Did You Know An Epic Jewish Mystic Lived On Comino In The 13th Century?

Avraham Abulafia changed Judaism forever

Abraham

Comino is home to many things: a tiny but beautiful beach, a hotel, and many unique types of Maltese lizard.

However, a little known fact about the little sister island may change the way you see it. 

The island of Comino was once inhabited by a very well known Jewish mystic named Avraham Abulafia - and he might just have been the founder of modern practical Kabbalah.

Abraham Abulafia

Avraham Abulafia

Avraham was born in 1240 and was from the city of Zaragoza, which became the modern day city of Saragossa in Spain. Around that time, Spain had a large Jewish and Muslim population, and over the next few decades, the beginnings of the Spanish Inquisition started to fester over into society as the different religions began to clash.

But Avraham was a mystic ahead of his time. He dreamt of unifying Judaism, Christianity and Islam into one combined religion. 

He even tried to convert Pope Nicholas III to Judaism in an attempt to reach this goal. For this attempt, he was sentenced to burn at the stake - but was saved at the last minute when the Pope suddenly died. 

He was soon after sighted in Sicily, and then Comino.

By then, he was claiming to be a prophet and the Messiah.

Abulautorretrato

It is believed that Avraham moved to Comino in 1285 until his death in the 1290s. 

While living on Comino, Avraham wrote Sefer ha Ot - The Book Of The Sign - in 1288, as well as Imre Shefer - Words of Beauty. Imre Shefer is considered his greatest work, and was written in approximately 1291 while in Comino.

It is believed he died a few years later, but no-one knows exactly when, or where. 

However, there is an elderly man in the Jewish community in Malta known to all as "The Admor" who claims to be a direct descendent of the hermit Kabbalist that Avraham was.

Either way, Comino played a role in the formation of modern Judaism, and may even have been the final resting place of the Jewish mystic that founded practical Kabbalism. Not bad for the little sister island. 

Tag someone who didn't know that a mystic used to live on Comino!

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Written By

Johnathan Cilia

Johnathan is interested in the weird, dark, and wonderful contradictions our late-capitalist society forces upon us. He also likes music and food. Contact him at [email protected]

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