HaChaim V’HaShalom: Your Father, Adam Harishon
The 13th of Kislev is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Shalom Hadayah of Aram Tzova, Syria (1864-1944). The lineage of his father, Rav Moshe Chaim Hadayah, could be traced back to Rav Saadyah Gaon. Rav Shalom’s mother, Rebbetzin Sabatyah, was the grand-daughter of Rav Yitzchak Attiah, author of the Zera Yitzchak. Reb Shalom’s father passed away when he was only three.
He moved to Eretz Yisrael in 1888. In 1891, Rav Shalom had to return to Aram Tzova. While there, he was stricken with an eye ailment and nearly lost his eyesight. Despite that, he wrote a sefer, Shalom LaAm, which focuses on the issues of doing tzedakah and chessed, particularly on behalf of Torah students and scholars.
In 1896, Rav Shalom moved to Eretz Yisrael permanently, first settling in the Bucharian Quarter, then moving to the Ohel Moshe neighborhood. In 1904, Rav Shalom was appointed moreh tzedek in the beis din of Rav Vidal Anjel and Rav Baruch Elnekavah. In 1930, he was appointed raavad (rosh av beis din) of all the Sephardic communities in Yerushalayim.
In 1927, Yerushalayim’s chief kabbalist, and rosh yeshivah of Bais Keil, Rav Mas’ud HaKohen Elchaded, passed away and Rav Shalom was appointed his successor.
Besides Shalom LaAm, the other sefarim Rav Shalom wrote were: Dover Shalom, responsa on the Arba Turim; HaChaim v’HaShalom, a series of Torah extrapolations; and Shalom v’Tzedek on Kabbalah. His son, Rav Ovadyah, was a prominent rosh mesivta in the Porat Yosef yeshivah. When the Jordanians conquered the Old City, Yeshivas Bais Keil was destroyed and Rav Ovadyah reestablished it in his own home in the new city. After the Six-Day War, he reestablished the yeshivah in the Old City.
The beginning of all steps is for a person to recognize the “Lord of his father,” and to serve him with complete awareness. This is the foundation and root of service of God, Torah and achieving our mission.
This is what our master, King David, commanded his son Solomon: “And you, my son Solomon: Know the Lord of your father and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing soul, for God searches all hearts, and discerns very product of one’s thought. If you seek Him, He will let Himself be found by you.” (Chronicles I 28:9)
“Know the Lord,” means to use your intellect in order to know what is demanded in His service.
“The Lord of your father,” speaks of Adam Harishon. Why did God focus His power on your first father? He served God with a complete heart, without any external motivations. He was not ashamed of others, nor did he desire honor and praise from other people. He was alone with the One Who emanated life to him. He understood that he was an emanation of God, and that the connection between them could not be broke.
Everything Adam did was in truth and with complete desire and a whole heart.
Connect with that father, and his experience of God, and you will appreciate your opportunity to serve God with the same clarity. (Opening to HaChaim V’HaShalom)