Hacham Nachman Angel

A Short Tribute

Hacham Nachman Angel, son of Hacham Vidal, was born in approximately 1845, in Jerusalem. His father immigrated to Israel in 1830 with the group of Salonica sages that included Hacham Hisdai Alsheich, Hacham Abraham Kuenka and Hacham Menahem Elhassid.

During much his life, Hacham Nachman Angel was a rabbinic emissary for the Beit El kabbalist yeshiva in Jerusalem. He traveled throughout the Jewish world, stopping in Turkey, the Balkan countries, Romania, Vienna, Hungary, Egypt, India and Morocco.

In a letter written during one of his voyages, Hacham Nachman Angel writes that he spent seventeen days at sea, eating only bread and salt. He was often faced with danger, and recounts having once been miraculously saved from a band of robbers that attacked him.

In 1913 Hacham Nachman Angel stopped traveling and joined Rabbi David Soranga's rabbinic court in Jerusalem. He was eventually elected President of the Rabbinic Court. Hacham Nachman Angel's fixed place for prayer and Torah study was the Beit El yeshiva. He was the yeshiva and synagogue beadle, and would preach there on Sabbath days. Hacham Nachman Angel was also a member of the Sephardi Community Committee.

Hacham Nachman Angel passed away on 1 Tevet 5685 (1924). His only published work is Drushim VePerushim, published in 1977 thanks to the efforts of the Sephardi Community Committee in Jerusalem.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Tzedakah and Healing' in which he teaches that those who are accustomed to giving charity obtain the three attributes of charity

"The righteous man walks in his integrity; happy are the children who come after him.” Three attributes can be found in people who give charity: There are those who wish to support Torah scholars, the sages who deal in the subtleties of study in the yeshiva, so that they become teachers who instruct law to the People of Israel. There are those who adore those scholars who know Aggadah, who recount the literal explanations (pshat), stories with morals and charming tales. And then there are those who like to give charity particularly to those poor and miserable people who go from door to door, because they are overcome by compassion by their wretchedness. So that what is lacking in one (who gives) can be found in the other. However, those who are accustomed to giving charity to all supplicants benefit from all three, for they support yeshiva scholars, Aggadah storytellers and the poverty-stricken. Measure for measure – they will have children who are wise – for having supported teachers, children who are Aggadah scholars – for having supported Aggadah scholars, and children who are wealthy – for having provided for the poverty-stricken. "The righteous man walks in his integrity" means that one gives charity with integrity to all three, without giving more value to one over the other; "happy are the children who come after him", because they benefit from all three values.

Rabbi Nachman Angel's Drushim VePerushim, p. 185, published by the Sephardi Community Committee, Jerusalem, 1977