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Which of the major authors or codifiers of halacha. . .

a) refer directly to or quote from kabala in their legal discussions?

b) employ conclusions based only on kabala in their legal argumentation and decisions?

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The Tzitz Eliezer wrote a public responsa (Volume 21, Responsa #5) titled "‫אם ומתי יש לפסוק כהזוה׳׳ק ובירורים שונים‬ ‫בענייני הלכה‬ " If and when we rule like the Zohar and different clarifications in concepts of Halacha". I didn't read the whole thing, but he brings many different opinions who talk about when to follow the Zohar/Kabbalah. - hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14520&pgnum=23 –  Menachem Jun 6 '12 at 21:26
    
@Menachem This is great! Thanks. –  WAF Jun 6 '12 at 23:17
    
The reason why we don't wear tefillin for mussaf on rosh chodesh is kabbalistic; the radbaz has an important teshuva on it where he discusses the relationship of halacha and kaballah. –  Baal Shemot Tovot Jun 15 '12 at 20:40
    
text.rcarabbis.org/… –  Double AA May 28 '13 at 11:22
    
Yabia Omer OC 2:25:12 –  Double AA Dec 1 '13 at 19:08
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9 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

First as far as being posek al pi Kabbalah the inyan is only L'Humra not L'kula. For instance the Zohar says one needs only to wait a half hour between eating meat and eating milk, but we do not hold that way.

Aside from that the list becomes quite extensive as Chanoch also said, from the Ramban down to today amongst Sephardi poskim. Of the modern Sephardi poskim, there is Rav Mordekhai Eliyahu ZTz"L, Rav Ovadiah Hedayya ZTz"L, Rav Ezra Attiah ZTz"L, Rav Yehuda Tzedaka ZTz"L, Rav Ben Tzion Abba Shaul ZTz"L, Rav Ovadiah Yosef Shlita, Rav Shlomo Amar Shlita ect. ect...

Then there were the Misnagdim, such as the Magen Avraham, GR"A and R' Haim of Volozhen.

Then there are the Hasidic Admurim.

Essentially poskim who consider what is written in Kabbalistic sefarim can be found in nearly every stream of Orthodox Judaism.

As far as employing conclusions based solely on Kabblah, not even the Ar"i HaKodesh did that. A good example is the time of laying Tefillin, al pi Kabbalah any time after Hatzot HaLailah is suitable. However the AR"I in defference to the Gemarra and prior poskim, restricted the time to no earlier than Alot HaShahar. There are excellent work ups on the entire Teshuva in R' Ovadiah Yosef's Halichot Olam, and R' Apjin's sefer Divrei Shalom, unfortunately neither are online. Ultimately the essential point is that the Kabbalah, is the inner aspect of the Torah, as such, and as many Mekubalim have elucidated to the point where to list them all would be an exercise in futility, though it is expoused briefly in the introduction to Eitz Haim, and the introduction of Sha'ar HaKavvanot, the Kabbalah gives a deeper meaning to the mitvot, and halakha, but can never directly contradict the p'shat(aka Halakha).

