Daily Israel Report

'Secret Writings' - Entry to Rabbi's Library Blocked

Library contains Rabbi's manuscript with commentary on 'hidden' Torah, says journalist close to family.
By Adam Ross
First Publish: 10/9/2013, 1:03 PM

Religious books (illustrative)
Religious books (illustrative)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A journalist says the vast library of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l  - who died on Monday- has been locked shut, due to a collection of valuable writings that are inside.

Moshe Zamir, closely associated to the family of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Ztz'l, has claimed that the Torah sage left behind him writings about the 'hidden' Torah which explains why the entry to the library has been blocked.

Moshe Zamir, a journalist with Kol Yisrael has told Arutz Sheva that a book written by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Ztz'l would soon be published with his own commentary on one of the central books of 'hidden' Torah.

Whereas mainstream books and commentaries of the Torah and Talmud are known as containing 'revealed' wisdom, the term 'hidden' Torah describes books and texts that are Kabbalistic in nature, and according to tradition, only meant to be studied by experienced scholars. The books relate to deeper explanations of the world.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was known to be the greatest halachic (Jewish law) mind in the generation, but not a great amount had been known about his mastery in the area of 'hidden' Torah as it is known.

"Only now it is possible to publicize the fact that  Maran, [Teacher, Rabbi Yosef] was busy with all areas of the Torah, those that were hidden and those that were revealed," said Zamir, explaining that Rabbi Yosef had written his own commentary on the book, Eitz Chaim, (the Tree of Life) a commentary of Rabbi Ovadia's that he said had never seen come to light. "He kept it in his safe of Torah literature (geniza)," said Zamir, "and this is the reason that entry to his library is blocked."

The book Eitz Chaim, by Rabbi Chaim Vital (1543-1620) is a commentary the works of Rabbi Isaac Luria, (1534 – 1572) known as the Ari Z'l,  the master of Kabbalah. The book is said to focus on explaining chapters of Judaism's original kabbalistic opus, the Zohar, which Jewish tradition says is authored by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai - almost two thousands year ago.

Zamir also said that Rabbi Yosef's vast library contained extremely rare books, which he had kept in his possession since his days as the Head of the Halachic Court, (Av Bet Din) in Egypt where he served between 1948 and 1950.

Support for Moshe Lion

Zamir also turned to Rabbi Yosef's support for Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Lion, and confirmed that the Shas Spiritual Head had endorsed Lion's candidacy before his death - a decision which was confirmed last night (Tuesday) - by the council of Torah sages. But in contrast to reports, Rabbi Yosef's name does not appear on the letter, instead  replaced by the logo of the Council of Torah Sages.

Zamir said Rabbi Yosef had given "strong support" to Lion, close to his death which he said was "definitely not surprising," saying that the rabbi  had expressed these things before his death and said it was important to support those who defended the Torah in all public offices. "I expect that today we'll see proclamations across the whole city" he said.