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Index of Sages

Index of Sages

Alphabetized list of major Jewish mystics since Creation & their writings

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Note:Dates are listed according to the years from the beginning of Creation of the World, followed by the dates in the Gregorian calendar in parentheses. BCE is used for "Before the Common Era" instead of a negative value; CE denotes the Common Era, which began in the year 3760 of Creation.

A B C D E G H I J K L M N O P R S T Y Z

 

Abraham

 

1948-2123 (1813 - 1638 BCE), (Avraham Avinu, Our Father), first of the Patriarchs, father of Isaac and grandfather of Jacob and Esau. The Kabbala work Sefer Yetzira is attributed to Avraham, which was finally redacted by Rabbi Akiva, according to some.


Abraham Abulafia

(Avraham) 5000 - after 5051 (1240- after 1291 CE) and his school. A leading Kabbalist in Spain and Italy. R. Abulafia was one of the chief proponents and innovators of "prophetic Kabbala." Rabbi Yehuda Chayat and Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (the Rashba) vigorously opposed Rabbi Abraham. For Rashba's controversy with him see Rashba, Responsa 458.


Abraham Azulai

(Avraham) (1570-1643), authored the well-known Kabbala work, Chesed l'Avraham. He is the grandfather of one of the most famous Sephardic sages ever, the Chida (Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai, 1724-1806) .


Abuchatzera

 

illustrious family of kabbalists (mekubalim) of Moroccan origin, including Yisrael (the Baba Sali) 5649-5744 (1889-1984 CE) born in Morocco; moved to Israel where he settled in Netivot. His graveside has become a holy site visited by thousands annually. See also David Abuchatzera, Yaakov ben Masoud Abuchatzera, Yitzchak Abuchatzera.


Abulafia

Family of Spanish and Italian Kabbalists. See: Abraham Abulafia, Chaim Abulafia, Meir Abulafia, Todros Abulafia.


Aderet Eliyahu

 

treatise on Zohar (manuscript in Oxford), by R. Eliyahu Baal Shem of Worms.


Aharon Ben Shmuel HaNassi

of Baghdad (mid 9th Century CE). Brought teachings of Kabbala from Iraq to Italy and Germany. Mentioned in Megilat Achima'atz 4805 (1054 CE) and later in the writings of R. Eliezer of Worms.


Akiva

 

a very important Tanna born circa 3810 (50 CE), died c. 3895 (135 CE). He received from Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol. Rabbi Akiva was one of four Tannaitic sages who entered the Pardes. The others were Ben Azzai (early 2nd Century CE), Ben Zoma (2nd Century CE), Acher [Elisha ben Avuya] (first half of 2nd Century CE). See -- Four Who Entered the Orchard. Akiva was one of the Ten Martyrs killed by the Romans. According to some, Rabbi Akiva was the redactor of the Sefer Yetzira.


Alshich

(Moshe) 5268-5353 (1508-1593 CE). Author of "Torat Moshe," a mystical commentary on the Torah. Often called "The Alshich".


Alter Rebbe

 

Shneur Zalman of Liadi 5505-5573 (1745-1813 CE), the first Rebbe of the Lubavitch dynasty. Author of Tanya, an early Chassidic text, and the Shulchan Aruch haRav, an extended work of halacha.


Amram Gaon

author of Siddur R. Amram became Gaon in Sura (Babylon) 858. Died c. 875 CE.


Anshei Knesset HaGedola

 

(Men of the Great Assembly), received from Baruch ben Neriah and his court. It was comprised of 120 sages included Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Daniel, Chananya, Nehemiah ben Chachalya, Mordechai, Zerubavel and many others.


Antigonos of Socho

d. circa 3530 (231 BCE). He and his court received from Shimon HaTzaddik and his court.