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Thank you Mekubal for that last point. When someone mentioned to Rav Yaakov Weinberg a belief that the difference between Hasidim and Misnagdim is that when faced with a contradiction between Kabbalah and Gemara, the Hasidim pasken al pi kabbalah and Misnagdim pasken al pi Gemara, he responded "That is absolutely not true! If that were true you would be saying that the Hasidim are Apikorsim! They are not Apikorsim!" –  Yahu Nov 5 '10 at 7:16
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It is true that Kabbalah can never contradict conclusions reached based according to the Gemara; R' Avraham David Lavaut comments similarly in his Shaar Hakollel (1:1). However, it can indeed differ with the posekim's own conclusions, and he records there that R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi said (in contrast to what he himself writes in his Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 25:28) that we should follow the mekubalim in such cases. (In practice, Chabad custom varies; for example, we put on both tefillin standing, even though according to Kabbalah the shel yad should be put on while sitting.) –  Alex Nov 5 '10 at 16:53
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Yes, Alex. Sorry I was not clear about that. I do not believe Rav Weinberg had any problem with this concept. What was said to him was that when faced with a contradiction between the Kabbalah and the Gemara, that Hasidim follow the Kabbalah. On that he took great exception and defended the Hasidim. The idea that Kabbalah could help us understand a Gemara differently than the poskim is not apikorsus. –  Yahu Nov 5 '10 at 17:48
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Its not never. It is never l'kula, however, l'humra happens a great deal of the time. Such as rising for Tikun Hatzot, or davening netz, wearing two pair of tefillin at once, and the list could go on. –  Rabbi Michael Tzadok Nov 6 '10 at 17:58
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mekubal, I was not ignoring your answer and I do not believe Rav Weinberg was concerned with someone going like Kabbalah lehumrah. If someone has that tradition, or is on that level I am sure he would have no problem with that person doing so. I am sure his problem was with someone accusing Hasidim of paskening always based on Kabbalah, even when it outright contradicts Halacha even lekulah. On that he said "If that was so then they would be Apikorsim, and (I am telling you) the Hasidim are not Apikorsim!" –  Yahu Nov 7 '10 at 1:58
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Regarding a - The Chofetz Chaim in Mishna Berura often mentions the Zohar. See for example Volume 5 - 479:1:9:12 and Volume 3 - 290:1:3.

Regarding b - I do not think anyone employs conclusions based only on Kabala unless there is no other source for that matter.

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Interestingly, over 75% of the MB's references to the Zohar happen in Volumes 1 or 2 of the MB. (I did not investigate its prevalence compared to other cited works.) –  Double AA Oct 22 '13 at 10:29
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Out of curiosity, could you cite an example or two of where the Chofetz Chaim mentions the Zohar? –  Bochur613 Jan 5 at 18:19
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It's a very important part of Sephardic psak. Among the authorities of interest to look at: The Gaon HIDA, R' Chaim Palagi, R' Yaakov Hayyim Sofer (Kaf HaHayyim), R' Yosef Hayyim (the Ben Ish Hai), and to a lesser extent R' Ovadia Yosef.

R' Shneur Zalman of Liadi and other Chassidic poskim also poskin based on on kabbalah a lot.

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rabenu ari zal is also a posek. the sepharadim usually accept mekubalim as poskim –  Avraham Dec 23 '10 at 10:30
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If I'm not mistaken, the Shulchan Aruch/Beit Yosef's decision to not wear tefillin on Chol HaMoed is one of his only halachic decisions which is solely based on kabbala.

The GRA/Gaon MeVilna/Elijah of Vilna was particularly notable for integrating kabbalistic considerations into his rulings.

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I'll have to find the source (I recall seeing it at the end of Ikkar Tosefos Yom Tov to Moed Katan), but there is a halachic source for not wearing tefillin on Chol Hamoed - an alternate understanding of the phrase בכותב להניח in Yerushalmi Moed Katan 3:4. –  Alex Dec 21 '10 at 15:37
    
There might be, but I don't believe that the Beit Yosef brings any such halachic sources for this particular ruling –  chaimkut Dec 22 '10 at 15:56
    
@Alex: see here: thesanhedrin.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1742#1742 –  Menachem Jun 20 '11 at 21:05
    
I read in Igrot Moshe that he said that Gra didn't Pasken to not wear Tefilin on Hol HaMoed because of Kabala. –  Hacham Gabriel Dec 4 '11 at 0:25
    
@Alex If you can find that different understanding of that Yerushalmi I would love to see it. –  Double AA Jun 6 '12 at 20:06
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Reuvein Margolies wrote a book (article?) called HaRambam V'Hazohar, which apparently (I've never read it) shows places where the Rambam quotes the Zohar (translated into Hebrew) in the Mishnah Torah. If anyone has a link to where I could read this sefer online, that would be great.

