Hacham Baruch Yerushalmi

A Short Tribute

Hacham Baruch Yerushalmi was born to Malkona and Raphael David in Kushta (now Istanbul), Turkey. He married twice, and had several daughters with his first wife but no children with his second. He immigrated to the Land of Israel late in life.

Hacham Baruch Yerushalmi passed away on 10 Elul 5659 (1899).

His book, Baruch MeBanim, contains his original commentary on the Torah and on verses from the Prophets and Writings. It was printed after his death by Hacham Bechor Aharon Elnekave, President of the Jerusalem Rabbinic Court, in response to Hacham Baruch Yerushalmi’s request in his will that his book be published because he had no sons who might do so. Hacham Baruch Yerushalmi wrote an additional book on Maimonides and Responsa, which remains in manuscript form.


A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Tzedakah and Healing' in which he clarifies the differentiation made by women of valor between a poor person (‘ani) and a needy person (evion)
“She gives generously to the poor; Her hands are stretched out to the needy”. The differentiation between ‘poor’ and ‘needy’ is known; poor refers to someone who has never in his life seen “lights” [money] while a needy person is one who was once wealthy but has since lost his fortune. The latter is familiar with the taste of all things and feels cravings, and is therefore modest and embarrassed to take even a little charity, all the more so publicly.
That is the meaning of “She gives generously to the poor; Her hands are sent out to the needy” – she is punctilious when giving charity. When it concerns a poor person, who was born poor and does not care – she gives charity overtly, even if only a small amount. However, concerning the needy person, who is modest about his poverty and has cravings, it says “Her hands are stretched out to the needy”, meaning that she gives him a portion worthy of being taken with two hands; "stretched" [also means 'sent'] implies that she gives in a modest way and sends him on his way. Such a woman, who is so precise in her action, “…is not worried for her household because of snow”.
Baruch MeBanim, Original Commentary on the Book of Proverbs, p. 98b, Jerusalem, 1900