Hacham Mordecai Azran

< Tammuz 5784 July 2024 >

A Short Tribute

Hacham Mordecai Azran was born in 1848 in Marrakesh, Morocco. He began studying Torah with the sages of Marrakesh, principally with Hacham Mordecai Tsarfati. He earned a living as a merchant and was as successful in commerce as he was in Torah. His home was “a meeting place for sages” and he regularly hosted rabbinic emissaries from the Land of Israel, including Hacham Yaacov Abuhatzeira, who would stay with him during his frequent visits to Marrakesh.

In 1907 Hacham Mordecai Azran immigrated to the Land of Israel with his family, settling in the city of Yaffo. He joined the city’s committee for sages of the Maghreb, with whom he founded the city’s Sephardi rabbinic court.

In 1914, because of the conditions in the country during World War I, he had to leave for Alexandria, Egypt. He returned to the Land of Israel after the war ended and settled in Jerusalem. His permanent place for Torah study was the Porat Yosef yeshiva, where his study partner was Hacham Ben Zion Atun. With time, he earned a reputation among the Jerusalem sages and would study and respond to questions, even at the age of ninety.

Hacham Mordecai Azran passed away on the 16th of Adar, 5698 (1938), succeeded by his son, Hacham Shmuel, one of the Jerusalem Maghreb community sages, and his daughters, Hannina and Freicha.

His book, Am Mordecai, published in Jerusalem in 1933, contains sermons and a lengthy ruling concerning an agunah [a woman “chained” by marriage to an absent husband].

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