The Sefer Raziel is in angel Magic, an important text of magical lore and Ritual instructions. The Sefer Raziel—the Book of Raziel—is of Jewish origin and probably was written in the 13th century by different anonymous authors. The Jewish mystic Eleazar of Worms (1160–1237) is credited with being one of the authors. Other names for the Sefer Raziel are Sefer ha-Raziel, Sefer Reziel, Sepher Rezial Hemelach, and Raziel ha-Malach.
According to lore, the Sefer Raziel is first book ever written and is made of sapphire, or “angel’s tears.” It was given by God to the angel Raziel to give to Adam and the patriarchs, including the magically wise King SOLOMON, who was shown the book in a dream by Raziel. The book reveals secrets and mysteries of creation, the secret wisdom of the 72 letters of the name of God and its esoteric 670 mysteries, and 1,500 keys, which had not been given even to angels. Other important material deals with the five names of the human soul; the seven hells; the divisions of the Garden of Eden; and the types of angels and spirits who have dominion over various things in creation. The book also gives angelic scripts (see Magic ALPHABETS), angel languages, magical Incantations for directing the memunim (deputy angels), and magical instructions for rituals and for the making of TalismanS and Amulets.
According to lore, the Sefer Raziel was so coveted by jealous angels that various intrigues and thefts were carried out. Raziel is said to stand on the peak of Mount Horeb every day and proclaim the secrets to humankind. In the Middle Ages, the book was highly revered among kabbalists, alchemists, and magicians; it was thought that mere possession of it would prevent fire. By the 19th century, there were 25 editions of it. The Sword of Moses, a GRIMOIRE, makes reference to it.
- Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Angels. 2d ed. New York: Facts On File Inc., 2004.
- Savedow, Steve. Sepher Rezial Hemelach: The Book of the Angel Rezial. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 2000.
- Trachtenberg, Joshua. Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion. New York: Berhman’s Jewish Book House, 1939.