Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
1. The Ari Hakadosh, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria,zt"l, was among the greatest of the Kabbalists. He immersed himself in the secrets of the hidden Torah in the city of Tzfat (Safed). He passed away 450 years ago at the age of 38.
2. He explained that the secrets he revealed and the heights of understanding that he reached were due to the joy he experienced when performing mitzvot. In other words, he did not perform mitzvot solely out of obligation, but rather due to the happiness and excitement that come when basking in the Infinite Light.
3. His students related that he could have accessed heavenly guidance when studying the Zohar, but he preferred to study and toil without assistance, reaching the highest levels of understanding on his own.
4. He left very few writings behind and Rabbi Chaim Vital, his venerable student, published most of his master's teachings. However, we do have three Kabbalistic hymns written by the Ari Hakadosh himself : "Azamer Bishvachin" (I will sing His praises) for the Friday night meal, "Asader LeSeudata" (I will prepare the feast) for the Shabbat morning meal, and "Bnei Heichala" (Princes of the Palace) for the third meal toward the close of Shabbat. In these three piyyutim (liturgical poems), there are profound hints as to the essence of Shabbat.
5. He inserted many lofty kavanot (devotional prayers) and esoteric meditations into his prayer book, but there is one line that he added, also written on his gravestone, that all of us can understand. Before beginning the morning prayers, he asked that we say the following: "I hereby take upon myself to fulfill the mitzvah of 'And you shall love your fellow as yourself."
In his memory
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