List to Rabbi Chaim Vital’s Sefer Hasegulos V’harefuos handwritten by His Son Rabbi Shmuel Vital
Complete Manuscript 24 leaves (48 Handwritten Sides)
One of the most extraordinary legacies of Rabbi Chaim Vital is a lengthy sefer discussing segulos, amulets and remedies.
Importance of the Index
The length and scope of Rabbi Chaim Vital’s Sefer Hasegulos V’harefuos makes it challenging for the learner to find what he seeks. Rabbi Chaim Vital’s son, Rabbi Shmuel Vital, took the initiative to resolve this difficulty by creating a detailed index for his father’s work.
He writes at the start of Index:
“The youth Shmuel said, being that these segulos in my father and master’s writings are without an index, the learner will tire of finding what he desires. Therefore, I was motivated and inspired to create an index, which allows a person to immediately find what he seeks, and Hashem should grant that he should succeed.”
Rabbi Shmuel studied his father’s sefer comprehensively and presented a clear and organized index that greatly facilitates the learner in his study of the sefer.
An important advantage to Rabbi Shmuel Vital’s index is that the original sefer written by Rabbi Chaim Vital is incomplete, with several pages missing. The present detailed 48-page Index enables the learner to obtain a bit of understanding of the content of the missing pages. For example, the entire first section of the original sefer is missing, yet this detailed index gives us a glimpse into its contents, with titles and summaries of omitted chapters clearly documented in the index.
On one page (leaf 8b), Rabbi Shmuel inserted his own comments into the text: “Shmuel says, that it is always hung on the infant…and experience has shown that it also benefits an adult suffering from epilepsy.”
The kabbalist Rabbi Shmuel Vital (1598-1677) was the son and foremost disciple of his father Rabbi Chaim Vital, who was the prime disciple of the Arizal and who who disseminated his teachings to the nation. Rabbi Shmuel was the chief editor of his father’s kabbalistic writings, and it was he who arranged Rabbi Chaim Vital’s epic sefer Eitz Chaim into its classic eight “Gates”. This sefer would ultimately become the basic work in the study of the Arizal’s kabbalah.
The Chid”a writes: “It’s been thirty years since the ‘Eight Gates’ were published by the son of Moreinu Rabbi Chaim Vital, Moreinu Rabbi Shmuel Vital, and we can rely on it… Therefore, one who aspires to learn from the most accurate sefarim should study the ‘Eight Gates’ that he arranged. Aside from his greatness in the wisdom of kabbalah, he was also great in Torah, and now we have also merited seeing the publication of his chiddushim on the Rambam and his own teshuvos.”
Rabbi Shmuel Vital was born in Damascus and married the daughter of the Rav Hamusmach Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto. In his later years he settled in Egypt and passed away there.
Autographed manuscript. Damascus, early 17th century. Page Count: 24 leaves (48 sides) Page Size: 20×15 cm. Condition: Used, but otherwise in good condition. Last page has tear with minor omission in text. New leather binding and attractive leather case.
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