Hacham Baruch Assebag

A Short Tribute

Hacham, son of Shlomo, was born in Marrakesh, Morocco, where he obtained his Torah education and was ordained to the rabbinate. He became known as a kabbalist and halakhic adjudicator, and was Chief Rabbi in the port city of Safi, Morocco. He is quoted in books by the sages of his generation, including Hacham Yosef Messas, Hacham Yosef Benaim and Hacham David Sabbah.

Hacham Baruch Assebag married Hanina Ish-Yemini. In 1884, he established the Etz Chaim yeshiva in Safi. He invited Rabbi Shimon Baruch Ohayon to teach there, housed him, and was like a father to him.

Hacham Baruch Assebag passed away on 3 Adar 5706 (1946) and was buried in Safi. Among his published works are Minchat Moshe – a work of kabbala, published in the memory of his son Moshe, who died at an early age, Korban Mincha and Mincha Belula – religious laws, morals and sermons, written in Hebrew and Arabic.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Customs of Israel' in which he teaches of the custom to release vows [hatarat nedarim] on the 19th of Av out of concern that one be in a state of banishment from Heaven on Yom Kippur
It is the custom to release vows on Rosh Hashanna… Here, in the city of Safi, the custom has been to release vows on the 19th of Av, forty days before Yom Kippur, because it says in the holy Zohar that "Banishment or censure decreed by the Court of Heaven lasts forty days, and the prayers of whoever has been banished are not heard." The release of vows, therefore, is done forty days before Yom Kippur, after which time much care is to be taken not to do anything that deserves banishment.
Korban Mincha, p. 149, Nissim Ben Baruch Publishing, Kiryat Sefer, 1998