Letter Permutation Techniques, Kavannah and Prayer in Jewish Mysticism

Adam Afterman

Abstract


The article presents an analysis of a mystical practice of letter permutation conceived as part of the practice of “kavannah” in prayer. This practice was articulated by a 13th century anonymous ecstatic kabbalist writing in Catalonia. The anonymous author draws on earlier sources in the kabbalah and Ashkenazi spirituality. The article explores the wider connection between ecstasy and ritual, particularly prayer in the earlier stages of Judaism and its development in medieval theology and kabbalah. The anonymous author describes a unique permutation technique capable of inducing ecstatic experiences as part of the liturgical ritual.

Keywords


Ecstatic Kabbalah, prayer, letter permutation, technique, ecstasy, Abraham Abulafia, kavannah

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