Chayim ben Attar

picture of Chayim ben Attar  

Chayim ben Attar, known as the Or HaChayim after his famous perush on the Chumash, was born in Morocco in 1696 to a wealthy Jewish family. He lived a colorful life, opening his own yeshiva in Morroco, and being thrown in jail by government forces on various occasions when wrongly accused. His earliest works were chidushim on Shas, named Chefetz Hashem. These were published in Amsterdam in 1732. He made Aliya in 1738 to the seaside town of Acre, and then moved to Jerusalem. He wrote the Or HaChayim while on route to the Holy Land in 1741. He opened a yeshiva in Jerusalem, but unfortunately passed away a year later, at the young age of 47. He is buried on Har Hazeitim, the mount of Olives.