Hacham Abraham Corkidi

A Short Tribute

Hacham Abraham Corkidi was born to Joya and Hacham David in Izmir, in 1813. His parents raised him in poverty, and he writes "They toiled with their own ten fingers through all constraints for our sake, to teach us Torah and mitzvoth". In 1831, at the age of eighteen, he lost both his parents to a cholera epidemic in the city.

Hacham Abraham Corkidi learned Torah from Hacham Raphael Yoseph Hazzan, Head of the Beit Yaakov Rabbi yeshiva in Izmir. During this period, he married Sultana.

In 1841 a great fire broke out and destroyed many of the city's buildings, including its yeshiva. Hacham Abraham and his brother, Hacham Moshe, were forced to leave their birthplace, each going their own way. Hacham Abraham left for the city of Adasi where, for a period of fifteen years, he officiated as cantor and served as a shochet. He moved to Birgama in 1855, officiating as rabbi, preacher and shochet for some thirty years.

In 1882 he left with his family to Jerusalem. They moved to Jaffa after a short time, where he lived until his decease some three years later.

Hacham Abraham Corkidi was known as an outstanding preacher and had his sermons published in his book VaYikakh Avraham, printed in Izmir in 1882. He also authored 'Et Sopher, which contains several types of formal outlines for contracts, although the book was never published, and tried to have Moshe 'Eved, written by his brother, Hacham Moshe Corkidi, published.

Hacham Abraham Corkidi passed away on 17 Av, 5645 (1885) and was buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Jaffa.


A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Torah Study' , in which he teaches that the principal aspect of the commandment to write Torah scrolls concerns writing books used for study

The commandment to write a kosher Torah scroll, as we have seen done by my friend Haim, may God preserve him, who had this excellent and lovely Torah scroll written in his name, is a fulfillment of the verse we have inscribed at the entrance, "This is my God and I will enshrine Him – enshrine Him with commandments". It is a beautiful Torah scroll, written with beautiful ink and a beautiful quill by an artist scribe, bound in beautiful silk vestment, to which he has also added the two sterling silver pomegranate and breastplate adornments. There is no doubt whatsoever that his recompense will be very great, and that he has fulfilled the verse "Wealth and riches are in his house, and his beneficence lasts forever". …We learn from the words of our master, Rabbi Asher Ben Yechiel, may he rest in peace, that in past generations they would write a Torah scroll and study from it. The principal aspect of the commandment is to write a Torah scroll, but in our day, when a Torah scroll is written and then placed in the synagogue for public reading, it does not suffice to write only Torah scrolls but Mishnah, Talmud and commentaries must also be written, in keeping with the above.

VaYikakh Avraham, original Torah commentary, Sermon 11, p. 27b, Izmir, 1882