Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Most of the times a person needs to work on himself, perfect his character and acquire a sharp mind in order for his prayers to be successful. Rarely however, can someone claim he had the power to bless others and be answered immediately. R’ Yitzhak Abuchatzeira, the famous Baba Haki was one of such individual.
Born to the illustrious Abuchatzeira family of Kabbalists, R’ Yitzhak already showed exceptional powers to pray and bless others from a young age. He was born in Morocco 1895 to R’ Messoud in the village of Risanni, he helped the Jewish community from his home country to make Aliyah. After passing through Egypt and Algeria and encouraging people to move to Israel, he himself settled in Giv’at Olga in 1949. It didn’t take long for him to be appointed the Rishon L’Tzion and held this position until his death in a car accident in 1980.
Many Kabbalists appoint secretaries to receive visitors at specific times of the day, when they had the energy and time. It was known, however, that Baba Haki would always greet visitors personally and bless them, no matter the time and day. This would often cause inconveniences for his family and finally his son R’ Aharon asked him the reason for this strange custom.
The frightening dream
Baba Haki replied by telling him a story of when he was a young 11 year old boy. He had gone down to play in the streets of Erpud when, suddenly, a young woman came to him. She was crying and, while holding a child in her arms begged Yitzhak to bless the child so he could live. Thinking himself unworthy of “giving a blessing”, Yitzhak told her “what can I do? I’m only eleven years old! Go to my older brother R’ David and he will bless your child”. Distraught, the woman tried going there, but sadly no one was at home.
“That night,” explained the Baba Haki, “I had a very disturbing dream where I was being taken to the Beit Din Shel Ma’alah (Heavenly Court). One of the angels accused me of murdering a young boy”. The Baba Haki explained he had no idea which boy they were talking about until they said it was the young woman with the child in her arms. They told him that,had he blessed the boy, he would’ve lived. “I was really frightened, until the Abir Yaakov (R’ Yaakov Abuchatzeira, the patriarch of the family), came to me and whispered that he fought in court for my sake.” Since he was a child and his intentions were pure, they let him go this time. However, the Abir Yaakov told him that from now on, he should be careful to bless everyone that comes to him and never turn them away. Since then, he’s been careful to receive everyone and bless them, and has been successful ever since.
A Deep Secret
Herein however is hidden one incredibly great Kabbalistic secret to open the gates of Heaven. There’s a Pasuk in Mishlei(Proverbs) 22:9 that says “Tov A’yin Hu Yevarech” which, on a simple level, means “One who has a good eye will bless”. At first, the grammar seems a bit clunky, but the Zohar gives a novel interpretation and changes one letter of the word “Yevarech” (will bless) to “Yevorach” (is blessed). This means that a person with a good eye is blessed himself. It can also mean that one who blesses others freely, because of his love for them, is himself blessed and becomes a fountain of blessing. We know this from the well-known Talmudic principle “MiddahKeneged Middah” (a measure for measure), which is one iron-clad rule that Hashem uses in Creation.
Rebbe Nachman in his Lukkutey Moharan (1:282) writes the “Azamra” lesson, in which he explains that judging others favorably (and oneself as well) is a great and powerful way to rectify themselves. This can be seen when we encounter Tzaddikim in life that can help us in our holy work. They always judge others favorably and so become, themselves, beacons of blessings.
This was seen in the Baba Haki’s life which should serve us as an inspiration to bless everyone we see in need, even when we don’t consider ourselves “worthy of that”. Because, who knows? Maybe we do have more power than we believe!
Do you have any stories of blessings to share? Let us know in the comments below!
This article was written and published in the zechut of all Emuna Builder Partners. May they have complete emuna and continue spreading emuna!