Sar Shalom Sharabi (Hebrew: שר שלום מזרחי דידיע שרעבי), also known as the Rashash, the Shemesh or Ribbi Shalom Mizraḥi deyedi`a Sharabi (Jewish Sharab, Yemen 1720 - Jerusalem 1777/(10 shevat 5537)), was a Yemenite Jewish Rabbi, Halachist, Chazzan and Kabbalist. In later life he became the Rosh Yeshiva of Bet El Yeshiva. He was one of the Jewish world's foremost masters of Kabbalah, Torah, Talmud and Halacha in the 18th Century, and one of the first Yemenite Jews to have a major influence on the wider Jewish world. He is now considered to rank among the Acharonim, to be the direct successor to the Ari and one of the most important Oriental Rabbis in history.
Although he is primarily known as a Kabbalist, his rulings on Halakha (Jewish law) were and still are considered to have high authority, particularly among Yemenite Jews, but to some extent among Jews world wide. He was also a pioneer of Talmud Torah schools in Israel and Yemen, warrior on behalf of the Old Yishuv and a leading merchant in the Middle East. He was also a Jewish sexton for many properties in Jerusalem, Israel.
He was a talmid hakham (master scholar of the corpus of Torah and Talmud) and mekubbal (kabbalist), and was considered the leading authority among all the mekubbalim of his generation. Moreover, he was the head of the Jerusalem mekubbalim who were the leaders of the original Bet El Yeshiva (sometimes known as "Yeshivat ha-Mekubbalim") located in the Old City of Jerusalem.
In addition to his great wisdom he was known for his moral values, human qualities and Ruach Ha-Kodesh (holy/Divine inspiration), and was an inspiration for the growing renewal of Jewish youth in Jerusalem.
As a young man he spent time in Sanaa during his post-teenage years and finally made aliyah to Eretz Israel (the Land of Israel), at that time under Ottoman rule, in fulfilment of a vow (neder). On his way he stayed in India, Baghdad and Damascus. In Damascus, he was involved in a dispute of Halacha over the minimum olive size kezayit of matzah that one should eat at the Pesach Seder.
In Eretz Yisrael he made a strong impression on the local rabbinic sages, and is frequently mentioned in their books. Within the Bet El Yeshiva there was formed a group of 12 chosen "mekubalim of Bet-El", corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel. This group specialized in Kabbalah and piety, and in addition to the Rashash himself included the Hida, Rabbi Yom-Tov Algazi and other sages of Sephardic and Yemenite congregations. He remained at Bet El Yeshiva until his death, eventually becoming Rosh Yeshiva and making the Yeshiva one of the world's most important Yeshivot. He himself was a devotee of the Rabbi Isaac Luria, and a principal innovator within Lurianic Kabbalah. In the Land of Israel, he successfully defended the Yishuv and the city of Jerusalem against Arab bandits over a period of 30 years, with no assistance from the military of the Ottoman Empire.
Sharabi's life was embellished by astonishing facts and legends even from his youth, and in Eretz Yisrael he was famous as a Ilui and miracle worker, much like later the later Baba Sali. Popular tradition links his departure from Yemen with a miracle that occurred after a rich Arab woman tried to seduce him. In Bet El he worked as a servant and hid his learning from others; only miraculously was his deep knowledge of Kabbalah discovered and he became a member of the kabbalistic circle. According to legend, the prophet Elijah appeared to him, and he is understood by the major Kabbalists as being himself the Gilgul of the Arizal. After his death, his name became greatly revered among the Yishuv and among the kabbalists of Bet El. His grandson, Solomon Moses Hai Gagin Sharabi, wrote a poem of praise on his mastery of the Etz Hayyim and Shemonah She'arim of Hayyim Vital. The members of Bet El continue to prostrate themselves on his grave on the Mount of Olives on the commemoration of his death.
He was the first commentator on the works of the Ari, a major source of Kabbalah. His Siddur was known as the "Siddur Ha-Kavvanot," and is still used by Kabbalists today for prayer, meditation and Yeshiva study. It is a Siddur with extensive Kabbalistic meditations by way of commentary.
His writings are among the most important sources of the Kabbalah. They include "Emet va-Shalom", "Rehovot Hanahar", "Derech Shalom" and "Nahar Shalom", in which the Rashash answers 70 questions of the Hahamim of Tunis, who were among the leading Sephardic authorities in the 18th century. He also commented on the minhagim (customs) of the Yemenite Jews and compiled them in volumes known as "Minhagei Rashash", an exclusive edition of the Shulchan Aruch, where he gives his interpretations of the halachot contained within it, as well as noting the particular customs of the Shami Yemenite community. At the present day these volumes are used by that community as one of many halachic sources to determine Halachic decisions regarding holidays and other technicalities, such as marriage and Shabbat services.