||Abridgement of Shnei Luchos Ha-Bris, the major work by R. Isaiah ben Abraham Ha-Levi Horowitz (Shelah ha-Kadosh). The Shelah is a large multifaceted work, consisting of halakhah, homily, and Kabbalah combined for the purpose of giving directions as to how to live an ethical life. He wrote it "for his children after him" but for general guidance also. It has proven to be so popular that not only was the compelte work frequently reprinted by it was also the subject of abridgements. Among the interesting comments over the centuries are those of Glückel of Hameln, who records that, not long after its publication, her husband, Hayyim, read it on his death-bed. Aaron Bernstein, in his novel "Vögele der Maggid," depicts one of the characters, Hayyim Mikwenitzer, as finding everything in his "Holy Shelah." It is well known that pious Jews drew consolation and instruction from this book. This abridgementby R. Jechiel Michael Epstein, is dated from the words kizzurt Shelah, has an approbation from R. Jacob Yosha of Cracow followed by an index of t he contents. The text is in two columns in rabbinic type. Foliation is in error in several places.
R. Isaiah ben Avraham Ha-Levi Horowitz (Shelah ha-Kadosh, c.1565–1630) was a renowned halachist, kabbalist and communal leader. Born in Prague he moved with his father to Poland in his youth, and after building a reputation as an exceptional scholar, he gained a number of positions as head of beis dins (religious courts) in the area. By 1606 he reached the level of the head of the Frankfort on the Main beis din, one of the most influential of the period. After the Jews were expelled from there in 1614, he returned to his native Prague, where he remained as a rabbi. In 1621 at the death of his wife, he moved to Eretz Israel, remarried and settled in Jerusalem as one of the heads of the Ashkenazic community there. In 1625, he was captured by the Arab ruler, and ransomed for an exorbitant sum. The Shlah died in Tiberius and is buried near the Rambam. During his life, the Shlah was a wealthy and active philanthropist, supporting Torah learning especially in Jerusalem. In his many Kabbalistic, homiletic and halachic works, he stressed the joy in every action, and how one should convert the evil inclination into good, two concepts that impacted on Jewish thought through to the eighteenth-century, and greatly influenced the development of the Hasidic movement.