Thursday, 8 November 2012

This is not a project: Translating Sodei Razaya

 Whilst going for a walk with a colleague today, he commented how writing a book was a fantastic way to get lots of other things done. His experience was that the harder he tried to write the book, the greater the resistance he came up against. Even seemingly boring activities such as mowing the lawn or cleaning out the pond in his garden got bumped up in priority.

Hearing him say this gave me a great idea... I will attempt to write or translate a book.

In an effort to avoid doing anything but writing or translating a book, I will hopefully be able to channel all of my distractive urges in to getting lots of other useful things done. I'll do more meditation, write amulets, go to talks, visit museums. All in the name of 'research' of course for the book.

The end result will hopefully be that after a year the book will be no closer to completion than right this moment in time. But I should have grown quite significantly in experience and knowledge of practical techniques in Kabbalistic literature.

 
The book of choice is  Sodei Razya HaShalem by Eleazar of Worms. MySefer and Nehora both have the same description of the book:
A work of Kabbalah by Rabbi Elazar of Germiza.
Rabbi Elazar provides a study of creation stemming from the power of the Hebrew alphabet. He cites and quotes Merkavah and Heichalot literature. He then describes the realm and characteristics of angels, the Divine Throne, the Chariot, and the Divine Voice. The rest of the work focuses on God's names, the fate of the soul after death, the meaning of dreams, and a large practical guide for the creation of a golem.
You can watch a video of someone turning the pages of this book here. It will probably make as much sense to you as it does to me now...



Here are the details of the project:

Scope: Translate Sodei Razya HaShalem in to English
Time: 1 year deadline
Cost: None. Book already purchased.
Quality: To be specified, this is a first draft translation of the entire book.
Communication: If this non-project goes as expected, there should hopefully lots and lots of posts about anything but this translation project.
Risks:
1. I may actually try to translate the book...
2. Having started the translation, I may really get in to it...
3. No blog updates are forthcoming as I get more and more consumed in the effort to translate the book...
4. Having completed the translation, I start to live as ascetic, 13th mystic who divorces himself from the modern world!

Regardless of the outcome of this project, the translation (if one is made) will never be published. The reason being that the point of this project is to be productive in lots of other areas of magical development: meditation, workings, contacting a maggid, etc.