Rabbi Chaim ben Atar Or Hachaim

The eve of 15th of  Tammuz, marks the yahrzeit of the Holy Ohr HaChaim.

His grave is on Har HaZeitim, Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery in Jerusalem, Israel.

People visit it on his yahrzeit and all year round to pray for salivation.

Chaim ben Moshe ibn Attar wrote the Ohr HaChaim on the Torah.

The Holy Ohr HaChaim was of a few leaders called ‘holy’. This small group includes the Ari, Alshich and the Shelah. The Baal Shem Tov says that the Ohr HaChaim was a spark from the soul of the Messiah!

A spiritual remedy for having children is to accept upon yourself to learn from the Ohr HaChaim’s commentary on a steady basis and in this way you will merit to have righteous boys that will learn Torah and keep mitzvoth. The admor ‘Lev Simcha’ of Gur said that the Ohr HaChaim had no children of his own so all of his strength to procreate is embedded in his holy commentary. That is why each portion of this holy book can bring fertility and righteous children.

Many stories abound talking about the great miracles people experienced by praying at his grave. One famous story was of Rabbi Moshe Hillel Slezinger who didn’t have children for many years. One of his doctors was so mean as to exclaim that when he grows hair on the palm of his hand he will have children. Tearfully Rabbi Hillel went to the Ohr HaChaim’s grave and promised to learn from his sefer every week. Within a year he had a daughter. He raised a generation of righteous children and one of his sons in law was Rabbi Moshe Halberstam a Rov and halachic authority in the Edah HaCharedit Bet Din.

 

In WWII when the threat of Germany entering the Holy Land was palpable, the Jerusalem Rabbies told the masses to go to the grave of the Holy Ohr HaChaim to pray and beseech G-d for salvation. This group was headed by the Admorim (Hassidic rabbis) of Hustien and Zehvil. After they finished saying the Psalms at the grave they were both smiling. People asked why they were smiling and they answered that “the danger has passed; we are no longer in danger of the Nazis invading Israel.” People asked; “how do you know?” One Rabbi said “I saw the 4-letter name of G-d properly written shining and hovering over the grave of the Holy Ohr HaChaim so I understood the danger has passed.” Indeed 2 days later, the Germans led by Rommel were routed at El Alamein by General Montgomery and they also suffered heavy losses on the Syrian front. The Russians opened a third front against Germany and they retreated from the region to regroup against the new threat. Miraculously the Jews in Israel were saved.

Learning the Ohr HaChaim is a spiritual remedy for recovering from sickness, to strengthen your faith in G-d, wealth, a long life, fear of G-d and purity of the soul.

The Baba Sali, Rabbi Yisrael AbuChatzeira would sit in the entrance of his home and complete the commentary of the Ohr HaChaim for that week’s Torah portion every Friday.

The Ohr HaChaim passed away at the beginning of a Saturday night the 15th of Tammuz (Motzai Shabbat). When he passed away the Baal Shem Tov in Mezhibuzh was washing his hands for the third meal as it was still day time in Mezhibuzh, Ukraine. He cryptically stated; “The Western candle was extinguished” (alluding to the western candle of the menorah). His students asked him what he meant after Shabbat and the Baal Shem Tov explained that Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar, the holy Ohr HaChaim passed away. They asked him how he knew and he answered that there’s a certain mystical intention when making a blessing for washing the hands that is only revealed from the heavens to one person in the generation. When I washed my hands for the third meal this intention was revealed to me so I knew that the holy Ohr HaChaim passed away.

 

Reb Chaim ben Rav Moshe Ibn Atar, the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh (1743).HOLY HOLY TZADDIK and Master of ALL The Holy Torah.The Holy Baal Shem Tov Said of Him that He was the Mashiach ben Yosef of his generation and that if the Baal Shem Tov would have made it to Eretz Yisrael to be with Him the Geula would have come. Zecher Tzadik V'Kadosh Livracha Zechusoi Yagen Aleinu. Amen!!!!

 

He is considered one of the Great Tzaddikim of all time. Many Considered him the potential Moshiach Ben Yosef of his Generation.

 

The Ohr HaChaim - Rav Chaim Ben Attar, Untouchable In Life And Untouchable In Death

On Motza'ei Shabbos 15 Tammuz 5503/1743 at the same time Rav Chaim ben Attar, better known by the name of his peirush on Chumash called Ohr HaChaim, was niftar in Yerushalayim, the Ba'al Shem Tov was washing for Seudah Shlishis and commented to  his talmidim, "The Ner Maaravi has been extinguished."  In Teveria at that same time Rav Chaim Abulafia fainted.  When he woke up, he said that he accompanied the Ohr HaChaim to the gates of Gan Eden.

 

When Har HaZeisim fell into the hands of the Jordanians after 1948, they started to build a road through the Bais HaKvaros.  When the tractor came to the kever of the Ohr Hachaim it broke down and nothing could start it again.  The next day they brought in a new tractor to clear the path.  As soon the tractor touched the kever it overturned and tumbled into the valley killing the driver.  After that the plans were halted and a road was built higher on the mountain.  The beginning of earlier road is still visible today.

 

The Ohr HaChaim was born in Sali, Morocco in 5456/1696 into a wealthy family.  As he grew so did his Torah and yiras shamayim and he eventually opened up his own yeshiva. His life was not ideal as he was targeted by the government and thrown into jail on more than one occasion became accused falsely of things that he had no part in.  One time he was even thrown into the lions den and came out unharmed.

 

His earliest works, chidushim on Shas called Chefetz Hashem, were published in Amsterdam in 1732.  He fled Morocco forever in 1738 after hunger ravaged the population and the survivors all fled.  It was at this time that Rav Chaim decided to emigrate to Eretz Yisroel and open a Yeshiva in Yerushalayim.  The journey lasted a long time and took him through Italy where he published his famous work the Ohr HaChaim in 1741.  Another famous work that he wrote is the Pri To'ar on Yoreh Dei'a.

 

In Elul 5501/1741 he reached the shores of Eretz Yisroel but could not travel to Yerushalayim because of a plague rampant the city.  Only a full year later did the Ohr HaChaim realize his dream and open a yeshiva in the Ir HaKodesh.  His happiness knew no bounds. In his yeshiva learned two future gedolim the Chida and the Maharit Algazi.  Sadly this dream only lasted one year as the Ohr HaChaim  was niftar on 15 Tammuz 5503/1743, at the young age of 47.  Yehi Zichro Boruch! (See also Kedoshim Asher BaAretz)

 

May the Merit of the HOLY OHR HACHAIM HAKADOSH Protect us all of Klal Yisrael. Amen.!!!

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