Lot 22: Tavnit Hechal - Amsterdam, 1650 - Signature of Rabbi Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi - The Rashash

Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

November 15, 2016
Jerusalem, Israel

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Description: Tavnit Hechal, on the building of the Beit HaMikdash and its utensils, by Rabbi Ya'akov Judah Aryeh Leon Templo. Amsterdam, [1650]. Printed by Yehuda ben Mordechai and Shmuel ben Moshe HaLevi. Printed at the beginning of the book are poems by R. Shaul Mortira, R. Yitzchak Abuhav, R. Shmuel son of Avraham HaRofeh, R. Aharon Tzarfati and the author.On the title page is a signature in Sephardic script: "Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi". On leaf 4 [should be 3] and on leaf 5 are more signatures of only his first name: "Shalom". These are signatures of the celebrated kabbalist - the Rashash. Rabbi Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi, the Rashash (1720-1777) was born in Sharab, Yemen and lived in Sana’a. From his youth, he was proficient in Torah and kabbalistic knowledge and was a modest hidden tsaddik. He prevailed in a great trial he encountered and vowed to move to Jerusalem. He left Yemen and sailed to Bombay, India and from there to Baghdad where he resided for a number of years. Afterward, he traveled to Damascus and thereafter moved to Jerusalem. Upon reaching Jerusalem, he worked as a servant in the house of R. Gedaliah Chayun, head of the Kabbalist Beit El Yeshiva, concealing his true stature. He would serve the yeshiva sages and quietly listen to their study. When they encountered questions for which they did not find answers, R. Sharabi would secretly write the response and place it in the Beit HaMidrash. After R. Gedaliah Chayun discovered this, he realized the wisdom and magnitude of R. Sharabi's knowledge and gave him the hand of his daughter Chana. In 1752, after the death of R. Gedaliah, he was appointed his successor as head of the Beit El Yeshiva of kabbalists and Chassidim. After this appointment, he established a holy group of kabbalists, called the Ahavat Shalom society. The kabbalists joined one another with "engagement bills", in which they accepted upon themselves manners of conduct, regulations and mutual responsibility. The Chida, R. Yom Tov Algazi, R. Gershon of Kuty [brother-in-law of the Ba'al Shem Tov] were among the disciples who joined this select holy group. His disciple the Chida writes: "One holy person in our times, an amazing kabbalist, knows practically the entire Etz Chaim by heart... and with his great knowledge and wisdom, he arranged the kavanot of the Arizal in their proper form. He wrote a large work named Rechovot HaNahar to explain and clarify the Hakdamot. He had all the Arizal's kavanot… as written by the Arizal in Sha'ar Ru'ach HaKodesh" (Shem HaGedolim, Ma'arechet Gedolim, Ot Shin). Among his works is a siddur with kavanot, known as the Siddur HaRashash which contains kabbalistic secrets and kavanot of prayer according to the Arizal. From the time it was written, it has become the primary source for kabbalistic kavanot of prayer. 38 leaves. 19 cm. Good condition. Stains. Worming. Two tears to title page, one restored [slightly affecting the title page frame]. New binding. Provenance: Sassoon family collection.
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