Hacham Samuel Ibn Denan

A Short Tribute

Hacham Samuel Ibn Denan, son of Rabbi Yitzhak Ibn Denan the Gaon, was born in Fes, Morocco. His father officiated as the city’s rabbi and as Chief Justice of the Rabbinic Courts in Fes and its surrounding areas. Rabbi Samuel had the privilege of receiving the most thorough of Torah educations in his home, and grew up to become a spiritual titan and Torah genius. He differed from his predecessors in that he avoided rabbinic positions, with the exception of privileging the public with his sermons, and earned a living as the Fes Rabbinic Court scribe.

Hacham Samuel Ibn Denan was known for his many charitable actions. He welcomed rabbinic emissaries from the Holy Land in his home, and was appointed treasurer for the charity collected for Torah institutions in the Land of Israel, including the Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNess Tiberias Kollels, the Meir Bat A'in yeshiva, the Beit El kabbalists' yeshiva in Jerusalem, and the orphanage founded by the rabbis of Tiberias.

Hacham Samuel Ibn Denan was a great preacher, and his sermons were transcribed and printed by Eliyahu Peretz in Leshed HaShemen, Dishnta BaShemen, Tidashen Adamma.

Hacham Samuel Ibn Denan passed away on 28 Adar Bet, 5732 (1962).

A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Traditions of the Fathers' in which he teaches one's father-in-law is to be respected, embraced and kissed like one's father
King David, may he rest in peace, called Saul, his father-in-law, "father", as it says, "My father, see indeed". Our Sages, of blessed memory, said - concerning Jehoshaphat, King of Judah - that whenever he saw a Torah scholar, he would rise to his feet, and embrace and kiss them. The Gemara asks: How could he do so? Is it not written "Appoint over yourself a king" of whom you are to be in awe? The explanation is that he did not do so in public…
Yet we are obliged to say that what the Gemara says on this entire matter – what a king must not do in public – applies to all other people, but not to one's father, such as Solomon, who ruled while his father was alive…also, Moses bowed down before Jethro and embraced him in public, despite that he was only his father-in-law, which teaches us that one's father-in-law is to be respected like one father.
Deshanta BaShemen Sermons, p. 28 – 29, Malkei Rabbanan Press, Ashdod, 1998