Saturday, June 8, 2013
Rabbi Joseph Hayyim
Rabbi Joseph Hayyim was one of the greatest spiritual leaders of the Baghdad Jewish community in recent generations and made his mark on its cultural and spiritual life. He was esteemed not only by the community of his native Baghdad but by Jewish communities all over the world.
Like his father, Rabbi Elijah, and his grandfather, Rabbi Moshe Hayyim, he was a leader of the Rabbis of Babylon and was unique in his influence and the widespread admiration he acquired.
Already from his youth, Rabbi Joseph Hayyim excelled in his studies and showed brilliance. He studied at the Bet Zilkha Yeshiva where he was the special student of the head and founder of the Yeshiva, Rabbi Abdallah Somekh. He became extremely learned both in Torah and in Kabbalah and was also a gifted preacher who could always keep his audience enthralled. He held a very great love for the Land of Israel, and in 1869 made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem where he printed most of his books.
His book Ben Ish Hal on Jewish law, among the most famous of his works, became very popular with the Oriental Jewish communities and was published in many editions.
Among his other well-known works are Ben Yehoyada in five volumes, including commentaries on the legends of the Babylonian Talmud and Ray Pealim which is a work of responsi and Jewish legal research.
Thank you Dear Merja for this FDC.