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Index of Sages

Alphabetized list of major Jewish mystics since Creation & their writings

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. Sefer Yetzira, Kabbala work is attributed to Avraham, which, according to some, was finally redacted by Rabbi Akiva.


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.


HaBahir

 

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


Habakkuk

began prophesying in 3254 (506 BCE). He received from Nachum and his court.


Hai Gaon

 

4699-4798 (939-1038 CE). Became Gaon of Pumbedita in 4757 (997 CE).


Heichalot

a mystical manual composed by Rabbi Yishmael describing the ascent to higher worlds and the means to achieve it.


Hillel

 

became the leading rabbinical figure in 3729 (32 BCE). Hillel and Shammai and their court received from Shmaya and Avtalyon and their court, and began the Talmudic era.


Hosea

(Hoshea) began prophesying in 3090 (670 BCE). He received from Zechariah and his court.


Isaac

 

son of Abraham, 2048-2228 (1713-1533 BCE)



Isaac Luria

(Yitzchak), (Ari zal, 'the Ari') 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.


Isaiah

 

began prophesying in 3140 (620 BCE). He received from Amos and his court.


Israel Baal Shem Tov

5458-5520 (1698-1760 CE), leader of the early Chassidic movement.


Jacob

 

son of Isaac, 2108-2255 (1653-1506 BCE)


Jeremiah

began prophesying in 3298 (463 BCE). He received from Zephaniah and his court


Joel

(Yoel) began prophesying in 3190 (570 BCE). He received from Micah and his court.


Joseph

 

son of Jacob, 2199-2309 (1562-1452 BCE)


Joshua

 

2406-2516 (1354-1245 BCE). Received authority from Moses.


Karo

Yosef -- variant of 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.


Kehat

 

son of Aaron, 2235-2368 (1525-1392 BCE)


Kesser Shem Tov

Kabbala work by Shem Tov ibn Gaon.


Ketem Paz

 

an important commentary on the Zohar by R. Shimon ben Lavi.


Kli Yakar

a kabbalistic commentary on the Torah by Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim of Lunschitz.


Kol HaReMez

 

kabbalistic work by Rabbi Moshe Zacuto.


Lecha Dodi

mystical hymn composed by R. Shlomo Alkabetz, recited on Friday evenings at the onset of Shabbat.


Leshem Shevo V'Achlama

 

treatise by R. Shlomo Elyashiv. See Shlomo Elyashiv.


Lifnei v'Lifnim

commentary on SeferYetzira by R. Meir Abulafia.


Likutei Torah

 

early Chassidic work by R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first ("Alter") Rebbe of the Lubavitcher dynasty; it provides Chassidic insight according to the weekly Torah readings from Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.


Limmudei HaAtzilut

a kabbalistic treatise by R. Yisrael Sarug.


Luria

 

Yitzchak or Isaac (the Ari zal, 'the Ari') 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.


Maggid Mesharim

mystical text by R. Yosef Karo.


Maharal of Prague

 

Rabbi Yehudah ben Betzalel Loew c. 5285-5369 (c. 1525-1609 CE). His mystical writings include Be'er Hagolah; Netivot Olam; Tiferet Yisrael. He is also famous for having produced a golem (humanoid).


Maimonides

known as the Rambam, from the acronym of his name R. Moshe ben Maimon; 4895-4964 (1135-1204 CE). Physician and Torah scholar originally from Cordoba, Spain, but who fled from persecution to North Africa, passing through Morocco and eventually settling in Egypt. Known for his works of Jewish law and philosophy works, Mishna Torah and Guide to the Perplexed, he also commanded kabbala, though he did not overtly present this knowledge in his works.


Megaleh Amukot

 

Kabbala work by R. Natan Nota Shapiro.


Meir Abulafia

(Ramah) 4950-5004 (1190-1244 CE). He wrote a commentary on Sefer Yetzira entitled Lifnei v'Lifnim. See also Abulafia entry above.


Meir ibn Gabbai

 

c. 5240-? (1480- ? CE). Fled from the Spanish Inquisition.


