Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

An important work, which was the first of a rush of books of its genre that I acquired this week, is the Yesh Sachar. The first sefer to systematically list the halachic portions of the Zohar, Yesh Sachar was printed in 1609 in Prague, and authored by R. Yisochor Baer ben Petachiah Moshe of Kremnitz, Hungary (d. before 1648).

The title page states that in it are, “All the laws found in the holy Zohar arranged in an order most pleasant, the laws arranged as in the Shulchan Aruch by the geonim. With a pleasing explanation, resolutions with ‘a word fitly spoken’ [Proverbs 25:11], in addition to other benefits, beyond value…”

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The Zohar was printed for the first time a few decades earlier, concurrently in Mantua and Cremona, Italy. R. Issachar informs that all references to the Zohar are to the Cremona edition.

While he was much respected by the Kabbalists of his day, once the Kabbalistic teachings of R. Isaac Luria, the Arizal, became popular, R. Yisochor Baer and his teachings were mostly forgotten, because he followed the teachings of R. Moses Cordevero and not the Ari.

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Israel Mizrahi is the owner of Mizrahi Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY, and JudaicaUsed.com. He can be reached at JudaicaUsed@gmail.com.