ELIJAH B. MOSES DE VIDAS:
Cabalist at Safed in the sixteenth century; pupil of R. Moses Cordovero. He went to Poland, but returned to Palestine, and died at Hebron. He is the author of "Reshit Ḥokmah," a book on morals divided into five parts ("she'arim"): fear of God; love for God; repentance; holiness; humbleness (Venice, 1578, 1593; Cracow, 1593; Berlin, 1703, etc.). In this book are gathered all the moral sentences scattered through the Talmud, Midrashim, and Zohar; to these he added five chapters of the "Menorat ha-Ma'or" of Israel ben Joseph Alnaqua; "Ḥuppat Eliyahu Rabbah," and "Seder Eliyahu Rabbah," moral sayings and admonitions; "Or 'Olam," the first chapter containing all the moral sayings of the Talmud beginning with the word "le'olam," the second those beginning with "gadol" or "gedolah." He later abridged the "Reshit Ḥokmah" under the title of "Toẓe'ot Ḥayyim" (Prague, Cracow [n. d.]; Amsterdam, 1650). Another abridgment was made by Jacob b. Mordecai Pavieti ("Ḳiẓẓur Reshit Ḥokmah," Venice, 1600). David de Lara translated into Spanish the "Sha'ar ha-Yir'ah," treating of the fear of God (Amsterdam, 1633).
- Fürst, Bibl. Jud. iii. 477;
- Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 950;
- Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 106;
- Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, p. 11;
- Zedner, Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus. pp, 230, 231;
- Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, p. 184.