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4****Rabbi Menachem Azarya of Pano

Rabbi Menachem Azarya of Pano

 Born: Italy, 1548

 Died: Italy, 1625 


Rabbi Menachem Azarya was one of the greatest Italian kabbalists. From an early age he had a tremendous yearning to study Kabbalah. After completing his Talmudic studies, he started learning Kabbalah with Rabbi Ezra of Pano and later with Rabbi Yisrael Sruk, who studied with the Ari - Rabbi Yitzchak Luria. He also studied the kabbalistic works of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero. It was also said that he have been taught Torah by a maggid (angel). 

   Some of  Rabbi Menachem's famous books are Kanfei Yonah and Gilgulei Neshamot where he traces the various incarnations of biblical and Talmudic personalities.

 Rabbi Menachem about  Tzdaka

   The word "Tzedakah" -- Tzadi, Dalet, Kuf, Hey -- when transposed into its At-Bash equivalent (whereby each letter, according to its order in the alphabet, is interchanged with the letter in the corresponding place starting from the other side of the alphabet. Thus the first letter (Aleph) becomes the last (Tav), Bet becomes Shin, etc.) comes out to be the exact same word spelled backwards -- Hey, Kuf, Dalet, Tzadi! This may be meant to demonstrate that whatever charity a person gives is bound to return to him in the opposite direction, as "charity" from God! Give charity, and God will safeguard your wealth.

  If a man should have two wives, one beloved, and another hated (Devarim 21:15)

Rabbi Menachem Azaria of Pano says in his book Meah Kshita page 93 on the verse, “If a man should have two wives, one beloved, and another hated” (Devarim 21:15). He explains that there are two types of souls. “Beloved” is the soul without an evil inclination—born a Tzaddik, without a yetzer hara (evil inclination). “Hated” is one who is born with an evil inclination—he has his battles to fight and he goes through many struggles. Then, “the firstborn son will be hers that was hated.” It is precisely the son of the “hated” one who is the firstborn, he merits the double portion. For the one who is born with an evil inclination and fights against it, is preferable to the one who is born without an evil inclination.   
May the merit of the tzaddik  
Rabbi Menachem Azarya of Pano protect us all, Amen.


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