A Short Tribute

A Short Tribute

Hacham Ovadia Hadiah, son of Sarah Bitton and Hacham Shalom Hadiah, was born in 1890 in Aram Tsova, now called Aleppo, Syria. His family moved to the Land of Israel in 1895, when he was five years of age, and settled in Jerusalem.

Hacham Ovadia Hadiah began his studies at the Doresh Zion Talmud Torah and subsequently studied with Hacham Shalom Bochbot, with his father Hacham Shalom Hadiah, and continued with his main teachers, Hacham Yitzhak Alpiah and Hacham Yitzhak Shreim.

Hacham Ovadia Hadiah married Tzalkha (Shulamith) and joined the Beit El kabbalist yeshiva in Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter. He taught at the Porat Yosef yeshiva and gave Torah classes in Jerusalem's Ohel Moshe neighborhood.

In 1939 he was appointed dayan in Petach Tikva and moved there. He was considered the city's rabbi, although he was never formally appointed as such. In 1951 he was elected to the Great Rabbinic Court in Jerusalem and to the Chief Rabbinic Council, and returned to Jerusalem. He reinstated the study of kabbala at the Beit El yeshiva, which had been destroyed during Israel's War of Independence (1948). The yeshiva was rebuilt in West Jerusalem in the Yagi'a Kapa'im neighborhood.

Hacham Ovadia Hadiah assembled his writings in the following books: Yaskil 'Avdi Responsa – an eight-volume work on the four parts of the Shulchan Aruch; De'a VeHaskel, a collection of responsa on Kabbala, was published as part of Yaskil 'Avdi; Va'yikakh Ovadiahu – four volumes of sermons, 'Eved HaMelech – original commentary on Maimonides, and 'Avda D'Rabbanan -original commentary on the Talmud.

Hacham Ovadia Hadiah passed away on 20 Shevat, 5729 (1969) and was buried in Jerusalem's Har HaMenuchot cemetery.

Torah Study
A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Torah Study'
in which he explains that simple interpretations are preferred by the Holy One, blessed be He

I have seen the following explanation, similar to the one in Sefer Hassidim… Anyone to whom the Holy One, blessed be He, has revealed something, and who is capable of writing yet does not write it down, is robbing the One who revealed the matter to him, for it was revealed only so as to be written. As it says, "For every deed God will bring into judgement, and every hidden thing; whether good or bad". Such a person causes it to become hidden, whether that which has been revealed and not written down is good or evil. The text was precise in saying "for every hidden thing" - for that person hides what he or she has not written and, to clarify, this also refers to the simple things that an author might consider not good enough to publish. This, too, will be brought into judgement, all the more so because Heaven delights more in matters that are simple and straightforward… Asked why he writes simple things, the Pri Megadim (Rabbi Joseph ben Meir Teomim, 1727–1792, Galicia) replied that the time will come when the world will tire of cleverness, and when simple explanations will prove to be more useful…For this reason I have spared no expense for those more simple writings, for they are favored by the Holy One, blessed be He, over sophistry and covert, allegorical moral preaching.

Va'yikach Ovadiahu, Part 2, author's introduction, Yehuda Amram Itach Printing, 1939