Meir Poppers

d. 5422 (1622). One of the important kabbalists in the circle of the Ari, lived in Jerusalem and studied kabbala under R. Yaakov Tzemach. Best known for putting in order Rabbi Chaim Vital's manuscripts of the Ari zal's teachings and printing them. He arranged the manuscripts according to the index written in Rabbi Chaim Vital's own handwriting that he found in Damascus in the possession of Rabbi Shmuel Vital, the son of Rabbi Chaim Vital. Rabbi Meir himself wrote several important kabbalistic works. He is buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. [See Encylopedia l'Gedolei Yisrael (Margolius) (Hebrew)]


Men of the Great Assembly

 

(Anshei Knesset HaGedola) 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.


Menachem Azaryah deFano

(Rama miPano) 5308-5380 (1548-1620 CE). Very important kabbalist in Italy. Student of Rabbi Yisrael Sarug and Mordechai Dato.


Menachem of Recanati

 

4983-5050 (1223-1290 CE). Wrote a mystical commentary on the Torah. He quotes frequently from Ramban.


Menachem Mendel of Lubavitch

(the Tzemach Tzedek) 5549-5626 (1789-1866 CE),third Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch; grandson of R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi (the "Alter" Rebbe) and nephew of R. Dovber of Lubavitch (the "Mittler" Rebbe).


Menachem Mendel (Schneerson)

 

(1902-1994), Rebbe of Lubavitch from 1950.


Meshovev Netivot

an unpublished commentary on Sefer Yetzira by Rabbi Shmuel Motot.


Micah

 

began prophesying in 3160 (600 BCE). He received from Isaiah and his court.


Midrash Shmuel

a commentary on Pirkei Avot, by Shmuel Ozida.


Mikdash Melech

 

treatise on Zohar by R. Shalom Buzaglo.


Minchat Yehudah

commentary on Maarechet HaElokut by R. Yehuda Chayat.


Mishnat Chassidim

 

a kabbalistic work by R. Emanuel Chai Riki.


Moses

2368-2488 (1393-1273 BCE). Directed the Exodus from Egypt. Received the Torah for the Jewish People.


Moshe Alshich

 

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


Moshe ben Maimon

4895-4964 (1135-1204 CE) also called "Maimonides", the Rambam. Physician and Torah scholar originally from Cordoba, Spain, but who fled from persecution to North Africa, passing through Morocco and eventually settling in Egypt. Known for his halachic expositions and rationalist philosophic works, the Guide to the Perplexed and Mishna Torah, he also commanded kabbala, though he did not overtly present this knowledge in his works.


Moshe ben Nachman

 

(Ramban) born c. 4955 (1195 CE) in Gerona, Spain, d. 5030 (1270 CE) in Acco, Israel. A disciple of Rabbi Ezra and Rabbi Azriel of Gerona.


Moshe ben Shimon

5000-5070 (1240-1310 CE). Spanish kabbalist who was very highly regarded by his contemporaries. He wrote several kabbalistic works.


Moshe Botarel

 

c. 5150- c. 5200 (c. 1390- c. 1440 CE). Rabbi Moshe was a Spanish kabbalist who became famous for his commentary on Sefer Yetzira.


Moshe Chaim Luzatto

(Ramchal) b. in Padua 5467 (1707 CE) d. in Acco, Israel 5506 (1746 CE) Author of important kabbalistic works, "KLaCh" Pitchei Chochma, Da'at Tevunot, Derech Hashem, and Mesillat Yesharim.


Moshe Cordovero RaMaK

 

5282-5330 (1522-1570 CE). Kabbalist in Safed. Author of several important Kabbalistic works, including Pardes Rimonim (completed at the age of 27); Sefer Eilimah Rabbati; Or Ne'erav, Or Yakar (a commentary on Zohar) and many others. Student of Rabbi Yosef Karo and Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz.


Moshe de Leon

c. 5000 - c. 5065 (c. 1240 - c. 1305 CE) in Leon near Castile. Published the manuscripts of the Zohar that had come into his possession.


Moshe Zacuto

 

(known as Ramaz or Remez). Born around 5380 (1620 CE) in Amsterdam; d. 5457 (1697 CE) (studied in Amsterdam, Holland, Poland and Lithuania. Rabbi in Venice and Mantua, Italy where he died). Studied for two years under a student of the Ari zal, Rabbi Binyamin haLevi who came as an emissary from Safed. Wrote Kol HaReMez


Nachman of Breslov

5532-5570 (1772-1810 CE), grandson of Israel Baal Shem Tov, and early Chassidic leader. His stories and teachings have been collected by his followers, beginning with his first disciple, Rabbi Nosson.


