Weekly Chasidic Story #1205 (s5781-17) 27 Tevetv 5781 / Jan.11, 2021) This week

"The Party Spoiler"

The party hosted by the local Moroccan Jewish community was a success, with the cruel Muslim ruler seemingly enjoying himself very much, when Baba Sali made his entrance.

Connection: Seasonal -- 4 Shvat (Sunday, Jan. 11) is the 37th yahrzeit of Baba Sala.


Story in PDF format for more convenient printing.


The Party Spoiler

When Baba Sali was the chief rabbi of Boudenib, the city was ruled by a cruel man who loved nothing more than tormenting the Jews.

One day, R. Avraham, an important member of the Boudenib Jewish community, decided that he was going to make an elaborate feast in honor of the city's ruler, in the hopes that all the compliments and respect that would be poured on this man at the event would help soften his heart toward the Jews.

The day of the feast came, and the ruler arrived at R. Avraham's home for the great feast. All the leaders of the Jewish community were invited to the event, including Baba Sali.

The party was coming along nicely, with the ruler seemingly enjoying himself very much, when Baba Sali made his entrance into the house. He approached the ruler's seat -- but then, instead of blessing him, he threw his cane forcefully down on the floor, and in a loud, clear, voice, he began to berate the man for his terrible deeds against the Jews under his governance!

All those who were present turned white with fear, and R. Avraham himself nearly fainted. Everyone was sure that the ruler would pull out his gun and shoot Baba Sali on the spot, or at least send him to jail immediately. And who knew how this would affect the rest of the Jewish community!

But to their shock, when Baba Sali finally finished rebuking the man, the ruler humbly lowered his head and murmured, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I apologize"

A few days later; this ruler's son suddenly became very sick. The father rushed to send a message to Baba Sali, asking the holy tzadik to pray for his son's recovery.

Baba Sali came to the ruler's home and put the watch that he had received from his saintly brother, Rabbi David, under the patient's head. Your son should be better by tomorrow morning," he said. And so it was!

After these incidents, the ruler became a changed man. He turned into a great admirer of Baba Sali, and he stopped harassing the Jews of the city. His son, who became an important official in Morocco, kept up the strong ties with Baba Sali as well.

Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from … (a book whose title I can't find about the great sages and kabbalists of the Abuhatzeira family since the patriarch, Rabbi Shmuel Elbaz-Abuhatzeira 300 years ago).

Biographical note:
Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira [1890 - 4 Shvat 1984] known as Baba Sali, was born in Tafillalt Morocco, to one of Jewry's most illustrious families. From a young age he was renowned as a sage, miracle maker and master kabbalist. In 1964 he moved to Eretz Yisrael, eventually settling in 1970 in the Southern development town he made famous, Netivot, and where, since 1984, his tomb has become one of Israel's most visited pilgrimage sites. A number of collections of stories featuring him have been published, including at least two in English.

Connection: Seasonal -- Saturday night begins the 37th yahrzeit of Baba Sali on the 4th of the Jewish month of Shvat.


Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.

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