There's a famous tradition/legend that the Arizal, R Yosef karo and R Elazar azikri (the author of sefer Charedim) prayed in one shul, where R Yosef Karo served as the Rabbi and R Elazar azikri served as gabbai (if i remember correctly some include R shlomo alkabetz in this list).

I wasn't able to find a source for this anywhere. Does anyone know what's the earliest source for this tradition?

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    FWIW I've never heard of this tradition/legend. It might still be famous I suppose, but indicating more about where you heard this may be helpful to others. – Double AA Jun 14 '17 at 20:27
  • I've heard a variation with (if I remember correctly) R' Shlomo Alkabetz as the chazan, R' Yosef Karo as the Rav, R' Moshe Alshich as the Darshan. Or something similar. The Ari may have been included as well. -- They all lived at the same time in Tzefat, and according to wikipedia, R' Alkabetz and R' Karo moved to Tzefat together. -- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shlomo_Halevi_Alkabetz – Menachem Jun 14 '17 at 22:35
  • R' Yosef Karo, the Arizal, and R' Elazar Azikri all lived in the same community so it would make sense that they would attend the same shul and such. And since they were such talmidei chachamim it would make sense that they would have important positions within that shul. – ezra Jun 14 '17 at 22:53
  • FWIW in current Tzefat, they show Ari's and Beis Yosef's shuls as 2 different places. – gt6989b Jun 15 '17 at 4:00

A listing of all these individuals and their connections in both learning and davening can be found in "The Arizal: The Life and Times of Rabbi Yitzcak Luria" published by Hamesorah under the Artscroll Youth series.

They list in the footnotes as sources, Ta'amei HaMinhagim, pg 260, note 28, Shivchei HaAri by Rabbi Shlomo Shlumiel ben Chaim pp 37-38, Reishit Chochmah, Sha'ar HaKedusha, ch. 7 by Rabbi Eliyahu De Vidas, Shnei Luchot HaBrit, masechet Shavuot; U'lehearot by Rabbi Yishayahu HaLevi Horowitz and Shem HaGedolim, Shin, chap. 26 by Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai.

Another early source is usually published with Ta'alumot Chochmah by Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Rofeh Del Mediggo.

Another excellent book recounting many of these types of stories, although not new, is Legends of Safed by Dov Silverman published by Gefen Ltd. Publishing.

The sources are purported to affirm that these individuals prayed together and learned together.

In the case of Rabbi Azikri, it lists him as the gabbai/shammash of the Beit Midrash, not the Beit HaKenneset. According to how it is explained, Rabbi Yosef Karo (Beit Yosef) headed the studies of halacha. Rabbi Alkabetz headed Nistar and was succeeded by Ramak who was succeeded by the Ari z"l after Ramak passed away.

The Ramak, the Alshich, the Ari z"l, Rabbi Azikri, the Beit Yosef and Rabbi Alkabetz had overlapping dates. The Ari z"l came late in his life to Tzfat. So the time they would all have been in one place was probably fairly short.

  • Does Artscroll say A) that they prayed in one shul? B) That R Yosef Karo served as the Rabbi? or C) R Elazar azikri served as gabbai? | Remember, that was the OP's question... – mevaqesh Jun 15 '17 at 19:46
  • "Rabbi Alkabetz headed Nistar and was succeeded by Ramak who was succeeded by the Ari z"l after Ramak passed away." Rabbi Alkabetz lived from 1500 – 1576 and Ramak 1522–1570, so i'm not sure how the Ramak was able to succeed Rabbi Alkabetz. Can u explain this? – Bach Jun 15 '17 at 20:29
  • The dates for Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz vary depending upon which source you are looking at. For example, in the Artscroll History Series, The Early Acharonim, Pg. 92, it lists the dates for Rabbi Alkabetz as born 1505 and nifter 1584. Pg. 84, Beit Yosef is born 1488 and nifter 1575. Pg. 78, Ari z'l is born 1534 and nifter 1572. Pg. 73, Ramak is born 1522 and nifter 1570. Pg. 106, Rabbi Azriki is born 1533 and nifter 1600. – Yaacov Deane Jun 15 '17 at 21:01
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    @YaacovDeane Relevant information should be included in the post; not comments. Also consider quoting the relevant passages, as many may not have the book in question, and may trust it more if they see the quoe themselves. – mevaqesh Jun 15 '17 at 21:30
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    @mevaqesh The things you asked about were in the post before you asked about them. I just paid you the courtesy of replying to your personal query. – Yaacov Deane Jun 15 '17 at 22:54

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