Hacham Svi Didi

A Short Tribute

Hacham Svi Didi was born to Bruria and Binyamin on 22 Av, 5689 (1929) in Djerba, Tunisia. He began his Torah studies with his father, Hacham Binyamin Mekiketz Didi, and Hacham Mordecai Sigron.

Hacham Svi Didi married Camissa, and the couple had sons and daughters born to them. Their son, Hacham Shlomo Didi, currently officiates as a rabbi in the Jordan Valley Regional Council.

In 1949, Hacham Svi Didi immigrated to Israel with his family and settled in Tiberias, where he taught at the Or Torah yeshiva adjacent to Maimonides' tomb.

Hacham Svi Didi was known for his great humility, and gave a daily class in ethics and Halakha at the Yad Binyamin synagogue, named after his father. Every Sabbath he would serve as the cantor and preacher of the Magen David synagogue, located on the crest of a mountain, notwithstanding the strenuous effort required of him and regardless of the weather conditions.

Hacham Svi Didi passed away after a prolonged illness on 2 Tammuz, 5740 (1980). He is the author of Eretz Svi, a book of responsa and original commentary on Torah and Talmud.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Love of Israel' in which he teaches not to refrain from assisting even those who pursue material wealth and follow the passions of their evil inclination

"When you see the ass of your enemy lying under its burden and would refrain from raising it, you must nevertheless raise it with him". This would be, it seems to me, a covert reference: "the ass of your enemy" means the individual who follows the counsel of their evil inclination, which is termed "enemy", as our sages of blessed memory said, concerning "The wicked watches for the righteous". In other words, one who pursues the world's impure matter and follows the evil inclination's passions. Should you see such a person, sinking and collapsing under the burden of the evil inclination, and would refrain from raising him up – do not say to them 'what do I care? I leave you in peace'. "You must nevertheless raise it with him". Try to help that person and draw him closer to the Shechina's canopy.

Eretz Svi, p.5597, Arazi Press, Tel Aviv, Tiberias, 1971