Hacham Machluf Idan

< Tammuz 5784 July 2024 >

A Short Tribute

Hacham Machluf Idan, the son of 'Azalla and Hacham Moshe Idan, was born in 1880 in Gabès, Tunisia. He first learned Torah from his Kabbalist father, Hacham Moshe Idan. After his father's death in 1894, his brother Hacham David Idan, who founded Djerba's first publishing firm, supported the family and raised him. He continued his studies with Hacham Yosef Berrebi, until he became an accomplished scholar.

Hacham Machluf Idan married Falila, a daughter of the wealthy Abraham Boukris from Djerba's Little Quarter, where the couple would subsequently reside.

He was the attendant of Hacham Moshe Zaqun Mazouz, president of the rabbinic court, who chose to teach children and is credited with having raised numerous students who served as ritual slaughterers, scribes, teachers and judges in the cities of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

Hacham Machluf Idan went on to serve as rabbi and halakhic adjudicator of the Didjat quarter of Djerba.

In 1915, following the demise of his teacher Hacham Moshe Mazouz, he was appointed to the rabbinic court, as were Hacham Yosef Boukris who would later serve as rabbi of the town of Zarzis, and Hacham Haim Houri, who would subsequently be appointed rabbi of the city of Gabès.

Hacham Machluf Idan, for all his great Torah learning, was extremely humble, and would review eighteen chapters of the Mishna every day. He followed his father's example, by fasting and maintaining an ascetic daily routine, dipping devoutly in the ritual bath, and lived a pious life.

Hacham Machluf Idan passed away on 18 Kislev, 5707 (1947). His published work includes 'Amar Naqeh – sermons, Mincha 'Erev­ – Halakha on ta'arovet (mixtures and kashrut), Maleh Ha'Omer – on the Talmud, and Hessed Ve'Emet – a book of responsa published after his demise by his son, Hacham Tzaemach Idan.

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