Nachum

 

began prophesying in 3240 (520 BCE). He received from Joel (Yoel) and his court.


Naftali Bachrach

1st half of 17th C. CE. Born in Frankfort. Author of Emek HaMelech (pub. 5408 (1648 CE).


Natan Nota Shapiro

 

5345-5393 (1585-1633) Author of Megaleh Amukot and Ranav Ofanim. Eliyahu HaNavi is said to have visited with him regularly.


Natan Schapira

of Yerushalayim, published Tuv Ha'Aretz in 1655, a mystical treatise on Eretz Yisrael. Immigrated from Cracow. Became Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem. Named after his uncle, author of Megaleh Amukot.


Nechunia ben HaKana

 

(Tanna of the second half of 1st Century CE). A disciple of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai. Teacher of Rabbi Yishmael, Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol. Wrote the Bahir; Sefer HaTemuna (together with Rabbi Yishmael).


Netivot Olam

a kabbalistic treatise by the Maharal of Prague.


Or HaChaim

 

famous kabbalistic commentary on the Torah by R. Chaim ibn Attar.


Or Ne'erav

Kabbala work by R. Moshe Cordovero.


Or Yakar

 

a commentary on Zohar by R. Moshe Cordovero.


Otzar HaKavod

mystical interpretation of Talmudic passages by Todros Abulafia.


Pardes Rimonim

 

Kabbala work by R. Moshe Cordovero.


Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer

Kabbala work written by Eliezer HaGadol.


Raavad II

 

(acronym of the name Rabbi Avraham Av Beit Din).


Rama miPano

 

(acronym of the name of R. Menachem Azaryah deFano) 5308-5380 (1548-1620 CE). Very important kabbalist in Italy. Student of Rabbi Yisrael Sarug and Mordechai Dato.


Ramak

acronym of the name R. Moshe Cordovero.


Rambam

 

acronym of the name R. Moshe ben Maimon, also called "Maimonides"; 4895-4964 (1135-1204 CE). Physician and Torah scholar originally from Cordoba, Spain, but who fled from persecution to north Africa, passing through Morocco and eventually settling in Egypt. Known for his works of Jewish law and philosophy works, Mishna Torah and Guide to the Perplexed, he also commanded kabbala, though he did not overtly present this knowledge in his works.


Ramban

acronym of the name R. Moshe ben Nachman,"Nachmanides". Torah scholar and kabbalist originally from Gerona, Spain, author of one of the first and the most important mystical commentaries upon the Torah. At the end of his life he moved to the Holy Land and greatly strengthened the Jewish community in Jerusalem. He is buried in Acco.


Ramaz

 

acronym of the name of R. Moshe Zacuto. Born around 5380 (1620 CE) in Amsterdam; d. 5457 (1697 CE) studied in Amsterdam, Holland, Poland and Lithuania. Rabbi in Venice and Mantua, Italy where he died. Studied for two years under a student of the Ari zal, Rabbi Binyamin haLevi who came as an emissary from Safed. Wrote Kol HaReMez.


Ramchal

acronym of the name of R. Moshe Chaim Luzatto b. in Padua 5467 (1707 CE) d. in Acco, Israel 5506 (1746 CE). See Moshe Chaim Luzatto.


Ranav Ofanim

 

Kabbalah work by R. Natan Nota Shapiro.


Rashba

acronym of the name R. Shlomo ben Aderet, c. 4995-5070 (1235-1310 CE). Born in Barcelona. Student of Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerondi and Ramban.


Rashbi

 

acronym of the name of R. Shimon bar Yochai (2nd Century CE) and his circle. Rabbi Shimon was one of the main students of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Elazar hid in a cave to escape Roman persecution in 3909 (149 CE). Author of the Zohar, buried at Meron, west of Safed.


Rashi

acronym of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki 4800-4865 (1040-1105 CE), born in Troyes, France. Foremost commentator and Talmudist. Also knew and practiced Kabbala as is evident from his commentary to Sukka 45a; Sanhedrin 65b, etc.


