21 Cheshvan 5770 November 8 2009 Hilula of the Radvaz – Rebbe of the Arizal
November 5, 2009

Today is the Hilula of Rabbi David Ben Rabbi Zimra. He was known as the Radvaz and is the original teacher of the ARI – Rabbi Issac Luria.

It is reccomended that one light a candle as soon as possible Motzei Shabbat after Havdala in his honor and to connect to his energy.

Here is information about him from Wikipedia. The more one learns about a Tzadik on his Hilula the stronger the connection and the more available is His light to assist you in your spiritual work.

Rabbi David ben Solomon ibn (Abi) Zimra (Hebrew: דוד בן שלמה אבן אבי זמרא‎), also called Radbaz (רדב”ז) after the initials of his name, Rabbi David iBn Zimra, was an early Acharon of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries who was a leading posek, rosh yeshiva, chief rabbi, and author of more than 3,000 responsa (halakhic decisions) as well as several scholarly works.1


The Radbaz was born in Spain around 1479. He was thirteen years of age when his parents, banished from Spain, settled in Safed, Israel, where he studied under the direction of Joseph Saragossa.2

For unknown reasons, he left Israel at the age of 31 or 32 and traveled to Fes, Morocco, where he became a member of the beth din (rabbinical court) presided over by the nagid Isaac Sholal.3

In 1517, upon the abolition of the office of nagid by the Turkish government, the Radbaz moved to Cairo. There he was appointed Chief Rabbi of Egypt, a title he held for forty years. He was highly revered for his vast knowledge, integrity of character, and extensive philanthropy. Independently wealthy, the Radbaz was a successful merchant with business connections in other countries. The yeshiva which he founded and supported attracted many distinguished students, among them Bezalel Ashkenazi and Isaac Luria.

In the introduction to his commentary on Song of Songs, Isaac Akrish paints in vivid colors the character of the Radbaz, in whose house he lived for ten years. According to Akrish, the Radbaz was very prominent in both the social and the political life of Egypt, thanks to his status as a wealthy intellectual. During the time he served as Chief Rabbi, he introduced many reforms to the everyday life and religion of the Egyptian Jews. It was he who abolished the use of the Seleucid dating system in the Egyptian Jewish community and reintroduced the dating of years from Creation, as was done in other Jewish communities and continues to be done until the present day.

Upon attaining the age of 90, the Radbaz resigned the chief rabbinate and divided the greater part of his fortune among the poor, making special provision for Torah scholars. He then moved to Jerusalem. But he did not stay there long, due to the burdensome taxes that the Turkish government had imposed upon Jews. He settled in Safed, where he became an active member of the rabbinical court presided over by Yosef Karo, who held him in great esteem. He spent the last 20 years of his life in peace, continuing his learning and his writing.

The Radbaz died in Safed in 1573 at the age of 110 (some authorities say he was 94 years of age).4


  • Divrei David (“Words of David”)|containing decisions and chiddushim (original Torah thoughts) on MaimonidesMishneh Torah, published by Joseph Zamiro, together with his own work, Hon Yosef, Leghorn, 1828.
  • Yekar Tiferet (“Honor of Excellency”)|containing answers to the criticisms of Abraham ben David on Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah and commentaries on those passages in that work which the Maggid Mishneh of Vidal of Tolosa overlooks; of these commentaries, the portions on Hafla’ah and Zera’im were published in Smyrna in 1757, and the remaining portions in the Vilna edition of the Mishneh Torah, 1890.
  • Kelalei ha-Gemara (“Rules of the Gemara“)|a methodology of the Talmud, published in the collection Me-Harere Nemarim of Abraham ben Solomon Akra, Venice, 1599.
  • Ohr Kadmon (“Pristine Light”)|a Kabbalistic work, edited by Moses Hagiz, Venice, 1713.
  • Magen David (“Shield of David”)|a mystical explanation of the Hebrew alphabet opposing Recanati and Rabbi Judah Ḥayyaṭ, edited by Chagis, Amsterdam, 1713.
  • Metzudat David (“The Bulwark of David”)|revealing reasons for the 613 commandments according to the four methods of explanation known as the “Pardes system” (Zolkiev, 1862).
  • Michtam le-David (“David’s Poem”)|Kabbalistic homilies on the Song of Songs, still extant in manuscript.
  • Keter Malkut (“Crown of Royalty”)|prayers for Yom Kippur, first published with the above-mentioned Ohr Kadmon, reprinted in the Shevet Musar of Elijah ben Abraham Solomon ha-Kohen of Smyrna, and finally inserted by Heidenheim in the ritual for the eve of Yom Kippur.
  • Gilui le-Idrot|a commentary on the Idrot with notes by Rabbi Chaim Vital, still extant in manuscript in the Abarbanel Library in Jerusalem.
  • Dinei Rabba ve-Zutra (“The Great and Small Decisions”)|a commentary on the Shulkhan Arukh.
  • Shivim Panim la-Torah (“Seventy Faces to the Torah”)|the latter two works are mentioned in the preface of Magen David. The Radbaz’s responsa are his greatest contribution to Jewish literature; parts of it were published in Leghorn, 1651 (Nos. 1-300); Venice, 1799 (Nos. 1-318); Fürth, 1781 (Nos. 400-649); Leghorn, 1818 (Nos. 2051-2341). A complete edition of the responsa was published in Sudzilkow, 1836.

