||Collection of mystical, cosmological, and magical Hebrew works and portions of works. First printed in Amsterdam in 1701, it continues to be reprinted many times, because of the popular belief that the book protects its owner's home from fire and other dangers. Indeed, few Jewish homes can be found without a copy. There are some manuscripts of, at least, parts of this work which date back to the 16th century. The material can be divided into three distinct categories or strata:
(1) Works, or parts of works, which belong to Heikhalot and Merkabah mysticism, the mystical and cosmological literature of the talmudic and geonic periods. Of these, Raziel contains a version of the Sefer ha-Malbush, a magical work; baraita of Ma'aseh Bereshit, a cosmological and astrological description of the Creation, which has some mystical overtones; and a major part of the Sefer ha-Razim ("Book of Magical Secrets"), which is a collection of magical formulas and angelological material from talmudic times. The introduction states that the angel Raziel revealed the secrets described to Adam. In this category, there is some importance to a long version of the early anthropomorphic work, the Shi'ur Komah, describing the members and secret names of the Creator.
(2) Material which belongs to literature of the 13th-century R. Hasidei Ashkenaz. To this category belong the introduction and the first half of R. Eleazar of Worms' work, Sod Ma'aseh Bereshit ("The Secret of the Creation"), which formed the first part of his Sodei Rezaya. Some exegetical works on the Holy Names of G-d, and some magical formulas which conclude the collection, also belong to the literary heritage of the R. Hasidei Ashkenaz.
(3) A few portions of kabbalistic literature, descriptions of the Sefirot and exegeses of Holy Names, mostly reflecting kabbalistic theology of pre-Lurianic periods.
|| שנתן לו רזיאל המלאך... והוגה... אות באות ע"פ הספר הנדפס באמשטרדם בשנת זה ס'פר ת'ולדות א'דם [תס"א] ...
בראשי כל העמודים: ספר רזיאל המלאך. נדפס דף על דף על-פי [רוסיה-פולין תר"ח]. מעבר לשער, המילה הקדמה רק פעם אחת, באותיות קטנות למדי. בדף לט ע"ב, בשורה אחרונה, שם ה' בתוך המגן דוד באותיות רש" זעירות. בסוף העמוד האחרון קו ארוך.