113 . Sha'ar HaHakdamot by Rabbi Chaim Vital. Ancient Manuscript with Rare Indexes
The first sha'ar [lit. gate] of the eight sha'arim which Rabbi Chaim Vital prepared from the writings of his Rabbi, the Ari, in the order arranged by his son, Rabbi Shmuel Vital.
Specifications:  leaves. 23x21 cm. Small, pleasant and orderly script. Legible from beginning to end.
Content: Page 1a, introduction of Rabbi Shmuel Vital.
Page 1a-5a, introduction of Rabbi Chaim Vital.
Page 5b-91a the body of the work.
91a afterword by Rabbi Shmuel Vital.
91b, an index named "Pituchei Chotam" on the verses of the Bible explained or mentioned in Sha'ar HaHakdamot.
Unique Features: Footnotes and references to other versions are found in several places in the work. To the best of our knowledge, the index named "Pituchei Chotam" on the Sha'ar HaHakdamot is rare, unknown and has never been printed.
Background: The writings of Rabbi Chaim Vital, on words which he recorded in writing from the teachings of his Rabbi, the Ari, were passed down to his son, the kabbalist Rabbi Shmuel Vital, who arranged them in the format we have before us. It was he who established that Sha'ar HaHakdamot would be the first sha'ar, and therefore his introduction, and that of Rabbi Chaim Vital, were placed at its beginning, and they are essentially an overall introduction to all eight sha'arim.
The precise writings of the Ari which we posses are those edited and arranged by Rabbi Shmuel Vital. The Chida, in several places, warns that one should only learn according to the writings of Rabbi Chaim Vital as arranged by Rabbi Shmuel Vital. And so he writes: "I wrote in other places that the eight sha'arim arranged by Rabbi Shmuel Vital are the most genuine, as he received them from his father our teacher Rabbi Chaim Vital both in writing and orally as he studied them with him" (Birkei Yosef Yoreh Deah of Shiurei Bracha 89:6). "And fortunate is the one who succeeds in having intent according to the approach of the Ari according to the genuine writings, which are the eight sha'arim arranged in the handwriting of Rabbi Shmuel Vital, which are copied almost completely from the manuscript of Rabbi Chaim Vital, and one should not believe in abridged versions and in prayer books and prayers, G-d forbid, one who hears should hear and not deceive his soul." (Simchat Haregel end of limud 2).
Condition: Moderate-fair. Worming holes, mainly in the white margins. A number of leaves are detached, some with folds. Original leather binding, detached.