Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, known as Ramchal, was a controversial and prolific Italian philosopher and Mekubal.

According to the linked Wikipedia article, after disseminating Kabbalah in Italy, "leading Italian rabbinical authorities were highly suspicious and threatened to excommunicate him." Furthermore, this biography also mentions that "[w]hen word got out of Luzzatto's messages, the rabbis of Venice became alarmed, considering such mystical activities dangerous."

What are the names of these Rabbis, and do we have any texts from that time about the proposed excommunication of Ramchal?

  • 1
    Philosopher and mekubal never go together. If it wouldn't have been for the Gra, no one would care or know who he was.
    – Yehoshua
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 19:03
  • @Yehoshua any evidence connecting the Gra to the Ramchal?
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 21:29
  • @mevaqesh from the Wiki page of Ramchal: He was reputed to have said after reading the Mesillat Yesharim, that were Luzzatto still alive, he would have walked from Vilna to learn at Luzzatto's feet;[1][2] He stated that having read the work, the first eight chapters contained not a superfluous word.
    – Chaim
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 12:42
  • 1
    @Chaim I know he is reputed. That is why I asked for evidence.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


Included were Rabbis Yaakov Emden and Moshe Chagiz according to Graetz here and R. Yitzchak Pacifici (פאציפיקו) (the chief rabbi of Venice) as Graetz notes here. This page lists generally the Ashkenazi and Spanish rabbis of Germany, Venice, Poland, Holland, and Denmark as pronouncing the ban.

It should be noted that the ban was actually promulgated; not just planned.

The text of the ban of the rabbis of Venice in 1735 is cited here as being found in:

אגרת קלו, עמ' שכה-שכח; מהד' שריקי, עמ' שסב-שסה

According to this Hebrew wikipedia page R. Moshe Chagiz was the main instigator of the ban, and he wrote many letters throughout the dispute against the Ramchal.

According to this Hebrew Wikipedia page, R. Emden wrote against the Ramchal as well.

According to this site, R. Yechezkel Katzenelbogen av beis din of Altona wrote to the rabbis of Venice against the Ramchal as well.

  • That Reb Moshe Chagiz was the most outspoken against the Ramchal can be seen from the Ramchal's letters to his Rebbe, Rav Yeshaya Bassan.
    – HaLeiVi
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 6:15
  • @HaLeiVi, where can one find those? Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 15:50
  • @Efraim Sorry, forgot to mention it. The Sefer is called ירים משה.
    – HaLeiVi
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 2:34

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