Follow-up/related question:

I recently acquired this book which belonged to Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. On page 48/49, I found an index card with some things typed on a typewriter.(picture below) I can’t make any sense of it.

Here’s links to the pages it was found on:

Page 48

Page 49

enter image description here

  • 1
    There's other folks here that know the material lots better...Rummaging around Wikipedia, it looks like a reference note for himself that's possibly a quote from the Chida's(R Chaim Yoseph David Azulai) book Shem HaGedolim. I'm not sure who's meant by Yitzchak and Yaacov Nazir , but Raavad and his son Isaac the Blind were 12th/13th centuryKabbalists from Provencal, France. Annnd bingo! Josh has given a good answer..
    – Gary
    May 24, 2018 at 15:20
  • What Wikipedia told you this...[that it’s a reference note]? @gary
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 24, 2018 at 15:22
  • that wasn't in Wikipedia - but knowing a few authors, it looks like a note(old school style :) ) that some of them use in compiling information.
    – Gary
    May 24, 2018 at 15:26
  • 1
    Would you please post a picture of Kaplan's ownership inscription of the book (if there is; since you know it belonged to him)?
    – Oliver
    May 24, 2018 at 15:53
  • Yes, it has his stamp @oliver
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 24, 2018 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


This text can be viewed here, in Sefer Shem HaGadolim, in a footnote about the second Raavid. It in turn is quoting from Sefer HaEmunot.

enter image description here

  • Is this available on hebrewbooks? Also, where does the number 10 come into play?
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 24, 2018 at 20:27
  • @Shmuel Yes, Hebrewbooks has Seder HaDorot. 10 is the chapter heading on that particular page. It is the biography of Raavad II. If you really want to be amazed, look at the seforim listed by Seder HaDorot. The 1st is Sefer HaEmunot by Rabbi Shem Tov ben Shem Tov. It is quoting from the 4th Gate there. This is still in print today in Sefer Amudei HaKabbalah. The 2nd source is the 1st book (Sefer Metzaref l'Chochmah) in the volume called Sefer Ta'alumot Chochmah by Rabbi Yaacov Shlomo Rofeh of Kandia. It can also be found at Hebrewbooks. May 24, 2018 at 21:22
  • Thanks, do you know the id. number?
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 24, 2018 at 23:02

Your card with the footnoted source from Shem HaGadolim is to provide a source for the statement in chapter 81 on page 49 of Sefer HaDat v'HaChinuch cited and linked in your question.

It is discussing an educator of Jews who has the negative intention of nullifying and disqualifying the Jewish faith of those he is teaching. It states there:

The teacher or educator who thinks to nullify the faith (of the Jewish people) will not be successful, because the faith comes from Eliyahu (the Prophet) and is only dressed in the external form (of reason and intellect.)

There are no sources for the statement that our faith comes to us through the Prophet Eliyahu.

The card provides the source from Sefer Shem HaGadolim that Eliyahu the Prophet appeared during the generation of Rambam to Yitzchok HaNazir, Yaacov HaNazir, the Raavad and then to Raavad's son, Yitzchok HaChozeh to teach them Torah according to our faith.

It appears that you actually possess a sefer that belonged to Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, and that would appear to be one of the index cards that he or his wife, Toby made for future use. It is possible he was intending to publish a commentary to the sefer. You should cherish it knowing that Rabbi Kaplan actually held this sefer in his holy hands, gazed upon those pages and recited those very words when he was learning from it.

May his merit assist you in your own Torah study and be a source of great success.

  • Is the spelling ‘אליה’ as ‘אליהו’ a misprint, would you say?
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 24, 2018 at 20:21
  • How do you know that it could have been his wife, what role does she play in his books?
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 24, 2018 at 20:22
  • @Shmuel No, I don't think it's a misprint. It's the variant form of Eliyahu's name like is used in 2 Melachim 1:3-4, 8 and 12. May 24, 2018 at 21:00
  • @Shmuel She worked with him at his home. She is mentioned in several dedications by Rabbi Kaplan and according to Judah Mansbach of the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists, she inherited all Rabbi Kaplan's manuscripts & papers, like is printed in Mansbach's introduction to Rabbi Kaplan's posthumously published, "Immortality, Resurrection, and the Age of the Universe: A Kabbalistic View". She would be in her 70s now. Her remarried name is Toby Kaplan Seidenfeld & she used to live on 3rd St. in Brooklyn, NY. May 24, 2018 at 21:11
  • I think It’s very unlikely he was going to publish a commentary to this given his history
    – Dr. Shmuel
    May 25, 2018 at 18:40

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