The gemara states “One who studies Torah at night, a strand of loving kindness is drawn over them during the day.” and "if one studies Torah at night, one enjoys God’s presence joining them"
Born at Medinaceli, Old Castile, Gikatilla was for some time a pupil of the kabbalist Abraham Abulafia, by whom he is highly praised; his kabbalistic knowledge became so profound that he was supposed to be able to work miracles, and on this account was called "Joseph Ba'al ha-Nissim".. (the Thaumaturge or literally Master of Miracles; Zacuto, Yuḥasin, p. 224a). Like his master, Gikatilla occupied himself with mystic combinations and transpositions of letters and numbers; indeed, Abulafia considered him as the continuator of his school (Adolf Jellinek, B.H. iii, p. xl). But Gikatilla was not an adversary of philosophy; on the contrary, he tried to reconcile philosophy with kabbalah, declaring that the latter is the foundation of the former. He, however, strove after the higher science, that is, mysticism. His works in general represent a progressive development of philosophical insight into mysticism. His first work shows that he had considerable knowledge of secular sciences, and that he was familiar with the works of Ibn Gabirol, Ibn Ezra, Maimonides, and others. He died at Peñafiel after 1305.
Sha'are Orah, or Sefer ha-Orah, (שערי אורה) is Gikatilla's most influential work. The Arizal (Lurianic Kabbalah) calls it "a key to understanding the mystical studies". The Vilna Gaon and Zundel Salant recommended that their students study it.
Sha'are Orah (Mantua, 1561) deals with the names of God.
It discusses 300 names, organized into ten chapters, one for each sephirah. Each sephirah has one main name, but may have many others. Some names are associated with more than one sephirah.
The purpose of the book is "so that you can understand and experience the 'fountain of living waters' (Jer. 2,13) that flows from all his names, and when you attain this 'then you will prosper and have good success' (Joshua 1,8)". (Wikipedia) An 8-week session of study on the sefirah of malchut. We will be learning from Rabbi Yosef Gikatillia's Sha'arei Orah, Gates of Light. Each session will start with a Tikkun Chatzot in preparation for Shabbat.
Sponsor: Temple Har Zion