Hacham Yosef Hayyim of Baghdad (1833-1909) was one of the most brilliant and prolific Sefardic sages of his time. Best known for his halachic work, the Ben Ish Hai, he wrote over seventy books on all areas of Torah study, from response to mussar to Kabbalah. He was the undisputed leader of Sefardic Jewry, and his work remains one of the major influences on the Torah world today.
The Ben Ish Hai Athology offers a select translation of Otzrot Hayyim, a thirty-five volume encyclopedia of the writings of H. Yosef Hayyim, published by Yeshivat Ahavat Shalom of Jerusalem. Each volume of Otzrot Hayyim is a collection of the Ben Ish Hai's teachings on a specific topic, such as Torah, Prayer, Repentance, and the Jewish holidays. The Ben Ish Hai Athology, these teachings have been made available to the English-speaking public for the first time.
In this volume, Pillars of Righteousness, the Ben Ish Hai examines Torah Scholars and the righteous on the one hand, and amei haaretz and the wicked on the other. How does a humble tzaddik, who holds no public office, affect the world more than kings and presidents? If God loves the righteous, why do they sometimes suffer? Is the am haaretz of the Talmud identical with the unlearned today? How do Torah scholars contribute to society, and what is our obligation to them?