Version: v1, Published online: 1998
Retrieved January 30, 2023, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/biographical/herrera-abraham-cohen-de-c-1562-c-1635/v-1
Herrera was a philosophically oriented Kabbalist who combined Neoplatonism and Kabbalistic knowledge learned from Israel Sarug, a disciple of Isaac Luria. In his Spanish works Puerta del Cielo (The Gate of Heaven), and Casa de la Divinidad (The House of Divinity), he considered Kabbalah as the source of the ancient truth.
Herrera believed that as the intellect is the highest epistemic grade, one must rely on philosophy to reach the divine secrets. He dealt with the concept of Ensoph (his own spelling of Eyn Sof – the Infinite) in terms of its Thomistic and Renaissance definitions – the Infinite that excludes limit. Tzimtzum is the voluntary Contraction of Ensoph, which prepares space for worlds to be created. The space opened up is metaphorically called Adam Kadmon (Primordial Man), the first emanation of which is the Intelligible World and the Tetragrammaton, the principle that shapes the Chain of Being around the Pythagorean number four. Neoplatonically, Adam Kadmon is the Intelligible World. Herrera’s account incorporates further complex ideas about First and Second Causes of creation.
In 1699, Herrera drew the attention of Johan Georg Wachter, who, on the basis of Knorr von Rosenroth’s Latin translations of Herrera’s works in Kabbala Denudata, blamed him for inspiring Spinoza’s supposed pantheistic heresy.
Yosha, Nissim. Herrera, Abraham Cohen de (c.1562–c.1635), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-J033-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/biographical/herrera-abraham-cohen-de-c-1562-c-1635/v-1.
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