By Robert Chazan
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Extra info for AJS Review 1985: Fall, No 2
41. Kav ha- Yashar,chap. 93. The same legend in slightly different form appears in Hemdat Yamim,vol. 2, p. 4a, in the context of a discussion of the vigil observed on the day of fasting and reflection which precedes the appearance of the new moon. That ascetic rite establishes a connection between the blemish in the moon's light, the days of darkness preceding the reappearance of the moon, and the Exile of the Shekhinah. The rite, as described in Hemdat Yamim,is a distinctively Sabbatean ritual (Gershom Scholem, On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism [London, 1965], pp.
83. See n. 41 above. M. ). The rabbis had said that after the year 4000, the messianic age should have begun, but our sins have delayed its arrival. 84This calculation could have stood on its own, and no doubt would have. But then someone noticed the incredible: the number 1335 is embedded in the last two verses of Daniel, which read, "Happy is he who waits and comes to one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. " The numerical equivalence of both verses in their entirety is precisely 5335!
The role of the Ari in the legendbelongs to its frame,whilethe epiphany,whichconstitutesthe dramaticcenterof the legendand definitelyovershadowsthe frame,relatesto RabbiAbrahamben Eliezerha-Levi Berukhim. Therehe becamea followerof RabbiMosesCordovero,but like several others of Cordovero'scircle he became associated,following Cordovero'sdeath, with a group of followers of the Ari. 27 The legend is found in a letterwrittenby Shlomelof Dreznitzin 1607,28 the thirdof the latter'sepistlesfromSafed,as well as in severalothersources 25.
AJS Review 1985: Fall, No 2 by Robert Chazan