Love of the Land

For the week ending 30 May 2009 / 6 Sivan 5769

Tsefat Synagogue of the Holy Alshech

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Visitors to Tsefat are familiar with the synagogue of Rabbi Moshe Alshech. Located next to the Abuhav Synagogue, it is the only one that survived the two earthquakes that virtually destroyed the northern city in 1759 and 1837.

Born in Turkey in 1508, Rabbi Alshech lived most of his life in Tsefat and is buried there. He is best known for his monumental commentary on Torah that he called Torat Moshe but which is popularly known as Ha-Alshech Ha-Kadosh (the holy Alshech).

His most famous disciple was Rabbi Chaim Vital who studied with the Ari Zal and disseminated his Kabbalistic teachings.

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