Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Vital, Ḥayyim
(632 words)

Ḥayyim ben Joseph Vital was a renowned kabbalist. He was born in Safed in 1542 to a family of Italian origin from the region of Calabria in southern Italy, and for this reason is sometimes called Ḥayyim Calabrese in kabbalistic works. Vital was educated in the yeshivot of Safed, where he excelled in exoteric studies. Joseph Caro is said to have recommended him to Moses Alsheikh, who took him under his wing.

Vital was apparently introduced to Kabbala by the kabbalist Lapidot Ashkenazi, who by Vital’s account was able to foretell the future and converse with present a…

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Shmuel Shepkaru, “Vital, Ḥayyim”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 03 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0022040>
First published online: 2010

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