Luria, Jehiel ben Israel Ashkenazi

views updated


LURIA, JEHIEL BEN ISRAEL ASHKENAZI (16th–17th century), kabbalist; scholar of *Safed and its emissary to Western Europe. It may be assumed that Luria was a relation of Isaac Ashkenazi *Luria (Ha-Ari). In 1599 he was in Worms and in 1601 in *Venice, apparently on his return journey to Ereẓ Israel.That year he published three works in Venice: Heikhal ha-Shem containing early Kabbalah fragments on the ten Sefirot, with an appendix of several sayings in the name of Isaac Luria and two piyyutim (the Bar Yohai piyyut and "an elegy on the desolation of the Temple to be said in the early morning vigil"); Asis Rimmonim, an abridgment of the Pardes Rimmonim of Moses Cordovero; and Ḥaredim of Eleazar *Azikri, the first edition from the manuscript. He returned to Ereẓ Israel from this mission and in 1604 was again sent out by the Safed community, on this occasion together with Solomon ibn Ẓur, to the countries of North Africa. Several letters about the mission are extant that were written from Safed to philanthropists in Algeria, and in these the conditions of the Jews of Safed at that time are described. A responsum by Luria on kabbalistic topics is cited by Abraham *Galante (in Kol Bokhim on Lam. 1:6).


Yaari, Sheluḥei, 245–6, 248–9; S. Assaf, in: Koveẓ Al Yad, 13 (1940), 134–9; E. Loans, Mikhlol Yofi (a commentary on Ecclesiastes, 1695), ch. 14; Neubauer, Cat, no. 2578.

[Avraham Yaari]