Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yarzheit 5 Av: The Arizal

Arizal Synagogue, Safed - Photo Steven Pinker

5 Av begins Thursday night - Friday August 5.

The Arizal [1534-1572] - Rabbi Isaac Luria was the most famous Kabbalist in the city of Safed, Israel who became known as the "Arizal" or ARI, an acronym for “The G-dly Rabbi Isaac of Blessed Memory.”

The Arizal passed away at the age of 38, and it was only during the last two years of his life that he met his foremost disciple, Rabbi Chaim Vital. The Arizal himself never wrote any books, however all his words were faithfully recorded by Rabbi Chaim Vital in what is known as Kitvei Ari, the “writings of the Arizal.” The Kitvei Ari is the key to the secrets of the Zohar, and it was the Arizal who formulated the Kabbalah into a comprehensive system. Rabbi Chaim Vital writes in the name of the Arizal that, “It is a Mitzvah to reveal this wisdom.” Until the time of the Arizal, knowledge of Kabbalah was not known outside of the tightly knit circle of the tzaddikim.

More about the Arizal at Ascent of Safed or click on the label "ARIZAL" below to read more of his teachings.


Anonymous said...

Interesting essay about The Ari and ...once again... #11 and "Edom".

in the vanguard said...

Beautiful shul. If I remember correctly, there where the chazan stands is on a lower level (ממעמקים קראתיך) then the congregants. Whereas here, as depicted, where the Torah is read, it's on a higher plane.