June 12, 2009


From Rabbi Tal Zwecker’s work-in-progress, Sefer HaHisbodedus, a collection of essays and translations on what the author describes as “the forgotten path of self-perfection and character development through seclusion and meditation.” Rabbi Zwecker is seeking sponsors for this important project. He may be reached through his website. We thank Rabbi Zwecker for permitting us to post several of his translations here.

The Holy Garment

Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai (“Chida”)

Avodas HaKodesh

The root of everything is hisbodedus, for it is a great and lofty medium to merit holiness. I will give you a hint from earlier great sages: the verse says, “Bahd kodesh yilbash, wear a holy garment.” “Bahd” can allude to the root of the word “hisbodedus.” Meaning, if one engages in the practice of hisbodedus, he will be clothed in holiness. Similarly, the acrostic formed by the first letters of the Hebrew verse “know Him in all your ways -- bekol derachecha da'ehu” spell “badad,” meaning “isolated” or “secluded.” This is because when one engages in isolation, he will cleave unto Hashem even in his physical needs (Tziporen Shamir 51).