Circles 1 (from Life of the Future World)

by Rabbi Abraham Abulafia

English version by Jerome Rothenberg and Harris Lenowitz
Original Language Hebrew

(circle 1 - inner rim)
be very wary as your fathers warned you of the fire don't be burnt by it & water

     (spokes)
     not to
     drown
     in it
     & wind
     that it not
     harm you
     you not
     use

(circle 2 - inner rim)
it on condition anyone who takes the name for his own needs transgresses the command

     (spokes)
     about said name
     was formed
     to be
     for his own glory
     only thus
     the prophet
     said about
     its secret

(circle 3 - inner rim)
whatever has my name and I made it for my honor formed it worked it truly & concerning this the name informed

     (spokes)
     his prophets (be he blest)
     about his name
     by 3
     ways
     of creation
     of the skies
     & earth
     & man

(circle 4 - inner rim)
& know according to the name the one most honored is the one of Israel because the name's own portion is his people & and the most honored one

     (spokes)
     of Israel is
     the Levite & the most honored
     of the Levites
     is the
     priest
     & the most honored
     of the priests
     is the Messiah

-- from A Big Jewish Book: Poems and Other Visions of the Jews from Tribal Times to the Present, Edited by Jerome Rothenberg

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A Big Jewish Book: Poems and Other Visions of the Jews from Tribal Times to the Present The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492 Meditation and Kabbalah





Circles 1 (from