Historical handwritten letter of the Holy Maran Hachidah, Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai, zchuto yagen aleynu amen. The letter is written in cursive Ladino, in which HaHida asks of one of the Sages of Hevron for a fellow Jew that was appointed as a member of the goverment of Constantinople (Instanbul)to come and to bring things to the community council in order to support the Jews of Hevron. At the end of the end of the letter HaHida blessed him and his children in Hebrew “Good blessings that our forefathers Avraham, Isaac, and Jacob in everything for everything and they will be planted and carried all the days of the world also his children forever for singing all over the land life until the end of the world.” A sweeping signature “HaTza’ir Haim Yosef David Azoulay.” Rabbeinu Haim Yosef David Azoulay, “HaHida HaKadosh was born in the year 1724 and died in the year 1806, was one of the great poskim, a kabbalist, extreme genius, and prolific author and famous shlucha derabanan(shaliach mitzvah, who the rabbis would send to collect money for yeshivot or holy purposes).Born in Jerusalem to Rabbi Yitzchak Zarchiyah Azulai, one of the chachamim and dayanim of Jerusalem, and the grandson of the mekubal(kabbalist) Rabbi Avraham Azulai bal "Chesed LeAvraham", his mother was the righteous Sarah bat HaRav Yosef of Byela (the Kabbalist). In his youth he was a disciple of the great sages and kabbalists of Jerusalem, including Harav Haim Ben Attar- the holy "Ohr Hachaim", that lived in Jerusalem for a year, and during this short period of time, HaHida learned a great amount from him in Torah, perushim, drashot and stories that he told him, more than any other of his rabbis. He began his studies on Chochmat hasod (Kabbalah) at the kabbalistic yeshiva "Beit El" with Rabbi Shalom Mizrachi Sharabi, harashash hakadosh. Together with HaHida his friend HaMaharit Elgazy who also studied with the Rashash. His first journey as a Shlucha D’Rahamana (Rabbinical ambassador), he left the community of Hevron in the year 1753. He was 29 at the time, and his travels lasted around 5 years, he visited the communities of Egypt, Italy, Germany, Holand, England, France, Spain, and Turkey. During this shlichut his name started to become known, his presence started to arouse a lot of attention, and in many places they recognized his greatness, and he was given very generous contributions. Shortly after he started to write a diary of his travels, “Maagal Tov" (printed in Livorno in the year 1879). In 1873 HaHida left for a second shlichut on behalf of the community of Hevron that lasted 6 years, which resulted in him staying in Livorno. During his first shlichut HaHida was young and wasn't well known, but during his second shlichut, he went as one of the rabbis of the generation, his books became known all over the world, and he made a long lasting impression in all the places that he visited. From Livorno, Italy, he began his travels all over Europe. This time he visited most of the Jewish communities in Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. Every place he went, he left a strong impression, and merited a lot of followers, and the honor of kings. Hundreds of poeple escorted him in and out of different cities. His supervision and intelligence, great knowledge, and his handsome looks, contributed to the fact he was even respected in the eyes of the Christians. He met kings, ministers, and priests, built connections with the sages of the nations, tradesmen, and heads of state, who gave him the respect normally given to official ambassadors. Apart from his great success in collected donations for the Yishuv in Israel, HaHida was requested to treat local issues and internal problems of the communities. Within the framework he liaised between the administrators of the community and community leaders, and in business and cooperative conflicts, and he stood before courts, brought peace to many families, carried orders for strengthening, aroused the Jewish nation and worked on halakhic issues, so that many people would knock on his door requesting his advice and blessing. HaHida was one of the greats of the learned Jews of any generation, he wrote more than 100 compositions (some written by hand entirely), on every facet of the Torah: Questions & answers, emendations to Halakha, Legends (aggadot), commentaries, legal disputes, drashim, traditions, tools of the Talmud, Kabbalah, morals, prayers, and bibliography. Amongst al this he published “Barchei Yosef”, a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch that had great influence on the arbiting of halakha (see items 112-113 in the catalogue). His books were accepted all over Israel and won him great praise, Rav Elimelech of Lizhinsk Ba’al HaNo’am Elimelech said to his students “there in Italy is a great righteous man, one who via his writings cancels all books of heresy, and who would give and the hearts of all Israel would study his texts and would thus be unable to falter in their belief” (Ohel Elimelech p. 281). Most of his writings were written during his preoccupations and travels, when he had with him few texts, and thus his genius is expressed and his unparalleled memory. In every place he would go he would examine the treasury of books and the local libraries, and he researched through the handwritings and found compositions of the greats that hadn’t been known before. Because of the respect given to him, he received permission to enter the great libraries and museums of the world, such as the National Library in Paris, where he sat many hours and copied by hand important documents. His discoveries and knowledge on books, which he acquired through these visits, are invested in all his books, especially his bibliographic text “Shem HaGedolim.” HaHida died and was buried in Livorno in 1806. In 1960 after great efforts his sacred bones were brought to the Holy Land and reburied on Har HaMenuhot in Jerusalem. The Kabbalist HaRishon LeZiyyon HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu told the story of the miracles that happened during the bringing of his bones to Israel. Before us is the most rare item that has never been in auction houses before. Light defect on margins of the page has repaired without damage to the text. A quality page. Size: Length 27.2cm, width 19.5cm.
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