A Short Tribute

A Short Tribute

Hacham Ezra Attiahacha was born to Leah Halevy and Hacham Yitzhak on 16 Shevat, 5646 (1885) in Aleppo, Syria.

As a child, he studied in Aleppo with Hacham Yehuda Aslan Attiah. In 1903, at the age of 16, he immigrated to the Land of Israel with his family. Despite the economic conditions in Israel he continued to devote himself to Torah and studied with the Aleppo sages of Jerusalem: Hacham Ezra Harrari Raful and Hacham Shalom Hadiah, and Hacham Haim Addes, who supported him financially.

In 1907 Hacham Ezra Attiah began to study at the Ohel Mo'ed yeshiva. In 1908, he married Bulissa Salem, daughter of Hacham Abraham Salem, and the couple had seven children.

In 1914, when World War I broke out, he fled to Egypt with his family to avoid being drafted to the Ottoman army. While in Egypt, he accumulated many students and began to teach at the Keter Torah yeshiva, transforming it to a study center for many laypeople who began to study Torah there on a regular basis. He later founded and headed the Ahava Ve'Achva yeshiva.

Hacham Ezra Attiah returned to the Land of Israel in 1922, and when the Porat Yosef yeshiva was established in 1923, began to teach there. In 1925 Hacham Raphael Shlomo Laniado, the Rosh Yeshiva, passed away. Hacham Ezra Attiah was appointed Rosh Yeshiva and he devotedly filled this position for 45 years, during which period he raised numerous students, many of whom were to become great scholars, including Hacham Ovadia Yosef, Hacham Yehuda Tzedakka, Hacham Ben Zion Abba Shaul, Hacham Mordecai Eliyahu, Hacham Haim David Halevy, Hacham David Shloush and Hacham Zion Levy.

During Israel's 1948 War of Independence, Hacham Ezra Attiah's writings, his original teachings and Responsa that had been stored in the Porat Yosef yeshiva, were lost when the yeshiva fell into Jordanian hands. It was only in 1996, well after his death, that his student, Hacham Eliyahu Touffiq, collected and edited his teachings and had them published in a book entitled Sha'arei Ezra.

Hacham Ezra Attiah passed away on the night of Lag Ba'Omer, 19 Iyar 5730 (1970) and was buried in Jerusalem's Har HaMenuchot cemetery.

Torah Study
A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Torah Study'
in which he teaches that as one becomes wiser, one discovers the clear language for simple folk

"Because Koheleth was a sage, he continued to instruct the people." This would seem to only be natural, for the more wisdom one amasses by increased study the more possibilities one has of teaching, having more Torah and wisdom to impart to students. In what sense, then, was Solomon praiseworthy in accumulating knowledge, having nevertheless taught the people? On the contrary. This is explained by the fact that there are scholars who the greater their Torah learning becomes and their wisdom increases find it difficult to teach the people. If they have a deep and detailed halakhic argument, they seek out the company of Torah scholars who can understand their words. The greatness of Koheleth, however, was in that as his wisdom increased, he turned to the people and taught the simple folk even more frequently, seeking the simple language that they could understand, to lead them in their right path and towards the right deeds.

Sha'arei Ezra, p. 34, Eliyahu Touffiq, ed., Beer Yehuda Yeshiva Press, Jerusalem 1996