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Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz

Born in Salonika, Greece, at the beginning of the 16th century, the holy Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz (1500–1580) was a great scholar. At an early age he authored the first of many important works, Manot HaLevi, a commentary on Megilat Esther, and presented it to his father-in-law as a gift in honor of his wedding. He reached Safed around the age of thirty-five, and once there, formed the group of mystical disciples who would later come under the influence of the holy Ari, including Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (who later married his sister), and Rabbi Yosef Karo.

He is most famous for composing the mystical poem “Lecha Dodi,” the highlight of the Friday night liturgy, which calls the congregation to meet the Shabbat Queen with the joyous refrain: “Come out my beloved, the bride, to meet /The presence of Shabbat, let us greet!”