A Short Tribute
Hacham Raphael Yaakov Hakak was born to Haviva and Yaakov in Baghdad. His father performed a levirate marriage with his deceased brother Binyamin's wife. With time, they realized that the sons born to them that they named Binyamin, in memory of the deceased brother, did not survive more than a few months. It was suggested that the deceased husband was jealous and not interested that a child be named after him and, following the advice given by rabbis, they decided to name the child that was to be born Raphael, that he be healed and survive. The child was, indeed, named Raphael and he lived to become a Torah scholar.
Hacham Raphael Yaakov Hakak was among the founders of the 'Oseh Chessed Society.
In 1970 he had his book, Likutei Raphel, printed. The book contains material from Rishonim (scholars from the 11 – 15th centuries) and Acharonim (15th century onward] and hundreds of parables and tales on the Five Books of Moses and the haphtarot. The book has also been published in Braille.
Hacham Raphael Yaakov Hakak passed away on 5 Kislev, 5736 (1976).