Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz
Name and place:
Shlomo (Solomon) Halevi Alkabetz (also transliterated as Alqabitz or Alqabes; Hebrew: שלמה אלקבץ) was one of the great kabbalists living in Safed during the time of the great luminaries of Kabbalah. He was a man of exceptional ability and a prolific writer.He is venerated as composer of the well known song Lecha Dodi. He was born in1500, and died in1580, in Safed, Israel. He is buried in Zefat the city in which is known for the greatest kabbalists.
In his times, his works were popular and earned him much respect and admiration, although most of them are not widely known today. Several of his works remain in manuscript; others have been lost. Several of his works are commentaries on Tanach and the Liturgy. There are also discourses on topics in Kabbalah.
Among his printed works are:
– Lecha Dodi, Lecha Dodi, a mystical hymn which is sung today by kabbalat shabbat in all Jewish communities a song sung at the inauguration of the Shabbat.
It was probably composed in Safed and was printed shortly after its appearance in the Sefardi version of the prayer-book (Venice 5344 / 1584 CE). The hymn became so popular that it was incorporated into the Shabbat liturgy of every community. It is for this work that Rabbi Shlomo is particularly renowned. The author signed his name – "Shlomo HaLevi" – in the acrostic formed by the first letter of the first eight stanzas of the hymn.
– Manot HaLevi on the Book of Esther.
– Ayalet Ahavim on Song of Songs.
– Shoresh Yishai on the Book of Ruth.
– Berit HaLevi, a commentary on the Passover
– Or Tzadikim – a book of his sermons.
Among those existing in manuscripts are:
– Divrei Shlomo, on the section of Scripture known as Writings.
– Naim Zemirot, on Psalms.
– Sukkat Shalom, Avotot Ahavah, on the Pentateuch.
– Pitzei Ohev, on Job.
– Apiryon Shlomo, Beit Hashem, Beit Tefilla, interpretations of the prayers.
– Lechem Shlomo, on the guidelines for the sanctification of meals, according to kabbalah.
– Mittato shel Shlomo, on the mystical significance of sexual union.
Shomer Emunim, on fundamental principles of the faith.
Rabbi Shlomo believed that much of his depth of understanding was a result of his custom of prostrating himself at the graveside of tzadikim.
Inside the old cemetary, on the hill slope, next to the grave of the Ari.