The Mystics of Safed

Joseph Caro and Moses Cordovero, icons of Safed mysticism, elaborated on the teachings of the Zohar.

Print this page Print this page

Safed Asceticism

In addition to these major figures of sixteenth‑century Safed, other mystics engaged in speculation about God's nature and activity and performed a variety of ascetic acts such as fasting, public confessions of sins, wearing sackcloth and ashes, and praying at the graves of venerable sages. Such self‑mortification was carried to an extreme by Abraham ha‑Levi Beruchim, who wandered through the streets of Safed calling on people to repent; he then led those he attracted to the synagogue, climbed into a sack, and ordered these individuals to throw stones at him.

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok

Dan Cohn-Sherbok is a widely published and eminent scholar of Judaism, and is currently Professor of Judaism at the University of Wales, Lampeter.