19th of Cheshvan 5770 November 6 2009 Hilula of Hevel
November 5, 2009

Today is the Hilula of Hevel Ben Adam and Chava. This is the second son of Adam and Eve. This is the person who is the first victim of murder in the world. According to the  Bible he was killed by his brother Cain in a fit of jealosy over God accepting Abel sacrifice of animals over Cain’s sacrifice of grains and produce.

According to Jewish Midrash Cain was also jealous that Hevel (correct Jewish pronunciation) having been born with 2 twin sisters so that he would have 2 wives and not 1 as would be with Cain. According to the teachings of the ARI (Rabbi Issac Luria) Cain reincarnated into Yitro (Jethro) and Hevel reincarnated into Moshe. When Yitro gave his daughter Zipporah to Moshe in marriage this corrected the action of the murder by Cain because he indicated he was no longer jealous or envious.

The name Hevel is spelled in Hebrew Hay Bet Lamed which gives the name a Gematria (numerical value) of 37.  This number connects to the Milui of the Name of God in the frame of Binah – a Sperah. The Milui represents a form of concealment and Hevel is greatly concealed because on the surface of the Biblical story he is looked upon as a Martyr. Having died for no reason. Yet the Mekubalim (Kabbalists) teach that there is never “no reason” or co-incidence. They teach that Hevel died as an effect of his “also” bringing a sacrifice. His consciousness was not to do spiritual work but to enjoy the physical aspects of this world. We are to enjoy the physical pleasures of this world yet we are to do so as part of our spiritual work. This was the mistake that Hevel made and many of us still do today.

It is not reccomended that one light a candle as one would do for a Tzadik. This day of celebration is meant to bring the lesson of Caine and Abel home to all of us.

It is reccomended that one connect to the positive side of Hevel by studying his energy verses which can be located at this link:


Hevel also has the meaning of the word “breath”. This is in addition to its use as a Name. This also connects to the concept of concealment because a breath is almost insubstantial. It cannot be seen or heard unless one exaggerates it.

Have a beautiful day and don’t forget the spiritual rule: It is necessary to conceal onself first in order to reveal oneself through the process of living.

24th of Cheshvan or 11th of November 2009 – Hilula of Rabbi Avraham Azulai
November 5, 2009

Today the 24th of Cheshvan is the Hilula of Rabbi Avraham Azulai – a Kabblistic Sage and Tzadik who lived from 1570 to 1543. He was born in Fez Morocco. He is the author of a famous Kabbalistic Sefer known as the “Chesed Avraham”. One of his most well known teachings from this book has to do with one of the periods of opportunity to bring Machiach as well as other changes of circumstances.

This year a candle should be lit on the evening of the 10th of November as close to sundown as possible.

to read about this teaching see below:

To learn about Hilula go  to this link:


Rabbi Azulai teaches in Chesed Avraham that the size of the Mikva which is a minimum of 40 Seah relates to part of the process known as the birthpangs of Massiach. He teaches that a Seah is the volume of  approx 1 gross of Eggs. 40 times 144 = 5760. This was the year that 2000 in the common era. His teaching is that starting in 5760/2000 one does not have to die. It takes a change of consciousness to accomplish this and that is what the teachings of Kabbalah assist one in acheiving and manifesting in their life.

For more information about learning Kabbalah and more about oneself go to http://www.yeshshem.com

Additional information from Wikipedia about Rabbi Azulai follows:

The expulsion of the Moors from Spain brought a great number of the exiles to Morocco, and these newcomers caused a civil war from which the country in general and the Jews in particular suffered greatly. Abraham Azulai, in consequence of this condition of affairs, left his home for the Land of Israel and settled in Hebron.

In Hebron he wrote a commentary on the Zohar under the title Kirjath Arba (City of Arba; Gen. xxiii.2). The plague of 1619 drove him from his new home, and while in Gaza, where he found refuge, he wrote his cabalistic work Chesed le-Abraham (Mercy to Abraham; Micah vii.20). It was published after the author’s death by Meshullam Zalman ben Abraham Berak of Gorice, in Amsterdam, 1685. Another edition, published in Sulzbach in the same year, seems to be a reprint, although Steinschneider, in Cat. Bodl. col. 666, thinks the reverse. Azulai’s commentary on the Zohar, Zohore Chammah (Rays of the Sun), was printed in Venice, 1654. He also wrote: Or ha-Lebanah (Light of the Moon), Ma’asse Chosheb (Cunning Work), and Kenaf Renanim (Peacock’s Wing). He died in Hebron on November 6, 1643 which is the 24th of Cheshvan.

