Boruch Rizel

A Glimpse Into The Life Of Rav Moshe Cordovero Ztl

The City of Tzfat has many important inhabitants in 1500’s. One of them was Rav Moshe Cordovero Zt”l also know as the Ramak.

The Ramak was born in Tzfat in the year 1522 to a family that was of Sephardic origin that had lived in Portugal before immigrating to Israel. He was a tremendous scholar who until the age of 20 was completely dedicated to study of the Revealed Torah. At that point he started to study the Hidden Torah and became an expert in this as well.

Two of his greatest teachers were Rav Yosef Caro 1488-1575 The Author of the Beit Yosef and Shulchan Aruch among other great works. And Rav Shlomo Alkabetz 1500 – 1576 known famously for composing the Lcha Dodi prayer. Rav Alkabetz was also the brother in-law of the Ramak.

So great was the Ramak’s knowledge of the Revealed and Hidden Torah. He established a Yeshiva for learning Kabbalah. Among his students at the Yeshiva was Rav Chaim Vital 1543-1620 who later would become the prime student of the Arizal 1534-1572 who was also a student of the Ramak himself.

Before the Ramak passed away in the year 1570. He predicted that a person fitting the description of the Arizal will be his successor. Which is exactly what happened. Sadly, the Arizal lived only two years longer, and died at the age of 38 in a plague which hit the city of Tzfat in the year 1572.

Among the works that the Ramak wrote, were Ohr Yakar, Pardes Rimonim, Tomer Devorah, and Ohr Ne’erav.

Everyone should have a Chodesh Tov and may the Ramak’s memory be for a blessing.

About the Author
Boruch Rizel is a Jewish History Lecturer and a Blogger. He spent many years at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem, where he completed the Mechina and Derech programs. And graduated from Excelsior University and has a TESOL certificate from the International Open Academy.
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