APPLES FROM THE ORCHARD
Gleanings from the mystical teachings of
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the Arizal, on the weekly Torah portion
Translation and Commentary by Rabbi Moshe Wisnefsky
Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (1534—1572), known as the "Arizal", is the central figure of Kabbalah as it is studied today. The vast corpus of his teachings revolutionized the study of Kabbalah and is the basis for all Kabbalistic and Chassidic thought since his time, as well as the prism through which we view today all the prior works of Kabbalah — including the Zohar. The Arizal's thought has had an indelible influence on Jewish philosophy, liturgy, and even Jewish Law.
Among the most fascinating of the Arizal's teachings are his expositions on the Torah itself. Using the classic methods of rabbinic interpretation (with a marked emphasis on gematria, the numberical values of words), the Arizal unfolds before us a hidden dimension of the stories and laws of the Torah, showing how they reflect the inner dynamics of reality and how our knowledge and observance of the Torah is crucial to the proper functioning of creation.
In this book, the reader is offered a selection of these teachings. They are presented with interpolated explanations that clarify the original text's terse prose and commentary that shows how these sometimes abstruse teachings can be applied to everyday life.