Author Topic: A True Chocham : The Ben Ish Chai  (Read 1264 times)

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Offline muman613

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A True Chocham : The Ben Ish Chai
« on: May 05, 2015, 02:22:01 AM »
Hakham Ribbi Yoseph Hayyim (Ashk. Yosef Chaim} o.b.m.
5594 - 5669 (1834 - 1909)
born in Baghdad on 27 Ab, 5594 (September 1st, 1834).

The greatest of Jewish Babylonian Hakhamim in recent times. Rabbi and Qabbalist whose teachings were followed in numerous countries and continue to be followed by Sepharadim world-wide
   From early childhood his rare talents and noble traits were apparent. He studied in a Torah school as a child and then with his uncle. By the age of 14 he started at Midrash Beth Zilkha. He studied Torah with the head of the Midrash, Hakham 'Abdallah Somekh, 'alaw hashalom, and excelled using his sharpness and exceptional memory.
A few years later he left the Beth Midrash and learned Torah day and night in his attic.

In 1851, he married and had a son and daughter.

His knowledge covered all aspects of Judaism, the hidden and the revealed, Qabbalah, Talmud, Mishna, Halakha and so on. He wrote numerous books on all aspects of Judaism. He received questions in Halakha from all over the world and was in close contact with Sephardi and Ashkenazi Hakhamim alike.

He was a very pure and holy man. He was said to possess Ruwah Haqodesh, even though he himself denied this.

At the age of 25, his father, Hakham Eliyahu Hayyim, passed away. Hakham Yosef Hayyim replaced his father, becoming the only Hakham in Baghdad to give a Derasha (sermon) in Baghdad on five very important Shabbthoth in the year. He continued in his father's position for 50 years.

He was known for his love of Eres Yisrael and supported messengers who came to collect money for the poor there. In 1869, he made a trip to Eres Yisrael and received a very warm and important welcome by all the Hakhamim.

On the 8th of Elul 5669, he went on a pilgrimage to to the tomb of the Prophet Yehezqel Hannabi. He became sick and on the 13th of Elul he passed away.

He was returned to Baghdad, arriving at night to very great sorrow. That very night he was buried. The turnout was huge, comprising Jews and non-Jews alike. All came to pay their respects to this very great man.

The list of his many great works includes:

Ben Ish Hai 
Rab Pealim 
Da'ath Uthbuna 
'Od Yoseph Hai
Addereth Eliyahu
Ben Yehoyada
Torah Lishmah
Commentary on 
Tiqqunei Hazohar
Rab Berakhoth

    You may wish to visit the Midrash BEN ISH HAI site at

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14