A 450-year-old handwritten manuscript of Rav Chaim Vital, the main student of the Arizal, was recently discovered, the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem announced.
The manuscript, which includes 150 lines of handwritten script, lists segulos and refuos for a time of an epidemic, some according to “derech hateva,” such as hygiene and social distancing, and others according to Toras HaSod, such as scrupulously avoiding thoughts of sadness and anxiety.
In the “gashmiyos” instructions, HaRav Vital writes: “The way to preserve health is that one should enclose himself in his home and not let anyone in who isn’t careful about mixing with others…and if someone speaks with him when he’s outside, he should distance himself so that the person’s breath shouldn’t reach him.”
“One should exercise caution of someone entering his home until he washes himself or his clothing..he should allow 40 days to pass and then allow him in his house.”
Regarding efforts in ruchniyus during an epidemic, HaRav Vital wrote: “At all times he shouldn’t allow himself to worry or be sad at all. On the contrary, he should make himself happy through all types of rejoicing.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)