Also, the Rambam in Hilchos Mezuzah (5:4), says that "Minhag Pashut" to write Sha-ddai on the outside of the Mezuzah, corresponding to the blank space between the Parshiot in the Mezuzah. The Kesef Misha (R' Yosef Cairo, who was a Kabbalist), quotes the Zohar that says we write it corresponding to the word "V'Haya". (I'm not sure what we do in practice, but if we did as the Kesef Mishna says, that would be paskening according to the Zohar).

Also, what about the Dutch custom of waiting an hour between Meat and Milk. When it talks about it in Shulchan Aruch, the GR"A quotes the Zohar. See the discussion thread on this answer.

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It's just as plausible that the Zohar was quoting the Rambam. See Marc Shapiro's recent work "Studies in Maimonides and His Interpreters" –  Curiouser Jun 21 '11 at 23:49
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@Curiouser: If you believe that the Zohar came after the Rambam, sure. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zohar#Authorship –  Menachem Jun 22 '11 at 4:40
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For many reasons, I dont think it is very likely that the Rambam had or would have quoted the Zohar. Those passages in the Zohar were probably taken from the Rambam, but it doesn't mean the whole text was invented then. –  Ariel K Jul 7 '11 at 23:17
    
@Menachem Even most of the more conservative views would accept some later editing to the text. –  Double AA Jun 6 '12 at 20:00
    
@DoubleAA: sure, but how much later. I've seen it described something like: "The Zohar is attributed to Rashbi and his students", meaning that the majority was authored by Rashbi, and some by his students, transcribing his teachings. –  Menachem Jun 6 '12 at 20:13
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The source to wind the hand tefillin 7 times around the arm is based on Kabbalah (Niglah doesn't mention any amount of times one winds it around (See here and here)). Yet, the custom is to tie it 7 times (even though one isn't allowed to interrupt between the tfillin shel yad to shel rosh at all.)

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Even for niglah, it's not a hefsek. It's certainly no worse than 'pass the salt'. –  Double AA Jun 6 '12 at 20:02
    
You are not allowed to even wink between the shel yad and shell rosh –  Shmuel Brin Jun 6 '12 at 21:55
    
Winking has nothing to do with tefillin. Wrapping does (as does salt to bread). –  Double AA Jun 6 '12 at 21:56
    
Besides, who says you can wink between HaMotzi and eating? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/11732/759 –  Double AA Jun 6 '12 at 22:04
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Rav Yaakov Moshe Hilel Shlita wrote an entire BOOK on this- called Geburat HaAri, where he talks about kabala and halacha mixing. Not quoting from his book, but basically the general approach is that if there is a Machloket Gemara-Zohar (Arizal) then we follow Gemara. However, if there is a Zohar (Arizal) in a case where there is NO Gemara, then we follow the Arizal. That's the generally accepted approach, but I recommend that book because he brings down the all the Rishonim and Aharonim's opinions and explains and goes it to much more detail. [He also discusses this in his book- Ed HaGal HaZeh]

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The Alter Rebbe writes in his Shulchan Aruch HaRav Orach Chayim 25:28 (quoting the Magen Avraham 25:20): That when Kabbalah and Halacha conflict we only hold al pi Kabbalah when it is more stringent. In addition his S.A. has a great deal of Kabbalistic sources which he uses to come to a halachic conclusion.

An example of this is discussed here in regards the Baal haTanya's donning shel yad seated.

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However, in the Alter Rebbe's siddur and second edition of the Shulchan Aruch, he did rule more al pi Kabbalah. See the Shaar HaKolel (1:1) - hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=16002&pgnum=18 . Alex sums it up in this comment: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/3826/kabala-in-halacha/… - see the Shaar HaKollel for an interesting story with Hillel Paritcher. –  Menachem Jun 6 '12 at 22:26
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Two sources: The Vilna Gaon on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De'ah Siman 89 Seif Koton 11. Kabbalah can be a reason to be Machmir. The Mishna Brura Siman 25 Seif Koton 42: Same as a Vilna Gaon. Also, if something is only mentioned in Kabbalah and not in the Poskim, we should act that way but "ein lakof" - we don't compel people to do it. If there is a Machlokess Poskim and the Kabbalah is like one side we follow the Kabbalah's side.

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