Brandwein, Yehuda Ẓevi

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BRANDWEIN, YEHUDA ẒEVI (1903–1969), kabbalistic author. A descendant of the ḥasidic dynasty of the rabbi of Stretyn, he was born in Safed and studied in yeshivot in Jerusalem where he was ordained by such great authorities as A.I. *Kook and Ḥ. *Sonnenfeld. Despite the fact that he was an hasidic rabbi, he did not want to earn his bread by serving as a rabbi, but preferred manual labor and worked as a builder. At night he would study and meditate on mystical writings. Brandwein was brother-in-law, disciple, and friend of R. Yehudah *Ashlag, who taught him Kabbalah. After Ashlag's death, Brandwein completed Ashlag's commentary on the *Zohar, calling it Ma'alot ha-Sullam (1958). He also wrote a commentary on Tikkunei ha-Zohar (1960); he published the complete works of Isaac *Luria (1961–64) in 14 volumes, with punctuation, glosses, and references; and republished Moses *Cordovero'sOr Ne'erav (1965). From 1957, he served as chairman of the Department for the Provision of Religious Requirements in the Histadrut, and was called by many, "the rabbi of the Histadrut." After the Six-Day War, Brandwein settled in the Old City of Jerusalem (1968).