Abraham ben Eliezer Ha-Levi Berukhim

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

ABRAHAM BEN ELIEZER HA-LEVI BERUKHIM

ABRAHAM BEN ELIEZER HA-LEVI BERUKHIM (c. 1515–1593), pious ascetic and Safed kabbalist. Born in Morocco, he immigrated to Palestine probably before 1565. In Safed he joined Moses *Cordovero's circle and became a friend of Elijah de *Vidas. When Isaac *Luria went to Safed (late 1569), Abraham joined his school and was a member of its "fourth group." Ḥayyim *Vital had a great affection for him and in several places quotes kabbalistic sayings of Isaac Luria which he had heard from Abraham. Vital quotes Luria as saying that in the "origins of the souls of the Safed kabbalists," Abraham derived from the patriarch Jacob. Abraham was a visionary and ascetic, who preached piety and morality, and called for repentance. He was called the "great patron of the Sabbath" and he went out on Friday mornings to the markets and streets to urge the householders to hurry with the preparations for the Sabbath meals and close their shops early so that they would have time to purify themselves for the Sabbath. Almost nothing is known about his life. Many legends have been preserved about his piety and about Luria's affection for him. His Tikkunei Shabbat were printed at the end of Reshit Hokhmah ha-Kaẓar (Venice, 1600) and thereafter in numerous editions as a separate book. On the other hand, his Hasidut, containing the rules of pious behavior which he established for his group in Safed, circulated in manuscript even in the Diaspora, and was published by Solomon Schechter (Studies in Judaism, 2nd Series (1908), 297–9). He was the first editor and collector of articles of the *Zohar which had not been included in the Mantua edition of 1558–60; these were afterward published under the title Zohar Ḥadash. It is not clear whether he was the author of Gallei Rezayya, parts of which were published in his name (1812). It is probable that Tobiah ha-Levi, author of Ḥen Tov, was his son.

bibliography:

Ḥ. Vital, Sefer ha-Ḥezyonot (1954); S. Shlimel, Shivḥei ha-Ari (1609); M. Benayahu, Sefer Toledot ha-Ari (1967).