Ari (zal)

 

Yitzchak Luria, acronym of his appellation, "Ashkenazi Rav Yitzchak", 5294-5332 (1534-1572 CE). Born in Jerusalem, d. in Safed. Founder of a new school in Kabbala -- so-called "Lurianic Kabbala." Studied with Rabbi Moshe Cordovero whom he succeeded as the leading mystic of Safed.


Arizal

Rabbi Yitzchak Luria. Ari = acronym of his appellation, "Ashkenazi Rav Yitzchak", 5294-5332 (1534-1572 CE) and Zal = 'of blessed memory.' Born in Jerusalem, d. in Safed. Founder of a new school in Kabbala -- so-called "Lurianic Kabbala." Studied with Rabbi Moshe Cordovero whom he succeeded as the leading mystic of Safed.


Asher ben David

 

13th C. CE. Grandson of Raavad (Rabad of Posquires). Studied under his uncle R. Yitzchak Sagi-Nahor. Wrote Sefer HaYichud; Tikkun Yud Gimmel Middot.


Ashlag

family of scholars and kabbalists; Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag, R. Baruch Shalom Ashlag.


Avraham Azulai

 

5330-5403 (1570-1643 CE). Grandfather of Chida. Author of Chesed l'Avraham.


Avraham ben David

Ra'avad III (Rabad of Posquieres, Provence) c. 4880-4958 (1120 -1198 CE). Son-in-law and disciple of Rabbi Avraham ben Yitzchak of Narbonne.


Avraham ben Yitzchak Gerondi

 

(mid 13th Century CE). He studied under Rabbi Yitzchak Sagi-Nahor and was held in great esteem by Ramban (R. Moshe ben Nachman).


Avraham ben Yitzchak of Granada

(Rimon). Although it is disputed among scholars, some authorities identify him with Rabbi Avraham ben Yitzchak of Narbonne. He is one of the earliest kabbalists to quote the Zohar. [However, passages he quotes are not found in the extant versions of the Zohar.] He is the author of Brit Menucha (published in Amsterdam 5408 / 1648 CE) an early kabbalistic treatise regarded by the Ari zal as a significant contribution to the literature of the Kabbala.


Avraham ben Yitzchak

 

of Narbonne. 4870-4939 (1110-1179 CE), Av Beit Din of Narbonne, author of Sefer HaEshkol. Student of Yehuda ben Barzilai of Barcelona, from whom he learned Kabbala. He is also reputed to have received secrets of Kabbala from Elijah the Prophet. He is sometimes referred to as Raavad II (Rabbi Avraham Av Beit Din). Some identify him as the kabbalist Avraham ben Yitzchak of Granada, the author of Brit Menucha.


Avraham Beruchim

c. 5275-5353 (c. 1515-1593 CE). Born in Morocco and probably emigrated to Israel before 1565. Disciple of RaMaK and subsequently of Ari zal. Author of Tikkunei Shabbat. Was said by the Ari zal to be a reincarnation of the prophet Jeremiah.


Avraham Galante

 

5300-5348 (1540-1588 CE). Close disciple of RaMaK (R. Moshe Cordovero). Wrote Yare'ach Yakar a commentary on Zohar.


Avraham Isaac Kook

5625-5695 (1865-1935 CE) First Chief Rabbi of Israel, mystic and visionary. Began studying kabbala under Rav Shlomo Eliyashiv, the Leshem, in his early twenties.


Avraham Zacuto

 

5185- c. 5275 (1425- c. 1515 CE). Author of Sefer HaYuchasin.


Rabbi Avraham Dov Auerbach

of Avritch [1765-1840], a Chasidic Rebbe in Europe for forty years and in Safed for ten, was a disciple of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev and the first two Rebbes of the Chernobyl dynasty. His famous book, Bas Ayin, was written in Europe, but he refused to allow it to be printed until he could 'expose' it to the air of the Holy Land and refine it there.


