Compiled and written under the auspices of Rabbi Yaakov Hillel, Rosh Yeshivat Ahavat Shalom
A fascinating enigma surrounds the name of Rabbi Yosef Hayyim of Baghdad.
How did a quiet Torah scholar of only twenty-five find himself at the helm of the community that he would lead like a king for the next fifty years, with no official position or salary?
How did his word go forth from an Arab land to become law in Jewish communities worldwide, including Israel, India, and Shanghai, from his day – an era predating modern transportation and instant communication – to the present, over a century after his death?
Why do Sephardic communities around the world follow his ruling?
Why are his songs, especially Va’amartem Ko Lehai, Sung by Jews everywhere?
How did one human being write hundreds of works on Talmud, Halachah, Scripture, and Kabbalah?
Why are his writings studied by Sephardim and Ashkenazim, from scholarly rabbis to ordinary laymen?
How did he continue to study, teach, write, guide, advise, and rule on halachic questions in wealth, in prison, and then in poverty?
This volume sheds light on the spiritual giant who became known to posterity as the Ban Ish Hai.