He recorded much of his master's teachings. After Vital's death, his writings began to spread and led to a "powerful impact on various circles throughout the Jewish world. Rabbi Joseph Karo is said to have paid special attention to Vital's early talents and in requested that Alshich take special care in his education as he was destined to succeed his teacher in the world of Torah study. That same year, Vital first became acquainted with the kabbalist Isaac Luria , who would have a lasting influence on him. Vital apparently married at a young age.
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Rabbi Chaim is renowned primarily as the recorder and editor of the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria , although he himself was also an accomplished kabbalist and writer. Rabbi Chaim studied Kabbala under the leading kabbalistic luminary in the world at that time, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero Ramak.
One of the senior kabbalists living in Safed, Rabbi Shabtai Lapidot, recognizing that Rabbi Chaim was destined for greatness, urged the young man to extract himself from all worldly matters and devote himself to the study of Kabbala, promising him that he would reach unimaginably lofty levels. Indeed, in the year CE , at the relatively young age of 26, Rabbi Chaim began writing a commentary on Zohar , the primary text of Kabbala, according to the teachings of Ramak.
Initially Rabbi Chaim was not attracted to the Ari, but after the passing of his teacher, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero , he became attached to the Ari, quickly becoming his chief disciple. However, my approach is the simple one, suitable for beginners in the wisdom of Kabbala, whereas the teachings of your teacher [the Ari] are deeper and are the primary approach. I, too, in the Heavenly Academy, study only according to the approach of your master.
He took me with him. We boarded a boat, and as we were sailing [across the Kinneret] at a point opposite the arches of the Old Synagogue of Tiberius, my teacher dipped a cup into the water and gave it to me to drink.
He told me that now I would be able to grasp this wisdom [the teachings of Kabbala] for I had just drunk water from the well of Miriam [which is buried in the Kinneret]. From that time on I began to enter the depth of this wisdom. Rabbi Chaim remarked that the works of earlier kabbalists, from after the Ramban [ Nachmanides , CE ] until the Ari, were built on mortal intellect, whereas the teachings of his master, the Ari, were revelations received by the Ari through Divine inspiration Ruach HaKodesh.
When the Ari passed on in CE , a mere two years after Rabbi Chaim had begun studying with him, Rabbi Chaim was almost universally regarded as his successor. The Ari was not accustomed to record his teachings in writing.
He had given only Rabbi Chaim permission to record his teachings. He began teaching the kabbalistic insights he had received from his master to his many disciples and thus he became the revered leader of a significant group of kabbalists. He also gained a reputation as a miracle worker, a healer and a master of practical kabbala. He was able to discern the nature and history of the souls of men. He remained there for several years and then returned to Safed. He moved to Damascus in where he passed away in CE at the age of seventy-seven.
For a link to the works of Rabbi Chaim Vital, click here. For Rabbi Chaim Vital on the nature of prophecy in modern times, click here. Thanks for this short biography about Rabbi Chaim Vital Reply. Thank you Thanks for the information about Chaim Vital. Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse. Here's a great tip! Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life.
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Rabbi Chaim is reknowned for his compilation of the Arizal's teachings. Rabbi Chayim Vital. Gate of Reincarnations. Safed - Center of Mysticism. Listen Join the Discussion Sort By:. Newest Oldest. Posting Guidelines. Post Anonymously. Email me when new comments are posted. Please send me Chabad. We will not share your email address. Daniel Shmuel Vital April 23, Louie Alvarez-Vital July 27, What is Kabbalah? History of Kabbalah Timeline of Kabbalah.
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Ḥayyim ben Joseph Vital
Later he began to arrange Luria's teachings in written form and to elaborate on them according to his own understanding of them. Vital tried to prevent Luria's other disciples from presenting their versions of his doctrine in writing, and he gathered around him several who accepted his spiritual authority. But he did not entirely succeed in his ambition to be the only heir to Luria's spiritual legacy and to be accepted as the sole interpreter of Lurianic Kabbalah. This study group ceased to function when Vital moved to Jerusalem, where he served as rabbi and head of a yeshivah from late to late In Jerusalem he wrote the last version of his presentation of the Lurianic system. He returned to Safed early in , staying there until
Vital, Ḥayyim ben Joseph
Rabbi Chaim is renowned primarily as the recorder and editor of the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria , although he himself was also an accomplished kabbalist and writer. Rabbi Chaim studied Kabbala under the leading kabbalistic luminary in the world at that time, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero Ramak. One of the senior kabbalists living in Safed, Rabbi Shabtai Lapidot, recognizing that Rabbi Chaim was destined for greatness, urged the young man to extract himself from all worldly matters and devote himself to the study of Kabbala, promising him that he would reach unimaginably lofty levels. Indeed, in the year CE , at the relatively young age of 26, Rabbi Chaim began writing a commentary on Zohar , the primary text of Kabbala, according to the teachings of Ramak. Initially Rabbi Chaim was not attracted to the Ari, but after the passing of his teacher, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero , he became attached to the Ari, quickly becoming his chief disciple.