Azriel of Gerona

 

c. 4920 - c. 4998 (1160 - c. 1238 CE). Student of Rabbi Yitzchak Sagi-Nahor. Wrote among others Shaar HaSho'el; a commentary on Sefer Yetzira; a commentary to Talmudic Aggadata; a commentary on the liturgy (mystical meditations); Sod HaKorban on the mystical meaning of the sacrifices, etc.


Azulai

family of Torah scholars and kabbalists; see Avraham Azulai and Chaim Yosef David Azulai.


Baal Haturim

 

Jacob Ben Asher 1270-1343 (12 Tamuz 5103) Third son of the "Rosh" (Asher ben Jehiel), he achieved fame as a codifier of Jewish law. His code is constructed in four sections: 1) Orah Hayim - dealing with worship, 2) Yorah Deah - on ritual law, 3) Eben ha-Ezer - laws relating to marriage and divorce, 4) Hoshen Mishpat - on civil law. Unlike Maimonides, he only compiled current laws and his works served as a foundation for Joseph Caro and others.


Baal Shem Tov

 

"Master of the Good Name" a title applied to several early Chassidic figures; the most famous is Israel Baal Shem Tov. See entry below.


Bachya ben Asher

(Rabbeinu) c. 5025 - c. 5100 (c. 1265 - c. 1340 CE). Disciple of Rashba. Author of a mystical commentary on the Torah.


Badei HaAron

 

Kabbala work by Shem Tov ibn Gaon.


Baba Sali

Yisrael Abuchatzera, 5649-5744 (1889-1984 CE), mekubal (expert in kabbala) from Morocco. Moved to Israel where he settled in Netivot. His graveside has become a holy site visited by thousands annually.


Bachya ben Asher

 

c. 5025 - c. 5100 (c. 1265 - c. 1340 CE). Disciple of Rashba. Author of a mystical commentary on the Torah.


Bahir

variant of Sefer HaBahir, Kabbala work written by Nechunia ben HaKana ben Zakai.


Baruch ben Neriah

 

d. 3413 (348 BCE). He received from Jeremiah and his court.


Baruch Shalom Ashlag

5667-5751 (1907-1991 CE). Son of and successor to Rabbi Yehudah Ashlag.


Be'er Hagolah

 

a kabbalistic treatise by the Maharal of Prague.


Ben Ish Chai

kabbalistic commentary on the Torah by R. Yosef Chaim of Baghdad.


Ben Sira

 

c. 3488 (273 BCE) (possibly a son of Jeremiah the Prophet) -- writer of aphorisms and mystical insights in the early Second Temple era in a book called "Wisdom of Sira." See A. Kaplan, Sefer Yetzira Intro., Pp. xiv-xv.


Besht

acronym for Baal Shem Tov, "Master of the Good Name" a title applied to several early Chassidic figures; the most famous is Israel Baal Shem Tov. See entry below.


Binyamin haLevi

 

disciple of Ari zal. Sent as an emissary of the Ari zal to Italy to spread his kabbalistic teachings. Was the teacher of Rabbi Moshe Zacuto in Italy.


Brit Menucha

and early Kabbala work, of Avraham ben Yitzchak of Granada.


Caro (Yosef)

 

4258-5335 (1488-1575 CE) Rabbi Yosef was born in Spain and fled the Inquisition with his family at the age of 4. Settled in Safed, Israel. Author of Shulchan Aruch (Code of the Jewish Law) and a mystical work entitled Maggid Mesharim.


Chaim Abulafia

Chief Rabbi of Safed during the 18th century CE. See Abulafia entry.


Chaim ibn Attar

 

5456-5503 (1696-1743 CE) a Moroccan-born kabbalist who later lived in Israel where he passed away. He is the author of the famous kabbalistic commentary on the Torah known as Or HaChaim. He is buried on Har HaZeitim (Mount of Olives). His graveside has become a holy site visited by thousands annually.


Chaim Palag'i

5548-5628 (1788-1868 CE) from Izmir, Turkey. He was a prolific writer, completing 72 books in his lifetime, many of them in Kabbala.


