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Curious if anyone has a definitive answer on whether Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim should be studied adjacent to R. Vital's Etz Chayim, before it, or not at all? I've heard various approaches to Ramak from different talmidei qabbala.

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Both of these works are encyclopedic works of summarized Kabbalah and its main concepts, approached from 2 different angles- the Cordovero and Luria kabbalistic approaches respectively. Historically, The Ramak's work was eventually rejected in favor of the Arizal and his philosophy. Learning the two works together would definitely be a good idea, as it would highlight the differences between these two kabbalastic philosophies, and help you understand the evolution of kabbalistic thing.

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I believe Rav Chaim Volozion discusses which to study – sam Oct 15 '13 at 0:49
That's actually not at all true. Maybe if you're a Lubavitcher, the Ramak's work was superceded, but there are plenty of hasidim who learn the kabbalah of the Ramak. – Shimon bM Oct 15 '13 at 1:01
Shimon- arizal and his teachings have had an indelible impact on our tefillot, minhagim, and study of Kabbalah. The Ramak doesn't enjoy that popularity and near-widespread acceptance. – Eilu V'Eilu Oct 15 '13 at 16:31

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