Friday, May 8, 2009

The Greatness of the AriZal (The "Father" of Kabbalah)

The Ari

Time-line of Chabad Chassidus: Adam Harishon, The Rasbi, The AriZal, The Baal Shem Tov, The Alter Rebbe; 7 Rebbeim, until the Rebbe.


(Source- The AriZal, Art Scroll youth series, Mesorah Publications, 1988.)

The disciples of the Ari, who were in constant contact with him, realized, that what they saw, was only the tip of the iceberg of his greatness.

Chaim Vital, who was his close disciple, wrote about him, in his introduction to his famous work Etz Chaim, which contains his teacher’s teachings.

He wrote the following: “I would not relate something of his ways and wonders, which my eyes witnessed. Which no one has seen in the world, since the time of the Tannaim, like the Rashbi and his companions.”
From the time of the Rashbi until the Ravid, this knowledge was transmitted only by word of mouth. Eliyahu revealed himself to only select scholars, until the time of the Ramban.

From that time, until my master the Ari, there was no one who could grasp this knowledge, properly.
The Ari knew Mishnah, Talmud, Aggados and Midrashim; in all the various approaches of Pardas. Including the mystical one, called Maaseh Bereishis; (which is the workings of the universe); and Maaseh Merkavah (mystical speculations on the G-dly chariot).

He also knew the language of the birds, the trees and the grasses. And even of inanimate things, such as stones, flames, and also angels.

He conversed with spirits of the past, who had been reborn, both good and evil.

He knew where people’s souls had come from.

He was also able to determine secrets, just by the smell of garments.

He could see souls leaving the body in a cemetery; and going to Gan Eden every Friday afternoon.

He was able to speak to the souls of the departed Tzaddikim, residing in the next world. They confided the secrets of their world to him.

He was able to read faces and palms.

He could interpret dreams, just by looking at a person’s forehead.

He was able to know ones thoughts and dreams.

He taught the meaning of the origins of souls; and read upon a person’s forehead, all his merits and sins.

He was able to find the specific Tikkun (correction needed for ones soul) for each individual, in accordance with his nature and the origin of ones soul.

Nothing was concealed from the Ari.


The son of Rabbi Yosef Karo (The Beis Yosef), married the daughter of the AriZal.

Rabbi Yosef Karo: Truly the Ari knows more than an angel! He must have the soul of a Navi (Prophet), for even the Tannaim (sages from the Talmud) could not have expressed what he did.