Chaim Vital

 

c. 5303-5380 (c. 1543-1620 CE), major disciple of R. Isaac (Yitzchak) Luria, and responsible for publication of most of his works.


Chaim Volozhin

5509-5581 (1749-1821 CE) foremost disciple of the Vilna Gaon


Chaim Yosef David Azulai

 

(Chida) 5484-5566 (1724-1806 CE), prolific author of kabbalistic works, and also of Shem haGedolim, a comprehensive guide to kabbala scholars and works.


Chesed l'Avraham

Kabbala work by R. Avraham Azulai.


Chida

 

acronym for Chaim Yosef David Azulai 5484-5566 (1724-1806 CE); see Azulai entry.


Chozei Tzion

a kabbalistic commentary on Psalms by R. Emanual Chai Riki.


David 2854-2924 (906-836 BCE)

 

century CE) son of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

.

Elazar of Worms

c. 4920-4998 (c. 1160-1237 CE), also known as the Rokeach. (Born in Speyer, Germany; died in Worms). He was a student of Rabbi Yehuda HaChassid. Wrote a commentary on Sefer Yetzira.


Eliezer Azikri

 

5293-5360 (1533-1600 CE). Author of Sefer Chareidim. Disciple of Ramak.


Eliezer HaGadol

(author of Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer) was one of the five main disciples of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai.


Elijah

 

began prophesying in 2962 (798 BCE). He received from Achiya HaShiloni and his court.


Elisha

began prophesying in 3043 (717 BCE). He received from Elijah and his court.


Eliyahu Baal Shem of Worms

 

5325-5396 (1565-1636 CE) Author of Aderet Eliyahu on Zohar (manuscript in Oxford) among others.


Eliyahu daVidas

d. c. 5353 (c. 1593 CE). Disciple of RaMaK; possibly studied under the Ari zal as well, whom he certainly knew. Wrote Reishit Chochma, a kabbalistic ethical treatise.


Eliyahu of Vilna

 

the 'Gaon of Vilna' 5480-5557 (1720-1797 CE), Lithuanian Torah sage and leader, known also for his opposition to Chassidism.


Emanuel Chai Riki

5448-5503 (1688-1743 CE). Studied Kabbalat HaAri zal in Safed for two years (5478- c. 5480) (1718- c. 1720 CE). Received rabbinical ordination from the Chief Rabbi of Safed R. Chaim Abulafia. Author of Mishnat Chassidim; Yosher Leivav; Chozei Tzion a kabbalistic commentary on Psalms.


Emek HaMelech

 

kabbalistic work by R. Naftali Bachrach.



Ezekiel

began prophesying in 3332 (429 BCE). He saw the Merkava (the manifestation of G‑dliness in the world of Yetzira) in a prophetic vision.


Ezra

 

d. 3448 (313 BCE) and his court, Men of the Great Assembly (Anshei Knesset HaGedola) received from Baruch ben Neriah and his court. The Anshei Knesset HaGedola was comprised of 120 sages included Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Daniel, Chananya, Nehemiah ben Chachalya, Mordechai, Zerubavel and many others.


Ezra ben Shlomo of Gerona

born in the last 3rd of the 12 Century CE. d. 4998 (1238 CE. 1245 CE according to others). Not to be confused with Rabbi Azriel below. He was a student of Yitzchak Sagi-Nahor. Wrote a commentary on Sefer Yetzira that is no longer extant; wrote a commentary on Shir HaShirim. Wrote commentaries and explanations of Aggadata. Had a great influence on Rabbeinu Bachya and on Rabbi Yitzchak of Acco.


Gershon Kitover

 

(17th C. CE) member of the Kloiz (the Chassidic Inner Circle), became brother--in-law of the Baal Shem Tov.


Ginat Egoz

Kabbala work by Yosef Gikatila.


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