E-Lectures Glossary

Rabbi Meir Ibn Gabai

Rabbi Meir ben Ezekiel Ibn Gabbai was a Spanish Kabbalist, born in 1480/1. Not much is known about his life. He evidently lived in Turkey and died after 1543, perhaps in the Land of Israel. He wrote a number of books, including the following: 1. Tola'at Ya'akov written in 1507, deals with prayer; 2. Derekh Emunah written in 1539, essentially a question and answer book regarding the Sefirot, based on Sha'ar ha-Sheol, by Azriel of Gerona; 3. Avodat Hakodesh, written between 1523 and 1531, deals with Kabbalah in general and is divided into four parts -- a. concerning the unity of God; b. concerning the worship of God; c. concerning man's purpose in the universe; d. concerning and the esoteric aspects of the Torah. This last book was widely used for generations. It is the most comprehensive summary of the doctrines of Kabbalah before the Kabbalah of Safed.

[Gershom Sholem's entry in the Encyclopedia Judaica vol. 7, p. 233 and link below]

This page is part of the glossary of the Goldstein-Goren International Center for Jewish Thought
        Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel