||Kabbalistic, moral, and ethical selections followed by R. Elijah's commentary. The various subjects were collected, according to the author, from the 300 books listed in the preface. Only the first half of this work, arranged in alphabetical order, was printed (first edition: Smyrna, 1736). R. Elijah b. Abraham Solomon ha-Kohen ha-Itamari (b. 1729) was born in Smyrna, where he was educated and became a homiletic preacher. His opposition to Shabbetai Zevi and his associates earned him much grief at home. R. Elijah came from a family of rabbis and writers; his grandfather, R. Michael ha-Kohen, wrote exegetical works on the Torah, and his uncle, R. Isaac ha-Kohen, was also a writer. His father, R. Abraham Solomon ha-Kohen, one of the rabbis of Smyrna, is known for his involvement in the rescue of Jews who had been taken captive. It would seem that he was also a scholar, as R. Elijah often quotes him.
R. Elijah was a prolific writer; about 30 of his works are extant, some in print, others in manuscript; his lost works are known only from references to them in his own writings. He is best remembered for his ethical work Shevet Mussar, which has seen numerous edition and been translated into many languages.