Hacham Rachamim Buchris

A Short Tribute

Hacham Rachamim Buchris, son of Hacham Moshe, was born in Djerba, Tunisia. He was among the prominent dayanim of Djerba's Harrah Zadjira (Little Quarter), who also preached and led prayer at the pulpit, and was eventually appointed Av Bet Din in Djerba.

Hacham Rachamim Buchris and his wife had three sons and ten daughters. One of his daughters married Hacham Moshe Zaqen Mazouz, who led the community in Djerba's Harrah Kabira (Large Quarter).

Hacham Rachamim Buchris passed away on 23 Tevet, 5673 (1903). We know of several of his works: Kol Bichyi – on the Book of Job, published in 1897, Bigdei Shesh – on Tractate Avot, published in 1899, Mincha Hadasha – on the Book of Proverbs, and Kadesh Hillulim – on the Five Scrolls.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Tzedakah and Healing' justice, charity, benevolence, and solidarity

"May your home be open wide, may the poor be members of your household" means that the gate of your courtyard facing your house is to be open in such a way that the poor seem to be inside your home, to make it easier for you to go towards them and give to them yourself. This is a greater good deed that sending a messenger. Comfort them with encouraging words, for those who do so are blessed with eleven additional blessings, which is not the case when a messenger is used… This is how the Torah's verses in the Re'eh weekly reading portion should be understood: "You must open your hand and lend him sufficient for whatever he needs… which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman in your land." One might ask why the words "open you hand" are repeated in the two verses… this may indicate that despite your courtyard gate being open, you should open yet another door, in such a way that the doorways face your dwelling-place, so that you may actually see the poor and give to them from your own hand, and not send a messenger, which is why it says - by way of emphasis - "your hand".

Bigdei Shesh, Chapter 1, pp. 56 – 57, Published by A. Hania, Jerusalem, 2000
A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Love of Israel' in which he teaches of love between individuals – a natural, unconditional love lasts

Love of one person for another should be a natural love, "Love thy neighbor as thyself", and not a conditional love. That is, to love a person for being a human being, or for his or her qualities, such as wisdom or emotional qualities. But one should not show love because one needs assistance, or to obtain benefit, to soften somebody up to obtain what one wants. Such love is termed conditional love, and is unstable.

Lev Rachav - Tractate Avot, Chapter 5, Verse 17, p. 148. Published by the author, Jerusalem 1992