For the week ending 9 April 2005 / 29 Adar II 5765
Mikveh of the Aryzal
Visitors to Tzfat usually make a point of immersing themselves in the "Arys Mikveh". Tradition has it that Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, (Adoneinu Rav Yitzchak), the great kabbalist who lived and died in that city,promised that anyone who immersed himself in that mikveh would not leave this world before repenting his sins.
But why is it called the Arys Mikveh?
His disciple, Rabbi Chaim Vital, reportedly wrote the following:
"Our master, of blessed memory, commanded us to immerse his body in the mikveh after his passing. When we took his body there and immersed it in the water, we begged him to forgive us. He then straightened himself up and did the immersion by himself."
From that day on it was called the "Arys Mikveh".