A Short Tribute
Hacham Hai Moise di Picciotto was the son of Hacham Hillel Haim di Picciotto, who immigrated to Aleppo, Syria from Livorno, Italy in 1732.
The di Picciotto family was a very respected and wealthy family that dealt in commerce and supported charitable institutions. Several members of the Picciotto family served as consuls to various European countries - including Italy, Austria and France - because they were European subjects, had excellent reputations and were known for their outstanding characters.
Hacham Hai Moise di Picciotto learned Torah from his father and from other sages. Writing about himself, he testifies that "Until the age of seventeen I was raised among sages and Talmud teachers" and that he studied with private tutors hired by his father "who went to such great lengths to raise me on Torah and worship, and to find me a master and teacher".
By the age of eighteen he had already begun to deal in commerce which, as he mentions in his book, he regretted.
Hacham Hai Moshe di Picciotto married the daughter of Hacham Mordecai Galante, Chief Rabbi of Aleppo. They were renowned as exceptionally warm and generous hosts.
Hacham Hai Moise di Picciotto passed away on 26 Tevet 5576 (1816) in Syria. Some two years before he died, he managed to have his book of ethics and sermons on Genesis and Exodus, VaYachel Moshe, published.