ARZIN, JOSEPH BEN JACOB


ARZIN, JOSEPH BEN JACOB
ARZIN, JOSEPH BEN JACOB (16th century), kabbalist of the Lurianic School. Arzin was third ḥaver ("member") in the "first class" among Isaac Luria's disciples. According to Ḥayyim Vital's testimony, Joseph was older than Vital and was probably born before 1540. Ḥayyim Vital relates that Arzin quarreled with R. Elijah Falcon, one of Luria's disciples. Luria expelled Falcon from his group and considered dismissing Arzin, but refrained from doing so. Several of his sermons, as well as "special meditations" (yiḥud) which he received from Luria, are mentioned in Ḥayyim Vital's books. He was the author of a commentary on Idra Rabba. Arzin was among the 12 ḥaverim ("members") of Luria's school who signed a "writ of alliance" with Ḥayyim Vital to learn from him Luria's doctrines. In 1568 Arzin appeared in Salonika on behalf of the   Talmud Torah Association of Safed and the famous scholar R. Moses Almosnino preached in honor of this mission. Arzin died young, when his father was still alive. In Saadiah Longo's eulogy for his father, the kabbalist Jacob Arzin, Joseph was also lamented. Joseph's son was probably R. Samuel Arizi, who in 1622 entered the meditative study circle of R. Samuel Noah of Safed. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. Scholem, in: Zion, 5 (1940), 143–4; M. Benayahu, in: Sefunot, 6 (1962), 22.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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