Wednesday, August 6, 2008


This melodic name traces back to a writer of treatises on practical mysticism, the Jewish scholar Abraham Abulafia (1240-c.1292). Denounced and branded as a heretic, he is now recognized as one of the great Kabbalists. This passage from literature celebrates the euphonic quality of the name: “Even the sound of Abulafia’s name sets off music in her head. A-bu-la-fi-a. It’s magic, the open sesame that unblocked the path to her father and then to language itself” (Myla Goldberg, Bee Season, 2000).

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