Rava

 

4059-4113 (299-353 CE) According to Rashi's commentary on Talmud tractate Sanhedrin 65b, Rava created a golem using the mysteries of Sefer Yetzira and sent it to Rav Zeira, who nullified the golem and returned it to dust.


Rav Zeira

a contemporary of Rava nullified the golem sent to him by Rava (cf. Rava) and returned it to dust.


Reishit Chochma

 

kabbalistic ethical treatise by R. Eliyahu daVidas


Remez

major work (and play on the acronym of his name) of R. Moshe Zacuto, the Ramaz. "Remez" in Hebrew means 'hint'.


Responsa from Heaven

 

Kabbalah work of R.Yaakov of Marvege, France.


Rokeach

work of Elazar of Worms c. 4920-4998 (c. 1160-1237 CE), also known as the Rokeach. (Born in Speyer, Germany; died in Worms).


Saadia Gaon

 

b. 4642 (882 CE) in Egypt; d. 4702 (942 CE) in Sura (Babylon). Author of Emunot v'De'ot; Commentary on Sefer Yetzira. Was appointed Gaon of Sura in 4688 (928 CE).


Samuel the Prophet

2830-2882 (931-878 BCE) received from Eli and his court.


Sefer Bahir

 

variant name of SeferHaBahir, Kabbalah work written by Nechunia ben HaKana ben Zakai.


Sefer Chareidim

a kabbalistic treatise by R. Eliezer Azkiri.


Sefer Chasidim

 

Kabbalah work attributed to R.Yehuda HaChassid of Regensburg.


Sefer HaBahir

Kabbalah work written by Nechunia ben HaKana ben Zakai.


Sefer Eilimah Rabbati

 

Kabbalah work by R. Moshe Cordovero.


Sefer HaEshkol

Kabbalah work of Avraham ben Yitzchak of Narbonne.


Sefer HaPe'er

 

Kabbalah work by Shem Tov ibn Gaon.


Sefer HaTemuna

Kabbalah work written by Nechunia ben HaKana (together with Rabbi Yishmael).


Sefer HaYichud

 

Kabbalah work of R. Asher ben David.


Sefer Yetzira

Kabbalah work attributed to Avraham Avinu (Abraham the Patriarch) which, according to some, was finally redacted by Rabbi Akiva.


Sefer HaYuchasin

 

Kabbalah work by R. Avraham Zacuto.


Shaar HaNikud

Kabbalah work by Yosef Gikatila.


Shaar HaRazim

 

Kabbalah work on the 10 sefirot by Todros Abulafia


Shaar HaShamayim

Kabbalah work attributed to R. Yaakov ben Sheshet of Gerona.


Shaar HaSho'el

 

Kabbalah work of Azriel of Gerona.


Shaarei Orah

Kabbalah work by Yosef Gikatila


Shaarei Tzedek

 

Kabbalah work by Yosef Gikatila


Shabtai Sheftel Horowitz

(c. 1561-1619). Author of Shefa Tal.


Shalom Buzaglo

 

5460-5540 (c. 1700-1780 CE). Born in Marakesh, Morocco. Student of R. Avraham Azulai, Yaakov Pinto; Yeshayahu HaKohen. Later lived in London. Author of Mikdash Melech on Zohar.


Shalom Sherabi

(Rashash) 5480-5537 (1720-1777 CE). (1780-1837??) Born in Yemen. Later lived in Israel and became head of Yeshivat Bet E-l.


Shammai

 

early Talmudic scholar, known for strictness of his decisions. Hillel and Shammai and their court received from Shmaya and Avtalyon and their court, and began the Talmudic era.


Shefa Tal

a kabbalistic work of Rabbi Sheftel Horowitz.


Sheftel Horowitz

 

(Shabtai Sheftel), 5321-5379 (c. 1561-1619 CE). Author of Shefa Tal.


Shelah

(Shenei Luchot HaBrit), work of commentary and halacha by noted kabbalist, R. Yeshayahu Horowitz, b. 5320 (1560 CE) in Prague; d. 5390 (1630 CE) in Jerusalem.


Shem Tov ibn Gaon

 

5043-5100 (1283-c. 1340 CE). Disciple of Rashba and Raavad; studied Kabbala under R. Yitzchak ben Todros. Spent some time in Safed, Israel. Author of kabbalistic works Kesser Shem Tov; a super-commentary on the mystical sections of Ramban's commentary on Torah; Badei HaAron; Sefer HaPe'er among others.


