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Shlomo haLevi Al-Qabets

Shlomo haLevi Al-Qabets (Hebrew: שלמה אלקבץ, also, al-kabetz, Alqabitz, Alqabes; ca. 1500 – 1576) was a rabbi, kabbalist and poet perhaps best known for his composition of the song Lekha Dodi. Alkabetz studied Torah under Rabbi Yosef Taitatzak. In 1529, he married the daughter of Yitzhak Cohen, a wealthy householder living in Salonica. Alkabetz gave his father-in-law a copy of his newly completed work Manot ha-Levi. He settled in Adrianople where he wrote Beit Hashem, Avotot Ahava, Ayelet Ahavim and Brit HaLevi. This latter work he dedicated to his admirers in Adrianople. His students included Rabbi Shmuel Ozida, author of Midrash Shmuel on Avot, and Rabbi Avraham Galante, author of Yareach Yakar on Zohar. His circle included Moshe Alsheich and Yosef Karo, as well as his famous brother-in-law Moshe Cordovero. Following the Tiqūn Leil Shavuot, Rabbi Shlomo and Rabbi Joseph Karo stayed awake all that night learning and during the recitation of the required texts, Rabbi Karo had a mystical experience: The Shekhinah appeared as a maggid, praising the circle and telling them to move to the Land of Israel. When they stayed up again the second night of Shavuot, the Shekhinah was adamant about their moving to the land of Israel. The account was recorded by Al-Qabets. He settled in Safed in 1535. His works written in Adrianople center on the holiness of the people Israel, the Land of Israel, and the specialness of the mitsvot. Al-Qabets accepts the tradition that Esther was married to Mordekhai before being taken to the king's palace and becoming queen, and even continued her relationship with Mordekhai after taking up her royal post. The view of midrash articulated by Al-Qabets and other members of the school of Joseph Taitatsak represents an extension of the view of the authority of the oral law and halakhic midrash to aggadic midrash and thus leads to the sanctification and near canonization of aggadic expansions of biblical narrative.


לְכָה דוֹדִי | Lekhah Dodi, the piyyut for Ḳabbalat Shabbat by Shlomo haLevi Al-Qabets (translation by Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman & Shaul Vardi)

Contributed on: 08 Feb 2020 by Shaul Vardi (translation) | Levi Weiman-Kelman (translation) | Shlomo haLevi Al-Qabets |

This translation of the piyyut for Shabbat by Shlomo Al-Qabets can be found in HaAvodah SheBaLev – the Service of the Heart (Kehilat Kol HaNeshama, Jerusalem, 2007). . . .

לְכָה דוֹדִי | Princess Sabbath, three stanzas of l’Khah Dodi by Shlomo al-Qabets (English adaptation by Angie Irma Cohon (1921)

Contributed on: 24 Jun 2022 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Angie Irma Cohon | Shlomo haLevi Al-Qabets |

These three stanzas of the piyyut l’Khah Dodi by Shlomo haLevi al-Qabets were adapted into English by Angie Irma Cohon and published in her תפלת ישראל (Tefilat Yisrael) A Brief Jewish Ritual (Women of Miẓpah 1921), p.16. . . .

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