Hacham Ovadia Yavetz

< Sivan 5784 June 2024 >

A Short Tribute

Hacham Ovadia Yavetz, son of Yaakov, was born circa 1922 in Sa'dah, Yemen. As a child he learned Torah from his father and grandfather. By the age of 20 he had been ordained to the rabbinate, and was serving as a shochet and mohel. His grandfather died in 1941, and Hacham Ovadia Yavetz's father replaced him as president of the rabbinic court of Sa'dah and its surrounding region. A short time later, his father died as well, and Hacham Ovadia Yavetz replaced him in his position, becoming the rabbi of Sa'dah and its surrounding region.

In 1949 Hacham Ovadia Yavetz organized his community for its immigration to Israel. He reached the immigrant camps in Aden and, from there, immigrated to Israel. He left for Yemen in 1959 as an emissary of the Jewish Agency to encourage Jewish immigration.

In 1960, Hacham Ovadia Yavetz was appointed rabbi of Kiryat Eqron. He filled this role for fifty years, until his death. Hacham Ovadia Yavetz was famous for his humility, honesty and moderate approach.

Hacham Ovadia Yavetz passed away on 12 Shevat, 5771 (2011) and was buried in Kiryat Eqron.

Hacham Ovadia Yavetz is the author of Afikei Ma'im – original commentary on the Torah, Sefat Yeshenim – responsa on Halakha of ritual slaughter and treifot, Darkei No'am – responsa, and Sa'dah and its Surrounding Region – a History of the Jews of Yemen.

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