Eliyahu de Vidas

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Eliyahu de Vidas (1518–1592) was a 16th-century rabbi in Ottoman Palestine. He was primarily a disciple of Rabbis Moses ben Jacob Cordovero (known as the Ramak) and also Isaac Luria.[1] De Vidas is known for his expertise in the Kabbalah. He wrote Reshit Chochmah, or "The Beginning of Wisdom," a pietistic work that is still widely studied by Orthodox Jews today. Just as his teacher Rabbi Moses Cordovero created an ethical work according to kabbalistic principles in his Tomer Devorah, Rabbi de Vidas created an even more expansive work on the spiritual life with his Reishit Chochmah. This magnum opus is largely based on the Zohar, but also reflects a wide range of traditional sources. The author lived in Safed and Hebron, and was one of a group of prominent kabbalists living in Hebron during the late 16th and early 17th-century.


  1. ^ Fine 2003, pp. 81: "Cordovero was the teacher of what appears to have been a relatively loose knit circle of disciples. The most important Elijah de Vidas, Abraham Galante, Moses Galante, Hayyim Vital, Abraham ben Eliezer ha-Levi Berukhim, Eleazar Azikri, Samuel Gallico, and an important kabbalist who studied with Cordovero for a short while in the 1560s, Mordechai Dato."