Hacham Raphael Haim Moshe Ben Naim

< Tishrei 5784 October 2023 >

A Short Tribute

Hacham Raphael Haim Moshe Ben Naim, son Yishaiah, was born on 7 Shevat, 5605 (1845) in Tetuan, Morocco.

When he was six months old, his parents immigrated to Israel and settled in Haifa, where they lived in poverty.

Hacham Raphael Haim Moshe Ben Naim first learned Torah from his father whose time, however, was limited because of his business. He wanted to continue in his studies yet no tutor could be found to suit his advanced level, and he was required to help his family earn a livelihood. One day, while he sitting in the shop, Hacham David Ben Shimon stopped by and began questioning him in Talmud and Halakha. When he realized how proficient and knowledgeable the youth was, Hacham David Ben Shimon suggested to his parents that he come to Jerusalem with him, where he would care for all his physical and Torah study needs. Hacham Raphael Haim Moshe Ben Naim's mother refused, because of the great distance involved. Hacham Ben Shimon eventually succeeded in convincing the parents to send their son to study Torah in Tiberias, which was not as far off. During his stay in the yeshiva in Tiberias, Hacham Ben Naim visited Jerusalem a number of times, where he lodged with Hacham David Ben Shimon, who provided him with financial support, and also paid for his wedding.

Hacham Haim Moshe Ben Naim thrived, became a dayyan in Tiberias, and traveled to North Africa several times as a rabbinic emissary.

In 1886, Hacham Haim Moshe Ben Naim began thirty years of rabbinic service in Gibraltar.

Hacham Haim Moshe Ben Naim passed away on 13 Menahem Av, 5680 (1920). He left us with the following books: Peter Rehem – collections of sermons and articles, Rahamim Peshutim – Responsa, Kol Tehina, Kol Tehina – against the use of machines for baking matzah, as well as additional writings and sermons, that remain in manuscript form.


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