"Isaac Luria . . . was said by his disciples to have read people's
secret sins from their faces and to have prescribed their tiqqun
accordingly." -- Prof. Gershom Scholem
Rabbi Issac Luria (15341572), called the Ari or "Lion", an acronym of his title and name, was quite possibly the most profound metaphysical thinker to come out of esoteric Judaism. The central figure of postexpulsion Kabbalah, his teachings revolutionised the entire Kabbalistic tradition.
Unfortunately, Luria himself never wrote anything down, and for his
teachings we have to rely on the conflicting and unreliable accounts preserved
by his disciples and their successors, the most important of which was
Rabbi Hayyim Vital (15421620), a prolific writer. Even now very
little of the voluminous Lurianic material is available in English.
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page historypage uploaded 6 November 1998