AZULAI, ABRAHAM BEN MORDECAI

AZULAI, ABRAHAM BEN MORDECAI (c. 1570–1643), kabbalist. Azulai, who was born in Fez, first mastered the study of the Talmud and philosophic literature and then Kabbalah. He did not agree with the interpretations of the Zohar which his teachers provided, and he did not really enter this subject until he obtained moses cordovero 's Pardes Rimmonim. Thereafter, he was preoccupied with the question of the relation between Kabbalah and philosophy, until he forsook philosophy and dedicated himself entirely to Kabbalah. He decided to go to the center of kabbalism in Ereẓ Israel, but did not realize his wish until after he had lost all his wealth during the anti-Jewish persecutions in Morocco (1610–13). He drifted between Hebron, Jerusalem, and Gaza during the epidemic of 1619, and finally settled in Hebron where kabbalists from Safed had congregated and where he found all the books of Cordovero and the majority of isaac luria 's works in Ḥayyim Vital 's version. R. Eliezer b. Arḥa became his friend there. Azulai's numerous writings were not published during his lifetime. Those books he had written while still in Fez, were lost at sea. He wrote three treatises on the Zohar: (1) Or ha-Levanah ("The Light of the Moon"), annotations and textual corrections based sometimes on conjecture and sometimes on early manuscripts (1899); (2) Or ha-Ḥammah ("The Light of the Sun"), a complete commentary on the Zohar (completed 1619 and published 1896–98), based mainly on Cordovero's book and also on Luria's commentary, and on a commentary on the Zohar by Ḥayyim Vital written before he knew Luria, and marginal notes on the Zohar by an unknown author. Azulai abbreviated Cordovero's phraseology; occasionally he quoted statements by Cordovero and added his own interpretations. The result is a comprehensive and important commentary to the Zohar; (3) Or ha-Ganuz ("The Hidden Light"), an explanation of the profound expressions in the Zohar, which was never published. To these three works he gave the all-inclusive title Kiryat Arba, alluding to the four above-mentioned commentators and the city of Hebron. In 1622, Azulai abridged R. abraham galante 's (Cordovero's disciple) commentary on the Zohar, Yare'aḥ Yakar, under the title Zoharei Ḥammah (Gen., 1655; Ex., 1882). His book Ḥesed le-Avraham (Amsterdam, 1685) is devoted to a thorough analysis of the principles of the Kabbalah in the spirit of Cordovero with his own and Luria's additions, as well as to a refutation of the arguments of the philosophers. Azulai adhered to Lurianic kabbalism and believed that it superseded Cordovero's system. He reedited the Lurianic Sefer ha-Kavvanot ("The Book of Intentions") and wrote two books based on it: Kenaf Renanim and Ma'aseh Ḥoshev (1621/2; in Mss.). He also wrote a commentary on the Bible in a somewhat mystical style, entitled Ba'alei Berit Avraham (1873), and a commentary on the Mishnah, Ahavah be-Ta'anugim, in manuscripts. The part on Avot was printed in Jerusalem, 1910. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. Scholem, Kitvei Yad ba-Kabbalah (1930), 144; M. Benayahu (ed.), Aggadot Zacut (1955), 151–2; M. Benayahu, Rabbi Ḥ.J.D. Azulai, (Heb, 1959), 275–7.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • AZULAI, ABRAHAM BEN ISRAEL — (c. 1660–c. 1741), kabbalist. Azulai was born in Marrakesh. He was related to R. abraham b. mordecai azulai , and was the disciple of R. Isaac de Levayah and a friend of R. Solomon Amar II and R. Abraham ibn Musa. He lived for some time in Tetuan …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Abraham ben Mordecai Galante — (died 1560) was an Italian kabalist born in Rome at the beginning of the 16th century. Abraham, like his father Mordecai and his brother Moses, rabbi of Safed, is represented by his contemporaries as a man of high character who led a holy life… …   Wikipedia

  • ZACUTO, MOSES BEN MORDECAI — (c. 1620–1697), kabbalist and poet. Zacuto, who was born into a Portuguese Marrano family in Amsterdam, studied Jewish subjects under saul levi morteira (an elegy on the latter s death by Zacuto was published by D. Kaufmann in REJ, 37 (1898),… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ALḤAYK, UZZIEL BEN MORDECAI — (1740?–1820?), Tunisian rabbi. Alḥayk was born in Tunis where his father was a dayyan and communal leader. He studied in the yeshivah of Nathan b. Abraham bordjel , the greatest scholar of Tunis, and under David b. Moses Najar. He was appointed… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • YIẒḤAKI, ABRAHAM BEN DAVID — (1661–1729), rabbi, halakhic authority, and kabbalist. Born in Jerusalem, Yiẓḥaki was the grandson of the kabbalist, abraham b. mordecai azulai , and son in law of Abraham Israel Zeevi, a scholar of Hebron. He studied Talmud under moses b.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Moses ben Mordecai Zacuto — (ca. 1625–1 October 1697), also known as the Ramaz, was a kabalistic writer and poet. It is generally supposed that his birthplace was Amsterdam, although, like the Amsterdam rabbi Saul Levi Morteira, he probably lived in Venice, the residence of …   Wikipedia

  • AZULAI — AZULAI, family of scholars and kabbalists of Castilian origin which settled in Fez, Hebron, and Jerusalem after the expulsion from Spain. abraham ben mordecai azulai (1570–1643), the kabbalist, is the first of the family whose works are known.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • GALANTÉ, ABRAHAM — (1873–1961), Turkish politician, scholar, and historian born in Bodrum, Turkey. Galanté was a teacher and inspector in the Jewish and Turkish schools of Rhodes and Smyrna. He protested the misrule of Sultan Abdūlhamid II and partly in consequence …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • David ben Naphtali Fränkel — or David Hirschel Fränkel, (c. 1704 – April 4, 1762), was a Jewish German rabbi. Born in Berlin, for a time he was rabbi of Dessau. He became chief rabbi of Berlin in 1742. Fränkel exercised a great influence as teacher over Moses Mendelssohn,… …   Wikipedia

  • FALK, JOSHUA BEN ALEXANDER HA-KOHEN — (c. 1555–1614), Polish yeshivah head and halakhist commonly referred to as Sma from the initials of the title of his major work. Falk was born in Lublin and studied under Moses Isserles and Solomon Luria, but refused to serve as rabbi of the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.