Auction 67 Judaica - Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters, Ceremonial Art
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LOT 48:

Letter from the Tunis Beit Din to the Livorno Community - Regarding the Expulsion of Rabbi Avraham Lulu from Tunis ...

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Letter from the Tunis Beit Din to the Livorno Community - Regarding the Expulsion of Rabbi Avraham Lulu from Tunis, for his Use of Practical Kabbalah - With Inscription Handwritten by R. Yaakov Nunez Vais, Rabbi of Livorno - Tunis and Livorno, 1804
Signed letter, containing a copying of the letter sent from the Tunis Beit Din to the Livorno community, Italy, documenting the expulsion of the kabbalist R. Avraham Lulu from Tunis, for his use of Holy Names and practical Kabbalah. [Tunis], Cheshvan 1804.
This letter is an official copying of the letter from 1804 which the Tunis Torah scholars sent to Livorno. This copy, (also sent to Livorno), is signed by two Tunis Torah scholars: R. Shlomo Kohen and R. Mordechai Darmon. A countersign in Italian dated February 1805 was added at the foot of the letter, written and signed by R. Yaakov Nunez Vais, rabbi of Livorno, with the signature of R. Avraham Vita (Chaim) Tapia. The letter was written following an inquiry from the Livorno Torah scholars as to "how the verdict regarding R. Avraham Lulu was reached". The Tunis Torah scholars responded that they investigated the claims on R. Avraham Lulu, examined the books he used and found their contents to be even worse than what had been reported, and they therefore buried them. Afraid that he would cause them harm by turning to the authorities, they decided to banish him from Tunis.
Wondrous stories of miracles performed through Holy Names and practical Kabbalah circulated in those times regarding the kabbalist R. Avraham Lulu, whom this letter discusses. Perach Shoshan by R. Shushan HaKohen (Jerusalem 1977) quotes several such stories. Reputedly, he would go to study with his friends at night in the courtyard of the king's palace, miraculously producing donkeys for them to ride on, cause the palace walls to open up, and bring them into the courtyard with no resistance. It is also retold that R. Avraham Lulu succeeded in restoring a wealthy man's entire fortune which had been stolen. Maaseh Tzaddikm by R. Avraham Khalfon (Telamim 2009) quotes "The tale of the wind with R. Avraham Lulu" (see enclosed material).
R. Avraham Lulu, was born in Marrakesh, Morocco, and later wandered to Tunis and Livorno (in the final years of the Chida). This letter reveals that he left Tunis following the opposition of the Tunis rabbis to his actions. He is described by R. Yosef HaKohen Tangi in Toldot Chachmei Tunis: "He was renowned in Tunis as exceptionally proficient in Practical Kabbalah, and could extract wine from a wall, as is retold about the Baal Shem". A lengthy halachic letter from R. Avraham Lulu was printed in the book Pekudat HaMelech by R. Yisrael Nachman Drohobyczer (Livorno 1804). The Pekudat HaMelech met R. Avraham Lulu while passing through Livorno, and printed the latter's words together with his response (this indicates that R. Avraham Lulu was already residing in Livorno in 1804). It is interesting to note that there is an extant manuscript on Practical Kabbalah previously owned by R. Avraham Lulu (National Library of France, MS Hebr. 1380).
[1] double leaf. 30.5 cm. Good condition. Stains. Minor marginal tears. Folding marks.

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