Hacham Reuben Ben David

A Short Tribute

Hacham Reuben Ben David was born to Rachel and Simon in 1923, in Morocco. He was raised in Hacham Abuhatziera’s home (the Baba Sali) and learned Torah from him.

As a young man, he isolated himself in the yeshiva located on the upper floor of his home and studied Torah day and night. He wrote many original commentaries, which he eventually had published.

Hacham Reuben Ben David officiated as dayan and halakhic instructor in the city of Banhmad and later also taught in the Otzar HaTorah institutions with Hacham Raphael Abo.

In 1956 Hacham Reuben Ben David immigrated to Israel with his family and settled in Ashkelon. He refused to take on a rabbinic position and earned a modest livelihood as a manual laborer.


Hacham Reuben Ben David passed away on 7 Sivan 5735 (1975). He wrote a great number of books, only a few of which were published during his lifetime; his children had most of his books published after his decease.

A partial list of Hacham Reuben Ben David’s books: Oz Ve’Hadar, Nefesh Tov,  Kol Mevasser, Meshiv Davar – responsa, Milta B’Ta’ama, Igeret HaMussar, ‘Arba Bimsara, Beni Reuven, Galei Razia, Ilan HaKadosh.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Redemption of Israel' in which he teaches about the order of the four Torah Reading Portions that begin with the month of Adar, and lead into the redemption

The attribute of charity is known to be great, so much so that our teachers, of blessed memory, said that redemption from exile follows from it, as it says, “…and those that return with her in righteousness (tzedakah: righteousness, charity)”. Should you ask, how does it differ from other commandments in the Torah, the reply lies in what has been conveyed to us: A transgression "extinguishes" a mitzvah, yet no transgression can extinguish the mitzvah of charity, for it says “His righteousness abides forever”. As we know, “they were redeemed during Nissan, and will be redeemed in Nissan in the future”. On the New Moon of Adar, therefore, (the commandment of) sheqalim is announced and heard by all, calling to fulfill the mitzvah of charity and, by virtue of its fulfillment, hasten the arrival of the redemption. For it atones for sins, as it says in the Book of Daniel, “Redeem your sins by beneficence”; we therefore read the Reading Portion of Sheqalim, to indicate this. We follow with the Zachor Reading Portion, about the eradication of Amaleq, for it is by virtue of charity that the name of Amaleq will be erased, as was Haman, who came from that seed. The Reading Portion of Parah follows…since it atones for us by virtue of the charity we do during the month of Adar, so does the Red Heifer. These are the reasons for which we will merit redemption speedily in our day during this month of Nissan…and this is the reason why (we read the) Reading Portion HaHodesh before the New Moon of Nissan – to tell them (the community) to prepare themselves for redemption by repenting. And so that they do not despair of the redemption arriving, we read the HaHodesh Reading Portion, to say: Just as the month is renewed every New Moon, thus will the People of Israel be renewed in the future.

Milta B’Taama, pp. 64-65, HaMaarav Press, Jerusalem 1973