Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, was the keynote speaker at the ceremony held last Thursday commemorating the 36th anniversary of the death of Rabbi Israel Abuhatzeira in Netivot on Thursday. In Jewish tradition, a yahrtzeit (anniversary of death) is normally a somber event but the death of a tzaddik (righteous Jew) is commemorated specifically through joy and festive celebration.
Rabbi Israel Abuhatzeira, known as the Baba Sali who was the leading Moroccan rabbi until he passed away in 1984. Baba Sali was the scion of a distinguished family of Sephardic Torah scholars and tzadikim (righteous men) who were also known as baalei mofet (miracle workers). The Baba Sali was renowned for his alleged ability to work miracles through his prayers.