Hacham Mehallel Ha’adani

A Short Tribute

Hacham Mehallel Ha’adani was born in 1883 in the city of Aden, Yemen.


Hacham Mehallel Ha’adani received an extensive Torah education in Aden, where his persona as a broad-minded sage was shaped in many domains through his exposure to philosophy, general history, Jewish history, the beginnings of industry, and the rich and diverse social fabric of his city. Aden, at the time, was home to Yemenite, Jewish, Indian, Somali and British people, and welcomed merchants from diverse parts of the world.

Some of his books are of an anthropological and historical nature, and describe the lives, customs and culture of the Aden community specifically, as well as of Yemen and its varied population, going into fine detail concerning its Jews.


In 1930 he immigrated to Israel and settled in Tel Aviv, where he continued his spiritual and literary activities.


Hacham Mehallel Ha’adani passed away in Tel Aviv, on 28 Tishrei 5710 (1950), leaving behind his books, only some of which he had published during his lifetime. His son had several others published after his death. Hacham Mehallel Ha’adani’s writings include: Or HaHozer, a commentary on the Torah and the Prophets, in three sections; Ben Aden and Teiman, on the personalities and daily life in Aden and its surroundings, in three sections; Peirush Mehallel Ha’adani, on the Writings [Ketubim], in three sections; HaNefesh HaHaya – a philosophical essay; Chochmat HaKodesh – a commentary on Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook’s book, Orot HaKodesh.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Israel and the Nations' in which he recounts that they would find shelter from robbers in the Arab house of prayer

There was a prominent and respected family among the Arabs. They hated slaughter, pillaging and profiteering, and had a house of prayer named Ayadrus, after its founder who lies buried within it. His followers consider him a prophet, make vows to him, and visit his grave once a year to hold a hilloula (festive memorial celebration) of sorts. This house of prayer is important and holy even among the desert-dwellers, and has been a godsend to Jews, who have found shelter and protection there at times when desert robbers who came to kill and plunder suddenly attacked their village.

Ben Aden and Teiman, volume 1, p. 4, published by Am Oved, Tel Aviv (1947)