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25.11.15

Bava Sali

David Abuchatzeira was murdered by Muslims on the 14th of Kislev. That is why I thought to write a few words about the Abuchatzeira family. The major thing that was special about this family was their idea of education. They had the basic approach that you would find in any Lithuanian yeshiva straight Gemara and Musar and Poskim. But their way of keeping Torah was significantly simplified..They were not reading too much Dante I should say. At at a certain point they would get into the Ari-Isaac Luria. But that went along with a good deal of fasting.
Let me mention a few things as samples of the events surrounding them. Israel Abuchatzeira once was  one  a bus going going from one town to the next. It go to be time for the afternoon prayer. {Mincha}. He told the person he was with to ask the bus driver to stop the bus so he could get out and pray. The driver laughed at such a ridiculous request.  So the fellow returned to his seat. Then Bava Sali (Israel Abuchatzeira) told him to get ready to get off the bus. Then suddenly the engine broke down. They got off to pray as the bus driver got out to see of he could fix the engine. Bava Sali took his own sweet time to pray as was his custom. After he finished they got back on the bus and he told the person his was with to tell the driver he could start the bus now. The driver  yelled at him and said can't you see I have been trying to start this thing for the last hour? So he returned to his seat. Bava Sali told him to tell the driver to just put the key in the ignition and see what happens. He did so and the bus started with no problem.

One thing you in Bava Sali--is the idea of authentic  Torah. He was not involved with "Tikunim." That is he was not taking any one particular Mitzvah. His was straight learning and keeping Torah. The oral and written law. The פירוש המקובל. That is the explanation of the Written Torah that was received by the sages of the Mishna and Talmud. Things written later are not the oral nor written law. They can at best explain some aspects of the oral or written law but do not override them and when they go off into their own explanation not based on the oral law then they are ספרים חיצוניים-books that the sages say one loses his portion in the  next world by reading them. [That means most so called Torah books today are in fact ספרים חיצוניים]. See the Rif and Rosh there on the mishna in Sanhedrin.

Bava Sali was not a fan of the "great books" education. STEM maybe but not secular education outside of the natural sciences or straight forwards learning a vocation.