Shem Tov ibn Shem Tov

d. 5190 (1430 CE). A leading Spanish kabbalist. He fought vigorously against philosophy. He wrote several works in kabbala, only fragments of which are still extant.


Sherira Gaon

 

appointed Gaon of Pumbedita in 4728 (968 CE)


Shimon bar Yochai

(Rashbi) (2nd Century CE) and his circle. Rabbi Shimon was one of the main students of Rabbi Akiva. According the Talmud tractate Shabbat 33b, Rabbi Shimon and his son Rabbi Elazar hid in a cave to escape Roman persecution in 3909 (149 CE). Author of the Zohar, buried in Meron, west of Safed.


Shimon ben Lavi

 

b. 5248-5348 (1488-1588 CE). Born in Spain and fled to Morocco to escape the Inquisition. On his way to Israel, he stopped of in Tripoli N. Africa. When he saw how ignorant of Torah the people there were he decided to stay and teach them. He is the author of Ketem Paz, an important commentary on the Zohar.


Shimon Lavia

 

left Spain as a child during the expulsion in 1492. His family settled in North Africa, where he grew up to be a renowned scholar and Kabbalist. He set out for Israel in 1549, but when he stopped in Tripoli along the way and saw the ignorance and lack of Torah observance among the Jews who lived there, he decided to remain in order to teach, which he did with great success. Today, he is best known as the composer of the popular Bar Yochai hymn sung on Lag B’Omer, and by many Jews on Shabbat too.


Shimshon of Ostropolia

a noted kabbalist and the author of a number of esoteric commentaries. He was martyred during the Cossacks' Uprising on July 15, 1648. 


Shlomo Alkabetz

 

c. 5260-5340 (c. 1500-1580 CE). Author of the mystical hymn Lecha Dodi, composed in Safed at the time of the Lurianic influence.


Shlomo ben Aderet

(Rashba) c. 4995-5070 (1235-1310 CE). Born in Barcelona Student of Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerondi and Ramban.


Shlomo Elyashiv

 

5601-5684 (1841-1924 CE). Author of Leshem Shevo V'Achlama.Major exponent of Lithuanian Kabbalah of his day. Also known as Rav Shlomo of Shavel. Immigrated to Israel with the help of Rav A.Y. Kook in 1922.


Shlomo Ephraim of Lunschitz

5310-5379 (1550-1619 CE) Poland; author of Kli Yakar a commentary on the Torah.


Shlomo Yitzchaki

 

4800-4865 (1040-1105 CE) better known as Rashi, born in Troyes, France. Foremost commentator and Talmudist. Also knew and practiced Kabbala as is evident from his commentary to Succah 45a; Sanhedrin 65b, etc.


Sod HaKorban

Kabbalah work of Azriel of Gerona on the mystical meaning of the sacrifices.


Shmuel Motot

 

14th C. CE. Wrote Meshovev Netivot an unpublished commentary on Sefer Yetzira.


Shmuel Ozida

b. ca. 5300 (1540 CE) in Safed. He was one of the disciples of the Ari zal. He is famous as the author of Midrash Shmuel, a commentary on Pirkei Avot.


Shmuel Vital

 

son of R. Chaim Vital. Lived in the 17th C. CE. He was born in Damascus and studied Kabbala under his father. When Rabbi Chaim Vital passed away, he inherited many of his father's manuscripts in the kabbalistic teachings of the Ari zal. He arranged these in eight categories, known as the Shmoneh Shaarim. He also wrote several kabbalistic works of his own. Rabbi Shmuel had many important students, among them Rabbi Yaakov Tzemach; Rabbi Meir Poppers. Towards the end of his life he moved to Egypt, and died in Cairo.


Shlah

(Shenei Luchot HaBrit), work of commentary and halacha by a noted kabbalist, R. Yeshayahu Horowitz.


Shneur Zalman of Liadi

 

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


Shulchan Aruch

(Code of the Jewish Law), compilation of halacha by R. Yosef Karo, completed 5335.


Solomon

 

2912-2964 (849-797 BCE) Son of David, king of Israel. Built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.


Sulam

a comprehensive commentary on the entire Zohar, by R. Yehudah Ashlag.