Of the numerous manuscripts that he left and that were in the hands of his descendant, Hayyim Joseph David (No. 4), some are still extant in various libraries. Only one was published, a cabalistic commentary on the Bible, under the title Ba’ale Berit Abraham (Abraham’s Confederates; see Gen. xiv.13), Vilna, 1873. His most popular work, Chesed le-Abraham, referred to above, is a kabbalistic treatise with an introduction, אבן השתיה (The Cornerstone; see Talmud Yoma 53b), and is divided into seven “fountains” (see Zecharia iii.9), each fountain being subdivided into a number of “streams.” Here is a translated sample  from the fifth fountain, twenty-fourth stream, p. 57d, of the Amsterdam edition:

On the mystery of metempsychosis or Gilgulim (reincarnation) and its details: Know that God will not subject the soul of the wicked to more than three migrations; for it is written, “Lo, all these things doth God work twice, yea thrice, with a man” (Job xxxiii. 29). Which means, He makes him appear twice and thrice in a human incarnation; but the fourth time he is incarnated as a clean animal. And when a man offers a sacrifice, God will, by miraculous intervention, make him select an animal that is an incarnation of a human being. Then will the sacrifice be doubly profitable: to the one that offers it and to the soul imprisoned in the brute. For with the smoke of the sacrifice the soul ascends heavenward and attains its original purity. Thus is explained the mystery involved in the words, “O Lord, thou preservest man and beast” (Psalms xxxvi.7 [R. V. 6]).

Abraham Azulai, Chesed le-Abraham

Yahrzeit or Hilula – Day of Mourning or Day of Celebration
November 5, 2009

Many people have heard the term Yahrzeit and its close relative Yiskor. When a loved one passes to the next frame of existence (dies), we honor them by lighting a candle in thier memory usually on their death anniversary in the Jewish Calendar. This is called Yahrzeit. During our Holiday prayers we say a Prayer to honor all of the people who have ever died. This is called Yiskor.

Kabbalah teaches that the death of a righteous person (Tzadik or Tzadeket) is different. The term that is used is Hilula. Hilula translates as a Day of celebration. The Tzadik returns to his house (His Grave) on that day, as well as a few others days during the year.

The Tzadik who was a sharing caring individual during their lifetime also desires to help people now – after his transition to the other frame of existence. HaShem in his mercy set up the spiritual physical frames to allow this. The essence of the Tzadik called the Light of the person can be used by every human being to help fulfill their lacks in this physical world.

A metaphor to understand this  is the following: This means we can ask – pray through the Tzadik to request our lacks and needs. The Tzadik will add his request to fulfill our request and bring this prayer directly to the Creator.

The best time to ask this assistance from a Tzadik is when he is “home”. His Hilula; Rosh Chodesh; 15th Day of the Hebrew Months especially the positive months. The best method is to visit his gravesite and ask him directly within one  of your daily prayers. In America, there are very view recognized Tzadikim to visit. In Europe, there are many but usually in Poland and other Eastern European Countries. In Israel there are many organizations who arrange tours to the gravesites on these special days.

For those of us who are unable to physically visit a Tzadik the method of connection is to Light a 25 hour Candle as close to sundown on the day of his Hilula – Celebration Anniversary or if you prefer his Yahrzeit. There is no specific Blessing but it is good to mention the Name of the Tzadik you are entreating to assist you. This is done is a whisper but is definitely said not just thought about.

The  more one learns about or knows about the individual Tzadik, the more one is connected to that Tzadik and his/her Light. The more connection the more  effective is the request. Each day of Hilula on this blog we will give some information about the Tzadikim whoose Hilula is today for you to expand your connection. We recommend that you use this as a beginning and make additional effort to learn about the  person yourself. This is best done by reading his works of Torah or using our modern search engines to find additional information about the Tzadik or Tzadeket.


17th of Cheshvan – Noah’s Flood Begins
November 4, 2009

today is the day that the famous Noah’s Flood Begins. Kabbalah teaches that the energy of the day is the cause of the start of the flood. It is not because the flood started today that we remember the  Flood.

Due to the energy of the 17th day of this month it is a good time to reflect on what is the spritual meaning behind the Flood and the destruction it represents. Remember the Gematria in Hebrew of 17 is Tov which means Good.

Why did the Flood start on a Good day?

What do i do today that causes the Flood’s in my life?

what can i do to change my bad habits especially as they relate to the destruction of the  earth? Perhaps i contribute to  Global Warming. Did you burn  or cause to burn fossil fuels today? Can you change that habit? Can you have the consciousness of helping others when you cause the fuels to burn. This consciousness of sharing and helping others will cause the burning of fossil fuels to not be destructive to the world. I will not proove this to you. Only you can prove it to yourself by learning and using the tools of Kabbalah! Do  you know where you can learn this? http://www.yeshshem.com