Our Illustrious Guest

I am careening into the last days of Yom Tov by posting this only a few minutes before hadlakat nerot*, but it pertains to the chag and I want (nay, need) to write about this.
For our first seder we were honored to have among our guests a descendent of The Chida, בכבודו ובעצמו.

For those unenlightened of you--I myself knew a little about The Chida, but after discovering our illustrious guest, scrambled to learn more-- the name "Chida" being the acronym of his name, Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai (which in Hebrew coincidentally also means "the riddle") was one of the great sages of Jewish history, a noted rabbinic scholar and bibliophile. He was born in Jerusalem and lived from 1724-1806, during which time he wrote halachic works such as Shaar Yosef, Birkei Yosef, and Makhzik Beracha.

He was also a child prodigy who began studying in the Beit Midrash at age six. Because of his great scholarship he was chosen to be a shaliach of the communities of Eretz Yisrael, (who says there were no Jews living in the land of Israel in those days? - there was always a Jewish yishuv in Eretz Yisrael) and traveled to Europe several times representing the Jewish communities in Israel.

It was a special honor to host this family, and listen to the father's (he is the descendant) insights on halacha and divrei Torah at our seder.

May we have many more times together, celebrating Jewish Sabbaths and holidays.

Pesach is passing all too fast. . . chag sameach.


Sources for this post include this, this and this.

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Leora said…
Hope you had a wonderful Pesach. Thank you for the little history lesson on the Chida.

If we ate kitniyot, I would find Pesach a little easier. I decided today I really do like whole wheat matza. I could eat that regularly instead of challah. But must go to sleep now, so I can wake up early tomorrow to make the challah dough.
Anonymous said…
Wow, thanks for the info! Maybe I'll look up some info. on the Chida. You always things from which one can learn. Thanks!
muse said…
To me the Chida is a street in Bayit V'Gan, Jerusalem. There was a gan there where two of our daughters learned when they were little.
Lady-Light said…
Leora: Thank you, we did have a wonderful Pesach, despite the fact that our kids weren't here. I, too, was planning on baking challot this a.m. However, my intestines are doing a number on me and I can't even think of food, so please don't mention beans (or any other kitniyot)right now, or...!
As far as Shabbat food goes, chicken soup, & some roasted chicken quarters--that's it (we're going out for seudah rishona; but if I'm still feeling like this. . . !)
Hope you too had a good Pesach!

Eitan: Thank you. Some things just speak to me and I have to write about them. Glad you learned something.

muse: You know what comes to mind when I think of the word "chida?" Remember that children's song, Elokim sheli, ratziti sheh-tayda (I think it's called Mal'ach ha-Shalom, or something like that)- I always think of the last line, "nish'ar li ke-CHIDA." Don't know why.
Baruch Eliezer said…
If I'm not mistaken I read on Arutz 7 where Ashkenazim started abstainging from kitniyot during pesach because it was at one time packed with flour and to avoid flour they abstained from kitniyot.

This was my first Pesach in Eretz Yisrael and I can't believe how easy it was to find Kasher for Pesach food.

I hope all had a wonderful Pesach and hope that all will have a fruitful Sefirat HaOmer.
Lady-Light said…
Baruch: According to Machon Shilo, that was a teirutz, an excuse to justify the issur, because it was too embarrassing to admit that the whole prohibition was based on a false premise: that kitniyot could become chametz, which is untrue.

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