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Hacham Yihya Shneiur

A Short Tribute

Hacham Yihya Shneiur, son of Mas'oud Shneiur, was born in 1903 in the town of Ksabi, Morocco. As a youth he learned Torah from Hacham Machluf Shavit, who also ordained him as a shochet.

Hacham Yihya Shneiur married Ruchama, and after a while they moved to Boudenib. In Boudnib he studied in hevruta (learning partner) with Rabbi Meir Abuhatzeira, the Baba Meir, in the company of Rabbi Israel Abuhatzeira – the Baba Sali. Hacham Yihya Shneiur cultivated the Abuhatzeira family's customs of frugality and devoutness.
He immigrated to Israel in 1961, and in 1962 was appointed Rabbi of Jerusalem's Mussrara neighborhood. Many made pilgrimages to his home to receive his blessing and he was famous for his generosity and charity.

Hacham Yihya Shneiur passed away in 1994 and was buried in Jerusalem's Givat Shaul cemetery. He is the author of Yesh Me'Ayin­, published in three volumes. Volume 1 contains original Torah interpretations and Midrash, Volume 2 is a compilation of sermons on various topics and original commentary of the Book of Psalms, and Volume 3 contains Responsa, sermons on HaZa"L sayings and commentary on the Bible.


A few quotes from the Rabbi on 'Tzedakah and Healing' in which he teaches to give charity to the poor and to have it considered a loan so as not to embarrass the needy person
"If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, do not act toward them as a creditor". This can be understood, as we know, that giving charity is beyond value, and that the advantage of charity is that it is given anonymously, in ways that do not embarrass the needy. One should always recall that what one gives to the poor is in one's possession only as a pledge, as our sages, of blessed memory, said: The money of the poor is only deposited with the rich as a pledge, for the Holy One, blessed be He, wishes to accord people with privilege (of good deeds), and therefore created both poor and rich people.
This is what is meant by ""If you lend money to My people": When you give charity to the poor, then "you lend money to My people". Consider it a loan, so as not to embarrass the needy, for the Holy One, blessed be He, will, in time, return it to you; you give, on the one hand, and the Holy One, blessed be He, gives to you on the other.
Yesh Me'Ayin – Original commentary on the Torah and HaZa"L, Volume 1, p. 167, A.B. Press, Jerusalem, 1978