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Monday, April 30, 2012

Translation & Notes- Holy Names from The Mafteach

Dear Friends,

In this post I want to give a full translation & comment for a text from the Mafteach. This text translated for the first time by Gollancz, who did some mistakes that been fixed here. Below is the text and the notes.

Hope you will enjoy that!

Until next time,
Gal Sofer

The text starts here:

First Pao Vao[1], Elisha[2] mentioned, ABGYTZ MBKYYAZ[3]. This name- Apotel, the priest bore on his chest when he entered the Holy of Holies on the fast[4]. And this name, when pronounced, will revive the dead. And if it will be written on brass or gold vessel, it will saves from all weapons and will loosens every mind[5] and will calm any evil thing and control[6] everything that is done in the world.
BANRKITT[7] always say it after your prayer, and you should never fear from any person.
YH HU HU, Elijah gave to Elisha[8] in script, and if it will be placed in water and a man who possessed by demon will drink them, he will be saved[9]. And if you will give this water to a women giving birth, she will recover fast[10]. And if you will etch it on silver and say 'humans shall bind their eyes', you will become invisible.
ATNIK[11], written and placed under the headboard, will bring whoever you want to in a dream, and this person will informing you in your heart[12], [13].
NKB NAKAR, this name mentioned by Noah against the water[14] and by Abraham against the fire[15]
YCSh ShASh[16], say it, after three days of fasting, two times at the morning or eleven times at the noon[17] and fourteen times at the evening outside the city, and it will bring whoever you desire.
ANAZA ANZhaCh, you should write on a little Hazel stick, and when you hit with it a sea or a river, they will become dry.
LALVN LLVN, when bore on them, will help those who possessed evil spirit.
YHYH, Elijah gave to Elisha, and it will be helpful against all evil, when bore on.
TTRAAL is good for the sight of a child in a mirror[18], when pronounced and bore on.
BYT BYAT will save from all evil thing and evil people, when bore on.

[1]  פא"ו וה"ו. These abbreviations are not clear to me, and seem to be unclear to Gollancz. It may be some holy names or unique abbreviations for biblical verses, likewise the abbreviations עמ"י עש"ו that noted at the beginning of one of the sections below. Those abbreviations are for the psalm verses (Psalm 121:2): עזרי מעם יהוה עושה שמיים וארץ. This is common phrase that opens a lot of Jewish texts. Given that this is a beginning for a new part, the abbreviations פא"ו וה"ו may have similar meaning.
[2]  It is a reference to the biblical Elisha. See 1 Kings, 19:16.
[3]  אבג יתץ מבק ייעץ. The first name "אבג יתץ" is a very common name in Jewish literature. This name is from the well-known "42 letters name". The other name "מבק ייעץ" is a unique name.
[4]  Referring to the יום הכיפורים ("Yom Hakipurim", Day of Atonement). This is the only time when the High priest entered the Holy of Holies.
[5]  דעות. Gollancz thought it is דמות and therefore translate "form". The meaning of "loosens every mind" is, in my opinion, to succeed in convincing someone to do something. This purpose is common when the 'someone' is a king or minister, etc.
[6]  See note 5. This is no doubt a result for the "loosens every mind".
[7]  באנרקיטת. Gollancz suggest that this is באנוקיטת (BANUKITT).
[8]  See note 2.
[9]  ימלט. Gollancz translated that to "escaped" (literally translation), but it is more likely means "be saved".
[10]  תמלט. This is the female-form for the word ימלט. See note 9.
[11]  אתניק. Gollancz thought that this is אבצניק, but it is clearly a mistake. Also, אתניק is a common name that can be found in other Jewish manuscripts.
[12]  Gollancz suggest that it means that the dreamer will discover his heart's desire by the person that was brought to the dream.
[13] It can also be "and this person will know you in your heart". This is completely different concept since the first suggestion means that the dreamer given information (about himself? See note 12) while the latest means that the person will get that information. In my opinion, the person is someone that the dreamer wants to be loved by. This makes the dream only a mediator between those two people. 
[14]  This is a reference to the biblical story of Noah's Ark.
[15]  This is a reference to the Aggadic Midrash in Bereshit-Rabba (Genesis Rabbah) about Abraham who thrown into a furnace of fire. See Genesis Rabbah 38:13.
[16]  יכש שאש. The first name, יכש, is well known name from the "42 letters name". The second name, however, seems to be unique.
[17]  The copier used the Latin word 'none' that points to the noon-prayer. Gollancz thought that the word באנונא (at Anona; at the None) is a holy name. This is no doubt a wrong interpretation, because it is clearly that this prescription uses all three Jewish prayer times.
[18]  Gollancz omitted this word, which is a crucial mistake- This is a reference for a very common Jewish magic that I will discuss about later.
[19]  תם. It seems that the copier using this word every time he wants to separate between the sections of the book. In my opinion, it is pointing to a different source that has been used.


  1. Good sir! I've been following your blog for a while, and it's really awesome stuff. Thank you for making this information on the Mafteach so available, especially for those of us who don't speak Hebrew!

    In fact, I've been enjoying it so much that I decided to pass along to you the Versatile Blogger Award! Take a look and see what you think.

  2. Hey can you post a complete translated pulsa dinura for all of us Hebrew illiterates