Hacham Samuel Saul Serero

A Short Tribute

Hacham Samuel Saul Serero, son of David Serero, an expulsed Castilian Jew, was born in 1556 in Fes, Morocco. At the age of nineteen, in 1575, he completed his book Hanoch LaNa'ar.

In 1589, at the age of 33, he was appointed Rosh Yeshiva in Fes and, two years later, was appointed as a dayan in Hacham Vidal Hatzarfati's rabbinic court. In 1612, when Hacham Samuel Even Denan died, he was appointed to lead the sages of Fes. He made amendments and rulings, leading the community with reason and common sense, rescuing the oppressed and striving for unity and peace. His extensive knowledge in the fields of philosophy, Jewish thought and Kabbala, as well as in secular wisdom, is conveyed in his writings and sermons. His known works are Drushei MehaRaSHa"SH, Hanoch LaNa'ar – a commentary on the Book of Proverbs, and Divrei Haymim Shel Fes.

Hacham Samuel Saul Serero passed away on 5 Shevat, 5405 (1645) at the age of 90.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Torah Study' in which he teaches a Midrash about being grateful to teachers

It is right to speak out in respect for one's teacher. People ought not to be thankful to a person for any knowledge he or she has, but to the master who taught them. This can be learned from what our venerable sages, of blessed memory, said about the verse "Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands upon him". To what can this be compared? To a river that supplies water to the entire city and is praised by everyone. Someone said to them, 'Praise the spring that feeds it.' Similarly, when they praised Joshua who supplied the entire nation of Israel with his wisdom, the Holy One, blessed be He, said, 'Praise Moses for having thus taught' "because Moses had laid his hands upon him".

Drushei MehaRaSHa"SH Serero, Part 2, p. 431, HaRav David Ovadia Publishing, Jerusalem, 1991