Rabbi Moshe Isserles was an exceptionally important Polish Jew of the 16th century. His commentary on the Code of Jewish Law brought Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewry together to an unprecedented degree, and established the ascendancy of Polish Jewry over the older German community.
An excerpt from The Kabbalah of Forgiveness: A Reader’s Guide to Rabbi Moshe Cordovero’s The Palm Tree of Devorah, a new translation and commentary on the 16th-century classic of Kabbalistic musar, is now available online. Anticipated publication date is August 2013.
The Palm Tree of Devorah first appeared in 1588 and became and instant classic. The author, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero, was the most celebrated Kabbalist of his day, a student of Rabbi Yosef Karo (the author of the Code of Jewish Law) and the teacher of Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Arizal) among others.
The topic of this phenomenal work is imitatio Dei, or the “imitation of God,” through emulation of the 10 Kabbalistic sefirot. The first chapter is certainly the most well known, dealing with the sefirah of Keter in the form of the 13 Attributes of Mercy. Rabbi Cordovero uses this to describe 13 distinct levels of forgiveness. As human beings learn to forgive each other, this will elicit further Divine influence through the sefirah of Keter, expanding forgiveness in the world, perfecting it through tikun olam, and hastening the Messianic redemption.
The Kabbalah of Forgiveness provides the Hebrew original, a new English translation, and commentary by Dr. Abramson, including a description of practical applications of Rabbi Cordovero’s teachings.
Click here to read the excerpt.