Hacham David Amado

A Short Tribute

Hacham David Amado, son of Hacham Yaakov, was born in Izmir, Turkey, in 1777. He attained high levels of learning in Torah, in both its revealed and concealed aspects, and joined the Izmir rabbinic court as a dayan while still a young man. He immigrated to the Land of Israel in 1800 and settled in the city of Hebron. He would rise diligently every night to read the Tikkun Hatzot and would be the first to open the study house doors. He is said to have had the privilege of seeing the Three Fathers in his Beit Midrash and of almost having given up his soul, only to be revived by his friends; the prophet Elijah was also revealed to him.

Hacham David Amado returned to his city, Izmir, to serve as a dayan and Rosh Yeshiva. He studied Kabbala with the city's rabbi, Rishon LeZion Hacham Yosef Raphael Hazzan until the latter left for the Land of Israel in 1831.

Hacham David Amado passed away on 13 Kislev 5591 (1831). His collection of sermons, Tehila leDavid, was published in two volumes in Salonica after his death, in 1833 and in 1835. He also wrote Einei David, a book on Maimonides and also containing Responsa, which was published in Izmir in 1871. Both works were published by his sons, Hacham Yaakov Amado and Hacham Haim Moshe Amado.

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Israel and the Nations' in which he teaches of the dangers of charity done from robbery and oppressing the non-Jew

"…for in return the LORD your God will bless you in all your efforts and in all your undertakings", the necessary condition being that the charity given by the person be from what the Almighty has granted him, each person from the work he has done or from commerce done in good faith. Not, heaven forbid, from theft, for the Almighty abhors theft. Giving charity (from what one has obtained) through theft or robbery, even if stolen from a non-Jew or the like, will not only not be considered the fulfillment of a commandment but will act as a curse, and strengthen the sitra akhra (dark side). Any suspicion of theft or of oppression in charity, makes each penny rise towards the Holy One, blessed by He, in vilification, in particular when it is obtained through theft from a non-Jew. That nation's angel immediately rises in denunciation to the effect that the act of charity originates in his nation's monies, and instead of the deed acting on one's behalf, it acts as prosecution, heaven forbid.

Tehila leDavid, Part A, p. 77a, Yetomei Bezalel HaLavy Ashkenazi Press, Salonika, 1835