The Thirty Six Are Hidden

After a transportative gig tonight,
the trio extremely tasty
I post this poem-song
in honor of an ascendant
evening.

Remembering the Ari

The holy Ari’s yahrzeit is the fifth of Av
we visit his grave on that day
in Tzefat
the holy city where he lived
the last two and a half years of his life.

He was born in Jerusalem in 1534
he is known as the holy Ari
the acronym meaning Lion
made from Elohi the godly Rabbi Yitzchak
or Ashkenazi Rabbi Yitzchak
linking him with a long line of Ashkenazi Jews
in Jerusalem.

He said Where philosophy ends
kabbalah begins
.

His father died his mother moved with the family
to Egypt, she from the celebrated Francis family,
there he learned in the yeshivah of Rabbi David ibn Zimra
the Radbaz
in a small house along the Nile
where Eliyahu HaNavi Elijah the prophet
tutored him personally
taught him the deepest mysteries
known as the Sod.

When he slept, his soul rose to the highest realms
where it reached the metivta d’rekiya
the heavenly academy
at the door of the highest academy he was asked
with whom would you like to study today?

Sometimes he learned with R. Shimon Bar Yochai
sometimes he learned in the yeshivah of R. Betzalel ben Uri ben Chur
who had built the mishkan in the Wilderness
sometimes with Aharon Hakohen, Aaron himself.
He learned all the secrets of the mishkan
all their symbolical implications
all the implications concealed in the structure
the angel at the gate led him to the teacher of his choice.

Eliyahu HaNavi told him to return to Tzefat
where he would meet his student
R. Chaim Vital, to whom he would disclose the secrets.
In 1570, 36 years old, he went to Tzefat.
He would spend two and a half years there.
He raised up many disciples
he joined R. Moshe Cordovero, the Ramak, learned with him
who the Ari referred to as Moreinu – our teacher.

The Ari never wrote down anything
What he left: some piyyutim [poems]
and three important zemirot [songs]
one sung at each meal of the Shabbes
Azamer bish-va-chin
Asasder Lis’udata, and Benei Heichala
food elegies by which we deepen the holy Shabbes.
What we have of him was preserved by his student
Rabbi Chaim Vital.

Now if you don’t mind
I am going to become Chaim Vital for a moment
I will tell you about my teacher the holy Ari.

You might remember how effortless languages were for all of us
especially the holy Ari,
just observing him I learned many of the languages he knew
without a minute of formal teaching.

Moreinu, our teacher
Rabbi Yitzchak, the holy Ari,
was expert in the language of trees,
the language of birds, and the speech of angels.
He read faces in the manner described by the Zohar (2:74b)
he saw all that an individual had done,
and could see what they would do in the future.
He could read people’s thoughts.

He knew the deep 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 her how she was connected
to the first human being, the first Adam.
He could read out wondrous things about a person
in the light of a candle or in the flame of a fire.
He could read hands.
He saw the souls of the righteous, those who died recently
and those who had lived in ancient times.

He was very kind to animals, he refused to kill an insect even.
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) (Zohar 3:188A)
All this we his students saw with our own eyes,
not things we heard from others. Believe me?

These are wondrous things
that had not been seen on the earth
since the time of R. Shimon bar Yochai
and were concealed away until recently.
None of this was magic.

None of this was magic, it was an earned gift
as a result of his saintliness and discipline,
after many years of study of both the ancient
and the later Kabbalistic texts.
He then increased his holiness and purity
until he reached the place where
Eliyahu HaNavi would reveal himself to him
speaking to him mouth to mouth, as it were,
teaching him the mysteries.

May the merit of the tzaddik, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria,
the Ari
protect us all, Amen.

Alma vida y Corazon

soul life and heart
this is what he left us.

jsg, usa

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