I almost forgot and I thank my friend Yehuda Z. for calling me with a question and reminded me about tonight.
Today (beginning night of 4/13/2010) is the death anniversary of a great kabbalist, Rabbi Chaim Vital.
The Holy Ari came to this world mostly to teach him the secrets of Kabbalah so he can put them in writing for future generations.
Light a candle, read Zohar and Kitvei Ari and connect to his soul and energy. Meditate to have your mind opento the wisdom of Kabbalah and Zohar.
Today it is very significant because Rabbi Chaim Vital passed away 390 years ago. 390 = (Shmayim) Heavens. also 10 times the YHV (of the spelled out Holy Name)
Read more about this Tzaddik;
Rabbi Chaim Vital
Born: Tzefat, Eretz Yisrael, 1543
Died: Damascus, Syria, 1620
Rabbi Chaim Vital was the closest disciple of the great 16th-century kabbalist, the Ari – Rabbi Itzchak Luria.
Rabbi Chaim Vital learned nigleh, the revealed aspects of the Torah, under the tzaddik Rabbi Moshe Alshich, who was also the one to ordain (semicha) him as a rabbi.
The Ari’s teachings were all given orally, and he himself wrote very little in print. His faithful disciple, Rabbi Chaim Vital, recorded his master’s teachings in several books which have come down to us, generally known by the name Kitvei HaAri. Along with the Zohar, these books are considered to be the major source for kabbalistic study.
Rabbi Chaim Vital studied with The Ari for a period of less than two years (both men were in their 30’s !), until The Ari left the world. Yet the knowledge passed unto Rabbi Chaim Vital is vast and encompassing.
The Ari claimed that the soul of Rabbi Chaim Vital, was a very high soul, from the same root of soul of Rabbi Akiva and King Chizkiyahu , both the father (Rabbi Yosef Vital) and son (Rabbi Shmuel Vital) of Rabbi Chaim Vital were sparks of soul of the great Tana, rabbi Meir Baal HaNess. His son Rabbi Shmuel Vital was the one who put the finishing touches on the Eight Gates of Kitvei HaAri, and published them. Some other manuscripts (mainly Etz Chaim), Rabbi Chaim Vital wished not to published and took it to the grave with him.
Years later Rabbi Avraham Azulai and Rabbi Yaakov Tzemach dealt with Yichudim (special Kabbalistic meditations) and She’alot Chalom (dream meditation) until permission was granted to them by Rabbi Chaim Vital in a dream to dig at his gravesite and excavate those additional writings.
Rabbi Chayim Vital on the ARI…
” The Ari overflowed with Torah. He was thoroughly expert in Tanach, Mishnah, Talmud, Pilpul, Midrash, Agadah, Ma’aseh Bereshit and Ma’aseh Merkavah. He was expert in the language of trees, the language of birds, and the speech of angels. He could read faces in the manner outlined in the Zohar (2:74b). He could discern all that any individual had done, and could see what they would do in the future. He could read people’s thoughts, often before the thought even entered their mind. He knew future events, was aware of everything happening here on earth, and what was decreed in heaven. He knew the mysteries of gilgul [Reincarnation], who had been born previously, and who was here for the first time. He could look at a person and tell him how he was connected to the Supernal Man, and how he was related to Adam. He could read wondrous things [about people] in the light of a candle or in the flame of a fire. With his eyes he gazed and was able to see the souls of the righteous, both those who had died recently and those who had lived in ancient times. With these he studied the true mysteries. By a person’s scent he was able to know all that he had done, an ability that the Zohar attributes to the holy Yenuka [Child] (3:188a). It was as if all these mysteries were lying in his bosom, waiting to be activated whenever he desired. He did not have to mitboded [seclude himself] to seek them out. All this we saw with our own eyes. These are not things that we heard from others. They were wondrous things that had not been seen on earth since the time of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. None of this was attained through magic, heaven forbid. There is a strong prohibition against these arts. Instead, it came automatically, as a result of his saintliness and asceticism, after many years of study in both the ancient and the newer Kabbalistic texts. He then increased his piety, asceticism, purity and holiness until he reached a level where Eliyahu HaNavie (Elijah the prophet) would constantly reveal himself to him, speaking to him “mouth to mouth,” teaching him these mysteries. ”
Rabbi Chaim Vital wrote Sha’arei Kedusha (Gates of Holiness) as a guide to achieving ruach ha-kodesh (divine inspiration) and nevuah (prophecy). The text (in its forth chapter) even teaches how to use the holy 72 names. Yet, the largest portion of the book is dedicated to the preparations for these holy acts. The lion’s share of this material is musar (ethics), teaching us how to rectify and elevate our midot (personalities). It is these teachings that have made Sha’arei Kedusha a classic in the yeshiva world. That forth chapter of Sha’arei Kedusha and other kabbalistic works attributed to Rabbi Chaim Vital, were published under the title Ktavim Chadashim L’Rabbi Chaim Vital (Hebrew), and Otzrot Chaim