A Short Tribute
Hacham Ovadia Hadiah, son of Sarah Bitton and Hacham Shalom Hadiah, was born in 1890 in Aram Tsova, now called Aleppo, Syria. His family moved to the Land of Israel in 1895, when he was five years of age, and settled in Jerusalem.
Hacham Ovadia Hadiah began his studies at the Doresh Zion Talmud Torah and subsequently studied with Hacham Shalom Bochbot, with his father Hacham Shalom Hadiah, and continued with his main teachers, Hacham Yitzhak Alpiah and Hacham Yitzhak Shreim.
Hacham Ovadia Hadiah married Tzalkha (Shulamith) and joined the Beit El kabbalist yeshiva in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter. He taught at the Porat Yosef yeshiva and gave Torah classes in Jerusalem's Ohel Moshe neighborhood.
In 1939 he was appointed dayan in Petach Tikva and moved there. He was considered the city's rabbi, although he was never formally appointed as such. In 1951 he was elected to the Great Rabbinic Court in Jerusalem and to the Chief Rabbinic Council, and returned to Jerusalem. He reinstated the study of kabbala at the Beit El yeshiva, which had been destroyed during Israel's War of Independence (1948). The yeshiva was rebuilt in West Jerusalem in the Yagi'a Kapa'im neighborhood.
Hacham Ovadia Hadiah assembled his writings in the following books: Yaskil 'Avdi Responsa – an eight-volume work on the four parts of the Shulchan Aruch; De'a VeHaskel, a collection of responsa on Kabbala, was published as part of Yaskil 'Avdi; Va'yikakh Ovadiahu – four volumes of sermons, 'Eved HaMelech – original commentary on Maimonides, and 'Avda D'Rabbanan -original commentary on the Talmud.
Hacham Ovadia Hadiah passed away on 20 Shevat, 5729 (1969) and was buried in Jerusalem's Har HaMenuchot cemetery.