8th 1984( 5 Chevat 5744 ) , Rabbi Israel ABEHASSERA, known as
away in Israel, in Netivot, village of the Neguev founded by and
home to tens of thousands of jews of North-African origin. In
a sad winter day,his faithfuls gathered for his funeral by the
thousands,coming from every corner of the country. The israeli
press estimated at one hundred thousand the group of mourners
who came to accompany the saint to his last resting place.
the family was named ELBAZ. One of the ancestors,the rabbi Shmouel
Elbaz ,was the spiritual leader of his community; one day a ship
captain refused to allow him to board his ship because he didn't
have enough money for the fare,our rabbi then sat down on his
mat,prayed et sailed on the ocean at the great surprise of bystanders;
Shmouel was then on known as Abehassera meaning « the father
of the mat ».
YAKOV Abehassera (gandfather of Rabbi Israel ) was famous before
he was even born. His father Rabbi Messaoud had dreamt that
his son would shine over the world with his sainthood.
the age of 13, the young Yakov, already initiated to the Bible
and Talmud by his father, invested himself in the study of the
kabale. Mordehaï ben Shaoul, kolleleman from Jerusalem studied
with Rabbi Yakov the treaty of HAGUIGA ; astounded by the cabalistic
comments that he was hearing for the first time, he invited the
community to name the young rabbi Yakov to the position of judge
prodigious accounts exist about this 19th century figure, in a
world when the surnatural and normal existed side by side.
had the habit of waking up at midnight to read the « tikoun
hatsot » dedicating the rest of the night to study and meditation.
One night,one of his servants heard a strange voice coming from
his master's room when he was supposed to be alone. When he came
closer to investigate,a bright shining light blinded him. He didn't
recover his sight until he promised his master that he wouldn't
disclose the secret of the divine visit that he had received.
time, Rabbi Yakov was the guest of a rich person. During the meal,a
lamb that had escaped from its pen approached the rabbi ;
he observed it and told it : « go back to your pen, I will
do what you have asked ». He then explained to his hosts:
« You see,this lamb is the incarnation of the blessed soul
of a talmid hakham, his soul's tikoun demands a special sacrifice
with strong kavanot and the consumption of its flesh in the ritual
meal of a mitsva ». A few days later,when the master of the
house stood with his guest at the time of his departure,he heard
a mysterious voice that whispered to Yakov Abéhassera « You
have saved my soul. God will grant you glory and life ».
the end of his life, rabbi Yakov took the road of Eretz Israel
after several times delaying this journey. But death surprised
him in 1880 near Alexandria in Egypt. But did death really surprise
him ? It is said that the saint rabbi had foreseen his death
and warned his relatives. A dozen of works of exegesis and ethics,talmudic
and cabalistic comments,responsa and lithurgic poems were published
after his death.
Israel Abehassera, BABA
SALE, was the grandson
of Rabbi Yakov. He was born in 1890 in Rissani in the Tafilalet.
As a child, he showed great intelligence and an unusual readiness
for studies. At 17, he went to the yechiva that was named after
his grandfather. At 28, he was named Dayan (judge) at the rabbinical
court. In 1963, at 73 years old, Baba Sale emigrated to Israel.
his ancestor, he was a kabalist dedicated to meditation and contemplation.
He used the prayers found in the written texts of his grandfather
Rabbi Yakov about the kavanot, elaborated by the ARIZAL and known
to a very few insiders.
modest home in Netivot was open to all, his disciples were coming
from all over the country. He gave audience to everyone,listened
to their story,blessed them,gave them a bottle of water blessed
by him and reinfoced thel in their faith. That tap water, as he
explained it himself had no power in itself ; its efficiency was
born out of its contact with faith,that of the blessing of the
some testimonials broadcasted in the early days of January 1984
by the israeli television :
hairdresser in Netivot was successful in his business and work
thanks to the advice he received from the saint.
soldier swore that he came out alive from the war in Lebanon thanks
to his pronouncing the name of Baba Salé each time he was in danger.
told that she had had the measles while being pregnant. The doctors
advised her to get an abortion. She went to the Rabbi for advice,
he blessed her and promised her that her children were safe and
sound; she gave birth to perfectly healthy twins.
principal of high school in Jerusalem, told of his son being in
the coma for several days ; he went for the blessing of the
« Netivot miracle worker » and came back with a bottle
of water. He used its water to wet his son's lips who recovered
agouna woman (whose husband has dissapeared, she can't remarry
as long as she hasn't been proved to be a widow or that the husband
has been found and forced to accept the divorce) went to the sephardic
rabbi Mordehaï Eliahou, who advised her to go see Rabbi Israel
Abehassera. The latter blessed her and said : « you
will tell the one who sent you to go look near Dimona for someone
named Aflalo. The rabbi Eliahou arrived in Dimona, with no previous
knowledge. Randomly,he entered a home in mourning to participate
in the evening prayer. Before leaving,he told the family of the
story that brought him to Dimona. That's when an old man told
him :"I am Aflalo, the man you seek has just died; I have
buried him myself today. He had the man named Aflalo sign the deposition that freed the woman so she
could marry again.
year,thousands of visitors flock for the Hiloulla of Baba Sale