A Short Tribute
Hacham Yihya Moshe Abudi was born in 1844 (5604) in Baghdad, Iraq. He studied in the Midrash Beit Zalicha rabbinic beit midrash and married Masouda, daughter of Abraham Yehoshua Eliezer.
In 1875 Lord Yehezqel, the son of Yehoshua Gabai, invited Hacham Yihya Moshe Abudi to Bombay, India to tutor his sons and to be the ritual slaughterer and examiner [bodeq]. Following his stay in India, Hacham Yihya Moshe Abudi went on to Shanghai, and from there to Jerusalem, where he earned a living from commerce and, in his remaining time, studied Torah.
In 1907 he left for a Kollel fundraising mission to cities in India and returned to Jerusalem two years later.
Hacham Yihya Moshe Abudi passed away in Jerusalem on 2 Shevat, 5675 (1915).
He authored several works. Those that were published include Yigmor Ba'adi – on the Mishna, Magen Ba'adi – comments on the book Magen Avraham, and Doresh Ba'adi – on the Torah and Ethics of Our Fathers, Misharei Kitrin – on the Ba'al Tosphot's commentary on the Talmud, Hadar Zeqeinim – on the Mishna and the Guide to the Perplexed – a collection of aphorisms by our Sages of blessed memory. Additional articles he wrote were published in Torah journals, such as Hame'asef, Torah Me'Zion and Or Torah.
The homage allowed by the sages is to flatter one's wife – because of domestic peace, one's master – so that he teach him Torah, and one's students – that they may learn from him. This much is clear. What is written here, "Do homage in purity, lest He be angry, and ye perish in the way", may also be read with the following meaning: Kiss the hand of the son, flatter the son [bar] - this would mean the student. The letters, in reverse, spell rab [master]; kiss and flatter the rabbi so that he may teach you Torah. 'Bar' also means bread and food, and it could mean the woman, bread - in the sense of being nurtured. This also offers a meaning to the words: 'lest He be angered, and your way be doomed' – that is, concerning women, as in 'the way of a man with a young woman' and, concerning a rabbi and his student – the path of Torah and concerning the way: 'the way where they must walk'.
This implies that if one gave before 'his hour of distress', and then the poor person was again in need - in his hour of distress - that he can give him a second time, even in his hour of distress, and not that he provide for the poor person [only] in his hour of distress. This is what is meant by saying: if he already gave – before his hour of distress; 'readily' means to give him once again, in his hour of distress. '…and have no regrets when you do so' – thus refers to the second time, in his hour of distress, 'for in return' that you fulfill giving 'readily', that is, giving twice, 'the LORD your God will bless you'.
And further, for he said: 'they that love Thy law' – to imply another interpretation, RASHI's, of blessed memory, that is: that the pupils also love Thy law, and deal with from love, in there being no 'stumbling for them', G-d forbid, by their erring in teaching. And I have heard that one of the sages interpreted this according to: ' And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children' – meaning to say: 'All thy children shall be taught of the LORD' that they become wise as they should, by 'great [rav] shall be the peace of thy children' – meaning to say: The rav [rabbi] shall be at peace with the children, that is: present a kindly countenance to them. His words so far.
'And this was the work of the candlestick, beaten work of gold; unto the base thereof, and unto the flowers thereof, it was beaten work; according unto the pattern which the LORD had shown Moses.' – Note that the matter [the Hebrew, in 'according to the pattern'] resembles reflecting mirrors, whereby when a person approaches a mirror to see his shape in it, when he laughs, the shape in the mirror laughs, and if he distorts – the shape also distorts.
This is what our holy Torah implied: "And this is the work of the candlestick' – this means the Torah, which is as he writes: 'and Torah is light'. If it is 'beaten', meaning: his study is difficult for him, one must know whether it is he does not give it its due, or because his master does not present him with a kindly countenance. For this reason did he conclude with 'according to the pattern' – that is: This matter is like a mirror in which a person sees his face, that when he laughs it laughs, and when he distorts it distorts. This is the case for this matter as well.
This is why 'Moses commanded us a law' was said. Despite the claim of having been forced, since 'He held the mountain like a barrel', we are, in any case, obligated to observe it for the reason that it is 'an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob' – the chosen among our fathers. Therefore we undertook the obligation to it [law] on the basis of 'forsake not the teaching of thy mother' so that nothing remains of the statement claim, simple to understand.