||Responsa by R. Moses b. Mordecai Zacuto (c. 1620–1697), was born into a Portuguese Marrano family in Amsterdam, studied Jewish subjects under R. Saul Levi Morteira. He also studied secular subjects. According to tradition, he later fasted 40 days "in order to forget the Latin language." He was a student in the bet midrash of Amsterdam and in his youth traveled to Poland to study in the yeshivot there. Zacuto was attracted by Kabbalah and refers in his letters to his teacher Elhanan, perhaps "Elhanan the kabbalist," who died in Vienna in 1651. He moved to Italy, remaining for some time in Verona. From 1645 he lived in Venice and served for a time as a preacher under R. Azariah Figo. Afterward, he became one of the rabbis of the city and a member of the Venetian yeshivah. Between 1649 and 1670 he was proofreader of many books printed in Venice, especially works on Kabbalah. He edited the Zohar Hadash in 1658, and also wrote many poems for celebrations and special occasions. Zacuto tried to acquire the manuscripts of the Safed kabbalists, especially those of R. Moses Cordovero and the different versions of the works of R. Hayyim Vital. He befriended the kabbalist R. Nathan Shapiro of Jerusalem and the old kabbalist R. Benjamin ha-Levi, who served as an emissary from Safed in Venice for two years (1658–59).
Zacuto's published exoteric works include his commentary on the Mishnah, Kol ha-Re-Me-Z; he was known throughout his life as Re-Me-Z, from his initials (Rabbi Moses Zacuto). Part of the work was published in Amsterdam in 1719. R. H. J. D. Azulai, in his Shem ha-Gedolim, noted that the manuscript was twice as long as the printed edition. A collection of halakhic responsa was published in Venice in 1760. A commentary on the Palestinian Talmud is lost. His major activity, however, was in Kabbalah. Zacuto opposed the mingling of the kabbalistic system of R. Cordovero with that of R. Isaac Luria which was then current in some circles (Tishby, in Zion, 22 (1957), 30) and for this reason he criticized R. Solomon Rocca's Sefer Kavvanat Shelomo (Venice, 1670) even though he composed a poem honoring the author (see Zacuto's Iggerot, letters nos. 7, 8). He went over the entire corpus of R. Luria's and R. Vital's writings and added many annotations under the name Kol ha-Re-Me-Z or the abbreviation Ma-Za-La-N (Moshe Zakkut Li Nireh—"It seems to me, Moses Zacuto"). Many of them are collected in the books Mekom Binah and Sha'arei Binah of R. Isaac Sabba (Salonika, 1812–13). Zacuto wrote at least two commentaries on the Zohar. Zacuto arranged tikkunim ("special prayers") for several religious ceremonies according to Kabbalah. These were often reprinted and had great influence, especially on the religious life in Italy. They include Sefer ha-Tikkunim (a tikkun for the eve of Shavuot and Hoshana Rabba; Venice, 1659), Mishmeret ha-Hodesh (ibid., 1660), Tikkun Shovavim (the initials of the first six sections of Exodus), i.e., a tikkun for fasts undertaken in expiation for nocturnal ejaculations (ibid., 1673), and Tikkun Hazot (ibid., 1704).
|| ה"ה הרב ... משה בכה"ר מרדכי זכות זצוק"ל. ובו נכללו שאלות ותשובות חכמי דורו אשר שקלו וטרו על העניינים אשר השיב ... הובאו לדפוס לתשוקת הבחור ... כה"ר גד בן ... כה"ר שמואל פואה יצ"ו ...
דף 2, ב: רשות נתונה מאת ... הוק"י של ויניציאה. חתומים עליה: ר' יעקב ן' יקר, ר' משה ב"ר רפאל חי מררי, ר' יעקב עוזיאל, ר' יהושע ברוך לוי, ר' גד ב"ר יצחק פואה ור' שמואל חי ב"ר יהודה לוי מוייא, כד אלול תק"ך. דף : הקדמת ר' שמחה קאלימאני, המגיה.