Tiferet Yisrael

 

a kabbalistic treatise by the Maharal of Prague.


Tikun Yud Gimel Middot

Kabbalah work of R. Asher ben David.


Tikunei Shabbat

 

Kabbalah work by R. Avraham Beruchin.


Todros Abulafia

4994-5060 (1234- c. 1300 CE). Author of Otzar HaKavod a mystical interpretation of Talmudic Aggadata; Shaar HaRazim a work that describes the 10 sefirot.


Tosafot

 

sons-in-law and grandsons of Rashi. The Baalei HaTosefot lived in France and Germany in 12-13th centuries CE. Rabbeinu Yaakov of Marvege, France wrote Responsa from Heaven 4963 (1203 CE) -- using mystical techniques he obtained responses from the Heavenly Court regarding certain questions he posed.


Torah Or

early Chassidic work by R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the first ("Alter") Rebbe of the Lubavitcher dynasty; it provides Chassidic insight according to the weekly Torah readings of Genesis and Exodus.


Yaakov ben Masoud Abuchatzera

 

5567-5640 (1807-1880 CE) Morocco; author of numerous kabbalistic treatises, and patriarch of a family of kabbala scholars.


Yaakov ben Sheshet of Gerona

A colleague of R. Ezra and R. Azriel of Gerona. Reputedly the author of Shaar HaShamayim (Warsaw 1798 CE).


Yaakov of Marvege

 

France, one of the Tosafot school, wrote Responsa from Heaven 4963 (1203 CE) -- using mystical techniques he obtained responses from the Heavenly Court regarding certain questions he posed.


Yaakov Meir Spielman

Bucharest. Author of Tal Orot (Levov 1876 CE)


Yaakov Tzemach

 

Born in Portugal- settled in Safed sometime between 5370-5380 (1610-1620 CE). In 5388 (1628 CE) went to Damascus, Syria to learn under R. Shmuel Vital. d. after 5425 (1665 CE).


Yare'ach Yakar

a commentary on Zohar by R. Avraham Galante.


Yehoshua ben Chananya

 

(1st and 2nd C Tanna CE). One of the five main disciples of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai.


Yehoyada HaKohen

began prophesying in 3055 (705 BCE) received from Elisha and his court.


Yehoshua ben Prachya

 

and Nittai HaArbeli and their courts. The former was appointed as Nasi of the Sanhedrin in 3610 (151 BCE). They and their court received from Yose ben Yo'ezer and Yosef ben Yochanan and their court.


Yehudah ben Betzalel Loew

the Maharal of Prague. c. 5285-5369 (c. 1525-1609 CE). His mystical writings include Be'er Hagolah; Netivot Olam; Tiferet Yisrael. He is also famous for having produced a golem (humanoid).


Yehuda ben Tabbai

 

and his court received from Yehoshua ben Prachya and Nittai HaArbeli. Yehuda ben Tabbai and Shimon ben Shatach and their courts received from Yehoshua ben Prachya and Nittai HaArbeli. Shimon ben Shatach became the rabbinical head of the Sanhedrin in 3688 (73 BCE).


Yehuda ben Yakar

c. 4910 - c. 4985 (c. 1150 - c. 1225 CE). Born in Provence, France; died in Spain. Disciple in Kabbala of R. Yitzchak Sagi-Nahor. Colleague of R. Ezra and R. Azriel of Gerona. Had a great influence on Ramban, and the Rashba spoke very highly of him -- see Teshuvot HaRashba #523.


Yehuda Chayat

 

suffered terrible persecution at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition until he managed to flee to Venice and then Mantua. He is famous for his commentary -- called Minchat Yehudah -- on Maarechet HaElokut.


Yehuda HaChassid

of Regensburg lived c. 4910-4977 (c. 1150-1217 CE), author of Sefer Chasidim. He headed the movement of Chasidei Ashkenaz. He had learned Kabbala from his father, Rabbi Shmuel ben Klonymos.


Yehudah Ashlag

 

(Sulam) 5645-5714 (1885-1954 CE). Author of the Sulam, a comprehensive commentary on the entire Zohar. Rabbi Ashlag was born in Lodz Poland. In 1921 CE, he emigrated to Israel. He passed away in Jerusalem where he is interred.


