically a maleficent planet, standing for poverty and death.” Donnolo’s negative description of Saturn is also similar to Ibn Gabirol’s description in Keter Malchut (Loewe, R. Ibn Gabirol, Peter Halban Publishers, England, 1989, p. 134.) Perhaps these descriptions of Saturn were drawn from those in the Talmud (Sabb. 156a). There, it says that: “He who is born under Saturn will be a man whose plans will be frustrated” (trans. Soncino). See also Sabb. 156b and 179b. A note in Soncino suggests that this connection was made due to the similarity of the Hebrew word Shabbat (related to Shabbetai-Saturn) to the Chaldean word frustrate: (note 31 to Sabb. 156a): “BTL (to frustrate) is the Chaldaic equivalent of ,ShBTh.”

[35] The Greek equivalent of the Roman God Saturn is Cronus (father time) who castrated his father and “swallowed his offspring to prevent his sons from overthrowing him.” Turner, P. and Coulter, C. Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 135.

[36] From the beginning of the 12th C. A similar list of correspondences is recorded in Sefer Raziel (ed. Amsterdam fol. 17a). See also Kaplan’s chart of correspondences in Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation in Theory and Practice, p. 168 where four out of six commentators relate Kaftziel to Saturn.

[37] Perush SeferYetzirah L’Yehuda Barzeloni (ed. Halberstam, 1885) p. 247.

[38] Jastrow pp. 1402-3.

[39] Perush ha-Merkavah le-R’ Yosef Gikatilla (ed. Asi Farber-Ginat, 1998 Cherub Press,) p. 57 [Trans. Mine]

[40] Cf. Hagigah 13b.

[41] Zohar III pp. 154a-b (trans. Soncino); see also Zohar III p. 3b.

[42] Gaster, The Wisdom of the Chaldeans, pp. 17-18.

[43] See Scholem Kabbalah p. 181-2: “The only such book to have been actually published was the Berit Menuhah (Amsterdam, 1648), the work of an anonymous 14th-century author that has been mistakenly attributed to Abraham of Granada.”

[44] Berit Menuhah directly quotes the Zohar on several occasions (e.g.- Berit Menuhah Quotes Rashbi on pp. 3, 64- ed. Mahon Ramhal)

[45] See Berit Menuhah (ed. Machon Ramhal) p. 131: “Kaftziel… is appointed over kefitzah”; and on p. 147 Kaftziel is associated with the north.

[46] Bakuda is the sofer of this work.

[47] JTS MS 1967 (1585) Tzerufei Shemot HaKodesh (included in manuscript with Berit Menuhah) p. 19a (trans. mine.)

[48] See also Moshe Zacuto Shoshei ha-Shemot p. 584 (which says that Kaftziel rules over Saturn) and p. 434 (which say that Kaftziel rules over the seventh day). However, from the medieval period on references to Kaftziel become too numerous to note.

[49] E.g.- (op. cit.) JTS MS 1867 f. 4b, JTS MS 1729 f. 10a-b.

[50] Barukh Pinhas and Eliezer Hayyim of Yampoli, SeferYeshuot Yisrael, Skulyer Congregation Toldos Yitzchok (1985) pp. 76- 83. The name of the story is “How the Baal Shem Tov Came Upon the Name to Jump the Land [Kefitzat ha-Aretz].”

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