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17.11.13

David Abuchatzeira, the older brother of Bava Sali

The subject of David Abuchatzeira, the older brother of Bava Sali who was killed by Muslim fundamentalists in Morocco. 

A few stories about the  Abuchatzeira family


To begin with one minor story. The younger brother of David Abuchatzeira,  Isaac used to go around in Morocco collecting money for the school of Reb Masud in Tapilalt.  Issac loved a drink of alcohol called Irak. He got to one home, and asked for money. After they gave he asked for a drink. They said they do not have any. He said, "Yes, you do. I see it in such and such a place in your home." 
They said, "Yes, but that is saved for our son's Bar Mitzvah and the future weddings of our children."
He said, "Give some to me now, and I promise to you that that supply will never run out, -but only on condition that you never look inside to see it."

They did as he asked. After that they never ran out for many years. They simply lowered the bucket into the supply which was in an underground cistern and the bucket always came up full. This sufficed for all their children's weddings and bar mitzvahs.

One day the wife of the family could not contain her curiosity any longer and had to take one peek to see what in the world was going on. She could not believe how their original tiny supply could have provided so much. When she lifted the cover to look, all she saw was a well that was as dry as a desert and an empty broken bucket in the bottom of the well. That was the last day that it ever provided any Irak.
 Once I was at the home of the daughter of Bava Sali [Yisrael Abuchatzeira] and was discussing the importance vitamins and proper nutrition every day. She told me that she does not know about such things but she remembered that when she was a small girl it was her job to bring a daily meal to her father. It those days Bava Sali was in the attic in their home and did not come out for about two weeks at a time. No one really knows what he was doing in that tiny room for two weeks. He might have been learning Torah or praying or whatever. There is no information about it. But she would come in the morning, and leave a plate of food at the entrance to the attic. And in the evening she would return and the plate was always still there untouched.
Once in a Mikvah in Safed a grandson of a Moroccan Jew told me that his father once had the opportunity to drive Bava Sali in Morocco to the capital city. In Morocco in those days there was a severe penalty for speeding. Still Bava Sali had to get his destination on some public business, so he told the driver to ignore the speed limit. As they were speeding, a police motorcycle started to chase them, and signaled to pull over. They ignored his warning. So the policeman took out his pistol and stated shooting at them. At that point the driver was terrified out of his wits. Then, as he looked out into his rear view mirror, he saw the police motor cycle explode.  



I think I knew some descendants of David Abuchatzeira in Netivot. One was the wife of my downstairs neighbor. I used to go to them for Shabat. The last Shabat I was there there were a few kids there also that also were descended from Reb David, but I forget how. They were normally learning in a school in Bnei Brak called named after Avraham Kalmanowitz  the founder of the Mir  in  New York

There was a woman who did not keep mitzvahs but she heard about Bava Sali so drove from Kiryat Shmona to Netivot for a blessing. She was not let in because Bava Sali never talked with women. She told her request to the gabai [servant] and related the message to Bava Sali. Bava Sali asked for a check, and she wrote out some sum and she received a bottle of water in return. The blessed water was in fact quite usual but asking for a check never happened on any other occasion I have heard of. She drove back to Kiryat Shemona [about a six hour trip.] She got home and put the bottle of water on the kitchen counter and went to wash up. As she was washing she began think to herself I have running water here in my home! And bottles too! Why did I have to be so stupid to go to Netivot to get a bottle of water? When she returned to the kitchen the bottle of water was gone. Instead right where it had been place was her check.

David Abuchatzeira was like a square in Flatland that was taken into Spaceland--our 3-d world -and was sent back to proclaim the reality of worlds beyond this world.