Hacham David Haddad

A Short Tribute

Hacham David Haddad, was born to Bruria and Hacham Maatuk in 1874 in Djerba, Tunisia.

As a child, following a series of visions experienced by his mother, his family immigrated with him to the Land of Israel but when his mother passed away in 1880, the family returned to Djerba. That year, Hacham David's father died as well, and he went to live with his grandmother and with his grandfather, Hacham Nissim Bithan.

Hacham David Haddad began his Torah study with his grandfather, Hacham Nissim Bithan and with Hacham Joseph Berrebi. When his grandmother died, Hacham David Haddad had to leave Djerba. He moved to Tripoli to live with his brother, where he intensified his Torah study with Hacham Sissi Hacohen and was supported financially by the wealthy Hacham Nissim David, who saw to all his material needs.

In 1895, at the age of 21, Hacham David Haddad returned to Djerba and married Hacham Moshe Idan's daughter. He continued to study Torah but was driven by financial needs to travel between the cities of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Tripoli, where he alternately served as dayan, preacher and children's teacher.

Hacham David Haddad was famous for his wisdom and for his extensive knowledge in both the hidden and revealed aspects of the entire Torah. He was a great teacher, who shared his knowledge with young and old, whether rich or poor, and was known for his great humility; he refused to have his work published during his lifetime.

Hacham David Haddad passed away on 8 Iyar, 5703 (1943) and as buried in Djerba. His sons published his original commentary in LeDavid UleZar'o - on the Bible, and Keren David - on the Talmud.


A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Traditions of the Fathers' in which he teaches not to maintain any pretense with wealthy people, so that the simple folk also listen
"Hear what the LORD is saying: Come, present [My] case before the mountains, And let the hills hear you pleading."
This is to be interpreted as a hint that when a person reprimands even wealthy people without pretense, then the remaining, less privileged people, will certainly heed their words: Present My case before the mountains – refers to the wealthy, which will bring about that "the hills hear you pleading" – refers the simple folk.
Keren LeDavid UleZar'o, p. 161, Jerusalem, 1997