- VITAL, Italian family which produced numerous scholars of whom the most noted were: JOSEPH VITAL (15th–16th century), a talented scribe, was especially noted for his precision in writing tefillin, which were widely known as Tefillin Rav Calabrash (Tefillin of the Rabbi of Calabria from where his family stemmed). His tefillin were highly praised by menahem azariah da fano (Resp. no. 38). He was the father of the celebrated kabbalist Ḥayyim Vital . MOSES BEN JOSEPH VITAL (d. middle of the 17th century), younger brother of Ḥayyim Vital, was rabbi in Safed. Like his brother, he was an enthusiastic kabbalist and many legends enveloped his life; some, in fact, actually related to his brother. Other legendary accounts assigned to him a central role for seeing to it that Rabbi Isaac Luria's legacy was saved for posterity. After his brother's death, he assumed a more important role in the kabbalistic community of Safed. Legendary material on his life is to be found in Ma'aseh Nissim shel ha-Am by Naphtali Herz Bachrach. MOSES VITAL, son of Samuel b. Ḥayyim Vital , was a rabbi in Egypt from the second half of the 17th until the beginning of the 18th century. He was a penetrating halakhist and brilliant kabbalist. All that remains of his published work is one responsum, included in abraham b. mordecai ha-Levi's Ginnat Veradim. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Conforte, Kore, 40b; M. Benayahu, Sefer Toledot ha-Ari (1967), index. (Guiseppe Laras)
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.