Isaiah Horowitz

picture of kever of Shelah Hakodesh  

Isaiah Horowitz, known as the Shelah Hakodesh (Holy Shelah) was born in Prague around 1565. His father was a noted author and scholar, Avraham ben Shabtai Sheftel Horowitz, a student of the Rama. His father was his first teacher. He was married to Chaya, the daughter of a wealthy philanthropist, Abraham Moul, of Vienna, who supported Torah study, especially in Jerusalem. 

The Shelah Hakodesh was heavily involved in decision-making in the European Jewish community and was also the chief rabbi of Prague. His wife passed away in 1614, and he moved to the Holy Land. He there remarried a lady named Chava and became the chief rabbi of the Ashkenaz community of Jerusalem. In 1625 he was kidnapped along with other Torah scholars by the Pasha, high ranking Ottoman officials, and held for ransom. After this event, in 1626 he moved to Safed, and died in Tiberias in 1630. His worked greatly influenced the Chassidic movement of the 18th century.