Hacham Moshe Malcah

A Short Tribute

Hacham Moshe Malcah, son of Hacham Yechiel (Yihya) Malcah was born in 1911 in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. As a child, he studied with his father and brothers. In 1929, when he was eighteen years of age, his father died and he moved to Rabat the capital of Morocco.

In Rabat, he taught at the community committee Talmud Torah, gave evening classes in Talmud and halakhic ruling, and ran the Petach Tikva school which was attended by 200 boys and girls. During that period, Hacham Moshe Malcah was ordained as a shochet and expert bodeq by Hacham Yehoshua Bardugo, Chief Rabbi of Moroccan Jewry.

In 1947, at the request of the Rabbi of Tetouan - Hacham Yehuda Khalfon - and with the approval of the Spanish government, Hacham Moshe Malcah began to serve as Rabbi of three cities in Spanish Morocco: Larache, El-Ksar el Kebir and Arzila.

In 1951 he taught in the rabbinic seminary of Rabat, headed by Chief Rabbi Hacham Shaul Even Denan, and was ordained as a dayan. In 1953, he was appointed Rabbi and Dayan of the city of Beni Mellal.

In 1956, he served as a member of the Casablanca Rabbinic Court, which operated under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi of Casablanca, Hacham Shalom Messas, and in 1961 he was appointed Vice President of the court.

He immigrated to Israel in 1967 and was appointed to the Sephardi Community Committee's rabbinic board. He later became a member of the Chief Rabbinic Council and officiated as Rabbi of the city of Petach Tikva until his death,

Hacham Moshe Malcah passed away on 13 Adar Bet, 5757 (1997) and was buried in the Segulah Cemetery in Petach Tikva.

Hacham Moshe Malcah authored many books: Mikve HaMayim, in six volumes, and VeHeshiv Moshe – Responsa; Nitfei HaMayim, in two volumes, Be'er Moshe and Darash Moshe – books containing sermons, speeches and commentary on the Torah; and LeMa'an HaShabbat – a comprehensive Halakhic clarification on the topic of Shabbat demonstrations.


A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Traditions of the Fathers' in which he rules that it is forbidden to change God's name by pronouncing it "Elokim"
We have never heard of such a thing, changing the Name, and pronouncing it "keil" or "Elokim". These are but a reduction in the respect of God, heaven forbid, and those who permit themselves this pronunciation lose any possible benefit, for these words indicate reduction or lack... As for the expression "Elokim", Aleph, as we know, is one of the EHV"I letters (Aleph, Heh, Vav and Yod) which are, on their own, practically silent. Many people even swallow them entirely in such a way that they say "lokim" [lacking] instead of "Elokim", and that is what may be heard by some; this is, in my humble opinion, absolutely forbidden.
Mikve HaMayim Responsa, Vol. 1, Yoreh De'a, section 3, p. 71. HaMa'arav Printing, Brothers Eliyahu and Yitzhak Abecassis, Jerusalem, 1968