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Etz Chaim (book)

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Etz Chaim (Hebrew: עץ חיים, "Tree of Life") is a literary work that deals with the Kabbalah, written in 1573. The book of Etz Chaim is a summary of the teachings of the Rabbi Isaac Luria, the Arizal (1534-1572). The Arizal was a rabbi and a kabbalist who led a study group on Kabbalah in the city of Safed, in Ottoman Palestine.[1]

The Ari did not publish any works of his own. The Etz Chaim was compiled thanks to the student and disciple of the Ari, the Rabbi Chaim Vital, who wrote down the lessons taught by the Arizal to his study group on Kabbalah.

The book talks about the divine order and the existence of things, and deals with revelation and the perception of reality by human beings. The first fragment of the book makes reference to the tree of life, which gives the book its name: "You know, before the beginning of the Creation there was only the highest and fullest light. The description of the creation process starts from that point, especially".

The book marks the beginning of the school of thought known as the Lurianic Kabbalah,[2]. Before the Arizal, the Kabbalists revealed in their books, the development of reality from its origin to our world (from the understandable light). According to Rabbi Chaim Vital, the Arizal HaKadosh discovered a method to better understand this reality.


  1. ^ "Works of Rabbi Chaim Vital". www.chabad.org.
  2. ^ Karr, Don. "Which Lurianic Kabbalah?". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)