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Moshav Me'or Modiim, Israel
Rabbi Avraham Arieh and Rachel Trugman have over thirty years of experience in the field of Jewish education.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Conjunction of Time and Place Create a Holy Moment

A few weeks ago my wife and I were in the holy city of Safed on the yartzeit (anniversary) of the great Kabbalist of Safed, Rabbi Moshe Cordevero, known as the RAMAK. He is the author of one of the most important Kabbalisitc texts - Pardes HaRimonim (The Pomegranate Orchard). This book was the very first attempt to take the entire Kabbalisitc tradition and to organize it by subject and make it a cogent system of thought.
As we were getting ready to go down to his grave which is in the ancinet cemetery of Safed a friend pointed out that the day of his yartzeit is also the very day that Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (known as the ARIZAL) revealed himself for the first time. In fact the two incidents are closely related as the RAMAK had revealed to his students that whoever saw the pillar of fire accompanying his casket to the grave would be his successor. The ARIZAL who was new to Safed saw the pillar and directed the gravediggers to the place where the pillar stopped as the place the RAMAK should be buried. Thus his students understood he was to succeed the RAMAK. Less than three years later the ARIZAL passed away and was buried right above the RAMAK.

With all this in mind we went to the grave and for a few minutes I was able to have one hand on the grave of the ARIZAL and my other on the grave of the RAMAK. This was so very meaningful to me as it was the mystic teachings of Judaism which brought me back to Torah in the first place, and Safed had always played a very important part in my life and spiritual development. In fact I proposed to my wife Rachel in Safed.

Then I had a very powerful realization: not only was this the yartzeit of the RAMAK and I was not commemorating it from afar but was at his grave AND that it was the very day the holy ARIZAL revealed himself, but it was in that exact spot that he revealed himself!!!! 

I cannot tell you how powerful  it was to experience the holiness that occurs when time and place come together to create a holy moment of insight and realization.