Hacham Shaul Sheli Mekiketz

A Short Tribute

Hacham Shaul Sheli Mekiketz, son of Maatuk, was born in 1887 on the island of Djerba, in Tunisia. Hacham Shaul Sheli Mekiketz learned Torah from Hacham David Hacohen and in 1907, at the age of 20, began to assist Hacham Yosef Berrebi by teaching classes in Djerba's synagogues. He devoted his days to teaching and spent his nights deciphering and copying rabbinic manuscripts. He translated books into Judeo-Arabic, including the Peleh Yoetz and Tziporen Shamir.

In 1924, he contracted a serious illness that he would suffer from to the end of his life. He was appointed head of the Djerba rabbinic court by Hacham Moshe Halfon Hacohen, specializing in rulings on niddah until he immigrated to Israel in 1950. He settled in the Berachia moshav where he continued to teach students and children. Rabbi Shaul Sheli Mekiketz Hashlali considered teaching very important was famous for the deep love he had for his pupils. After a short while, he moved to Shlomi.

Hacham Shaul Sheli Mekiketz passed away on 19 Kislev, 5730 (1970).

Hacham Shaul Sheli Mekiketz had the privilege of having many of his books published within his lifetime; others were published after his death. A partial list of his books includes Midrasho Sel ShA"M­ – commentaries, parables and tales, Karmi Sheli – commentary on the Talmud, Midrash Avot – on Tractate Avot, Bni Sheli, and Lesham Assim.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Traditions of the Fathers' in which he shares his teacher's diligence in teaching that honoring parents is the equivalent of honoring God
"Honor your father and mother as the LORD your God has commanded you" My teacher and master, Rabbi Yosef Berrebi, of the righteous' blessed memory, was diligent in asking why does the commandment add "as the LORD your God has commanded you" to this commandment in particular? This can reconciled by saying that the text, by so doing, indicates that honoring them is the equivalent of honoring God. "As the LORD your God has commanded you" means that you should consider the commandment of your father and mother as you would the LORD your God's commandment.
Midrasho Shel Sha"M, Part 3, p. 125, Cohen, Idan and Tzaban Printing, Djerba, 1948