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Shalom Shar'abi and the Kabbalists of Beit El$
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Pinchas Giller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195328806

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328806.001.0001

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 Sharʾabi's School

 Sharʾabi's School

(p.85) 6 Sharʾabi's School
Shalom Shar'abi and the Kabbalists of Beit El

Pinchas Giller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The Beit El “school” consists of a particular lineage of sages, drawn from the Jews of the Orient, from Jerusalem to Aleppo and thence to Baghdad, with contributions from the “sages of Tunis.” Acolytes of Sharʾabi's teachings also dominated Sephardic chief rabbinate of Jerusalem for much of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Sharʾabi's immediate heirs assumed the initial leadership of the circle and also produced a substantial number of books. Among the Beit El kabbalists, the sages of Aleppo have great authority and credibility and are considered to have preserved the most authentic version of Sharʾabi's kavvanot. One of these, Hayyim Shaul Dweck, moved to Jerusalem and precipitated a split in the community, moving part of the community in the Bukharian quarter of Jerusalem's New City. Dweck also began to publish Sharʾabi's kavvanot. The third center of Beit El activity was Baghdad, which was dominated by the personality of R. Yosef Hayyim, the Ben Ish Hai. The Beit El school included many European kabbalists, as well, so that it may be seen as an early cross‐over institution.

Keywords:   Chief Rabbi, Ben Ish Hai, Dweck, Aleppo, Baghdad

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