Yehudah ben Barzilai

of Barcelona 4795-4865 (1035-1105 CE) author of an important commentary on Sefer Yetzira. He was also famous for his encyclopedic knowledge of all major halachic works until his time. His Beit Midrash became the center of halachic rulings in his time.


Yeshayahu Horowitz

 

(Shlah) b. 5320 (1560 CE) in Prague; d. 5390 (1630 CE) in Jerusalem. Author of Shnei Luchot HaBrit (Shelah).


Yisrael Abuchatzera

(the Baba Sali) 5649-5744 (1889-1984 CE) Morocco. Moved to Israel where he settled in Netivot. His graveside has become a holy site visited by thousands annually.


Yisrael Sarug

 

[or Saruk] (16th century). A disciple of the Ari zal in Egypt and Israel, later influential in Italy. Author of Limmudei HaAtzilut, "Kontres Ne'im Zemirot Yisrael," a kabbalistic commentary on three of Luria's piyutim (sacred poems) for Sabbath, and other kabbalistic works published after his lifetime.


Yitzchak Abuchatzera

5657-5730 (1897-1970 CE) Morocco.


Yitzchak of Acco

 

5010-5100 (1250-1340 CE). A disciple of Ramban after the latter came to the came to the Holy Land.


Yitzchak Luria

(Ari zal, 'the Ari') 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.


Yitzchak Sagi-Nahor

 

(the Blind) c. 12th C. CE. Son of Raavad III (Rabad of Posquieres); grandson of Rabbi Avraham ben Yitchak of Narbonne. Teacher of Rabbi Ezra and Rabbi Azriel of Gerona, the teachers of Ramban.


Yochanan ben Zakai

3713-3833 (47 BCE-73 CE). He received from Hillel and Shammai and their courts. Expert in Kabbala, Rabbi Yochanan had five main disciples: Rabbi Eliezer HaGadol, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Yose HaKohen, Rabbi Shimon ben Netanel and Rabbi Elazar ben Arach.. Rabbi Akiva apparently also studied under Rabbi Yochanan. (See Ethics of the Fathers Pirkei Avot 2:8; Talmud Chagiga 14b, Tosefta 2; Sanhedrin 68a.


Yona Gerondi

 

(Rabbeinu) 4940-5023 (c. 1180-1263 CE)


Yonatan Eybeshutz

c. 5450-5524 (c. 1690-1764 CE). Studied in Poland, Moravia and Prague as a child, and later in Prossnitz and Vienna. Settled in Prague. In 5485, (1725 CE) excommunicated Shabbtai Tzvi's sect. Appointed Dayan of Prague in 5496 (1736 CE); Rabbi of Metz in 5501 (1741 CE) and Rabbi of the three communities Altona, Hamburg and Wandsek in 5510 (1750 CE). Was suspected of Shabbatean leanings by Yaakov Emden and became the center of many disputes.


Yose ben Yo'ezer

 

of Tzraidah d. 3610 (151 BCE) was appointed as President (Nasi) of the Sanhedrin in 3550 (211 BCE). This court received from Antigonos and his court.


Yosef Caro

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.


Yosef Chaim of Baghdad

 

(known from the name of his most famous work as the Ben Ish Chai) 5594-5669 (1834-1909 CE) Prolific leader of Persian Jewry and kabbalist. In addition to many works on Jewish law and Talmud, authored many kabbalistic commentaries.


Yosef Gikatila

5008 - c. 5070 (1248- c. 1310 CE) born in Medinaceli, Castile and lived in Segovia for many years. Between 1272-1274 studied with Avraham Abulafia who praised him as his most successful student. Wrote Ginat Egoz; Shaarei Orah; Shaarei Tzedek; Shaar HaNikud. Was apparently friendly with Moshe de Leon around 5040 (1280' s CE).


Yosef Karo

 

variant spelling of Yosef Caro 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.


Yosef Yuzpa

5250-5330 (c. 1490-1570 CE). An Italian rabbi and kabbalist. See Otzar HaGedolim #520.


Yosher Leivavv

 

a kabbalistic work by R. Emanuel Chai Riki.


Zekel of Worms

the Baal Shem of Michelshtadt, mid 18th C. CE


Zohar

 

major Kabbalah work originally redacted by R. Shimon bar Yochai; and subject of many commentaries since that time.