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Rabbi Isaiah Horovitz was born in Prague around 1565. His father, Avraham ben Shabtai Sheftel Horowitz, was a disciple of Moses Isserles ('Rema'). Rabbi Isaiah Horovitz was a wealthy and active philanthropist, supporting Torah study, especially in Jerusalem, and participated in a meeting of the Council of Four Countries. He was appointed head of Beis Din in Austria, then Rabbi of Frankfurt am Main, eventually assuming the prestigious position of chief rabbi of Prague.

In 1621, after the death of his wife, he moved to Palestine, was appointed rabbi of the Ashkenazic community in Jerusalem, and married Chava, daughter of R. Eleazer. In 1625, he was kidnapped and imprisoned, together with 15 other Jewish rabbis and scholars, by the Pasha (Ibn Faruh) and held for ransom. After 1626, Horowitz moved to Safed, erstwhile home of Kabbalah, and later died in Tiberias on March 24, 1630 (Nissan 11, 5390 on the Hebrew calendar).
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 influenced Jewish thought through to the eighteenth-century, and greatly influenced the development of the Chassidic movement.

His most important work Shenei LuḼot HaBerit (abbreviated Shela"h), an encyclopedic compilation of ritual, ethics, and mysticism. He also wrote the Sha'ar ha-Shamayim prayer book which had an influence on the later Ashkenazi Nusach. Famous descendants of Isaiah Horowitz included Yaakov Yitzchak of Lublin, known as "The Chozeh [Seer] of Lublin".

[Excerpted from Wikipedia]