Moses Cordovero (1522-1570)

  • Re-establishing unity

    Very little is known about the life of the influential Kabbalist and mystic Moses Cordovero. It is certain that his family was expelled from Spain and he settled in the Galilean city of Safed in 1540. There he trained to become a Talmudic and legal scholar and a judge, and he studied the Zohar, the so-called bible of the Kabbalists, and other Kabbalist scriptures with Schlomo Halevi Alkabetz (c.1500-1580).

    In the centre of the Kabbalistic teachings of Cordovero is the idea of the restoration of divine unity. It is the precondition for the messianic pacification and redemption of the world. Individual human beings can contribute to this by mindful conduct.

    Mindfulness goes beyond meditation and concentrated prayer, the study of the Torah and obedience to the commandments. It manifests itself also in the striving for responsible actions and behaviour towards others and the creation. By acting with compassion, free from anger and feelings of revenge, humans bring the ten divine emanations (Sephirot) into balance. Thus a precondition for the reformation of divine unity is fulfilled.