Hacham Yom Tov Yedid Halevy

A Short Tribute

Hacham Yom Tov Yedid Halevy was born in 1923 in Aram Tzova, now called Aleppo. He was Hacham Moshe Tawil's student and when, in 1959, his teacher immigrated to Israel, Hacham Yom Tov Yedid Halevy was appointed Rabbi of Aleppo and Head of the Beit HaNassi Beit Midrash. He led the community for many years and helped preserve it, often through difficult times. Known for his stringency, he was nonetheless accepted and loved by his community. As Head of the Beit HaNassi study house, he trained the last generation of its Torah scholars, some of whom lead the Jewish communities from Aleppo throughout the world to this day.

In 1985 Hacham Yom Tov Yedid Halevy moved to New York City and joined its community of Syrian Jews. He refused to take on any public position and devoted himself to Torah study in the Ahiezer Beit Midrash.

Hacham Yom Tov Yedid Halevy passed away on 22 Tammuz 5776 (2016) in New York and was buried in the Har HaMenuhot cemetery in Jerusalem.


Hacham Yom Tov Yedid Halevy authored 15 books of biblical commentary, published during his lifetime by his son, Hacham Meir Yedid Halevy, as a series entitled Meir Tov.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Israel and the Nations' in which he teaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, is chagrined by the suffering of the poor from all nations

"Arise, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are Your possession." Since judges do not necessarily judge faithfully, You must judge the earth and save the oppressed from their oppressors, which is why "Arise, O God, judge the earth" is written. This means judgment of the poor and deprived people of the entire world. I am not chagrined only by the injustice committed towards the poor (of the nation of) Israel but by the oppressed and poor of all the world's nations, whose judges distort their sentence; I pray that You may judge them for You are, indeed, the LORD for all the nations in Your possession. You created them, and commanded them to be just - one of the seven (Noahide) laws. You commanded them, and You are therefore to avenge all the oppressed and sustain them in justice.

Meir Tov, Psalms, p. 397, commentary on Chapter 82, verse 8, Hevrat Ohev Shalom Publishing, 2002