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5.1.14

Bava Sali's Path is actually very easy to describe and yet still very mysterious.

Rav Israel [Avuchatzeira].
The last time I was in Israel I was at a pidion haben [the party you make after a first born son is 30 days old] and one fellow started telling me the story of how he got married. It seems he was in a kind of situation in which no one was offering to him a shiduch.[marriage possibilities]
 So he went to Israel Avuchateira in Netivot. It was Friday --a day on which Bava Sali did not accept visitors. But his wife had compassion of this  student and brought him into Bava Sali. He was doing the normal Chok LeIsrael  seder [reading the Bible portion for that week].
He interpreted to start raining blessings on this student in the kind of dialectic that Jews from Morocco used to speak  Within a very short time he found his wife and got married.
I don't know the name but there was apparently a rav in Europe who was the prime  rav there. I think in Antwerp. Once a visitor came to see him and saw in his home pictures of Bava Sali and asked him why does he have pictures from a Sefardi Rav. He answer that once Bava Sali was in France and he this rav came to see him. After the visit he left at 3 PM and a when he arrived at this city it was still 3 PM. [This is called Kephitazt HaDerech]

The son in law of Bava Sali David Buso told me how once in Paris, he and  Bava Sali were waiting for the moon to come out on the last night that Kidush Levana was possible [the blessing on the new moon]. When it seemed apparent that the clouds cover was just too think for the moon to come out on its own, Bava Sali waved his hand and moved the clouds aside.

Once I was praying in Safed a one person came over and told me the story of  how a female relative of his was a secular Jew. From what I remember her husband was slightly sick and she had heard of a rav who had come from Morocco and people were going to him to get blessings. [Even though she was secular she thought, "Why not give it a try?"] She took the long trip from Kiryat Shemona to Netivot [about a six hour drive from the tiptop of Israel to the very bottom].When she arrived she discovered a  disappointing fact,- Bava Sali never saw women or received them as visitors.. She was left with no option but to give her request to the Gabai [the attendant] and he forwarded the request to Bava Sali. He returned and said that Bava Sali asked her to write a check.She did so and in return she received a bottle of water that Bava Sali had blessed. She took it and drove back home.That means she was altogether 12 hours on the road, plus the time she had spend by Bava Sali. When she returned home she put the bottle on the kitchen table and went into the bathroom. By that time she was angry, tired, and frustrated. She opened the faucet in the bathroom and saw the running water and began to think to herself, "Here in my own home I have running water and bottles also! Why did I need to waste a whole day to get an ordinary bottle of water?"
When she returned to the kitchen to her surprise she saw the bottle of water was gone; and in the place where she has set it down was her check.


Sadly today that impressive family line seems to have lost the touch that it had a for at least 5 or more generations.Yet there are still some members of that family that I think still retain some of the holiness. In particular, I am impressed with Shimon Buso --a grandson of Bava Sali who is  in Netivot. From what I can tell he seems to be on the path that Bava Sali himself was on of service of God in the way of learning Torah day and night with self sacrifice.


Bava Sali's path is actually very easy to describe and yet still very mysterious. He learned Torah and kept Mitzvot. Now learning Torah in the Bava Sali way means that he learned Torah, Talmud, Rambam, Zohar, R. Isaac Luria and etc.--all the things that are part of a regular Torah curriculum. It was a path that included learning a little bit of Kabalah, and a lot of Talmud. It included a lot of fasting--from week to week. And it also meant no contact with women unless it was his own immediate family. Also I should mention Bava Sali had a thing about being married. It was kind of a personal law for him not to be without a wife even for a second.


There was once a student in Netivot who used to drive Bava Sali around when  he needed a ride.
Once he drove him to Meron and wanted to fill the gas tank on the way back. Bava Sali told him "Just drive." So they drove the whole five hours from Meron to Netivot on an empty tank of gas.



 He also had zero patience for the so called Kabalists in Israel and thought they were a bunch of fakes. As Bava Sali's daughter once told me:" No kabalist was ever allowed in to see Bava Sali. He never accepted any of them under any circumstances."]

I perhaps should mention the community around Bava Sali was Mesorati [traditional Judaism- not Orthodox] While he was involved in Torah alone the community around him was a working community and he never expressed any disapproval of that. Sefardim in Netivot generally worked and served in the Army and got regular secular Israeli educations. And that is the vast majority of the people that still follow in that tradition.