Hacham Baruch Toledano

A Short Tribute

Hacham Baruch Toledano was born in 1890 in Meknes, Morocco. His father, Abraham, was a wealthy man, and had as many books copied as he could. Although the library he established was in his own home, it served many other people.

Hacham Baruch Toledano studied in the Beit El Ve'Etz Haim yeshiva, founded by Rabbi Zeev Wolf Halperin.

In 1912, Hacham Baruch Toledano married Jamila, Hacham Pinchas Egozi's daughter, and the couple had four sons and a daughter. He served as a dayan in the Fes rabbinic court, with Hacham Raphael Baruch Toledano and Hacham Yosef Messas, from 1941.

Hacham Baruch Toledano wrote out the Orach Haim section of the Shulchan Aruch in rhyme, to make it popular with the public, who appreciated poetry. He wrote out the Even Ezer section in rhyme as well, as well, to help Beit Midrash students enjoy their studies.

Hacham Baruch Toledano immigrated to Israel and settled in Haifa. After his wife died, he went to live with his daughter, Gracia.

Hacham Baruch Toledano passed away on 4 Kislev, 5742 (1982). His published work includes Sha'alu Et Baruch – Responsa, Baruch Ta'am – on the Torah, Vayikra Baruch – on the books of Prophets, Vaya'as Baruch - sermons, poems and lamentations, and Rina U'Tefila – an abridged Shulchan Aruch Orach Haim, and laws of ritual slaughter.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Torah Study' in which he teaches that Torah's value depends on fulfilling the commandments concerning man and his brethren

"The world stands on three things: on the Torah, and on the service (of God), and on acts of lovingkindness." A person should not say: Torah study on its own suffices for me, or fulfilling commandments between man and God suffices on its own, or fulfilling the commandments concerning man and his brethren suffices on its own. This is not the way. The three, together, are necessary … the letter vav is added, showing that one does not suffice on its own, and neither do two, but all three are necessary. For one without the other cannot exist. As they, of blessed memory, said, "Whoever holds a Torah scroll naked, is buried naked". They explain that this was intended to mean that a person who says that they have only Torah, who does nothing but study and does not engage in its garments - meaning the commandments written in it - such a person is "buried", or goes to the grave without anything, without even the reward for having studied.

Baruch Ta'am, Volume 1, Hakhel Torah reading portion, p. 108, Ahavat Shalom, Jerusalem, 2003