Monday, August 1, 2011

A follower of Baba Elazar zt"l, “Nobody had so much in body & spirit & such discipline in serving God"

The sudden and traumatic demise of Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira, who was stabbed to death overnight Thursday in his Beersheba yeshiva, has left thousands of his followers mourning and perplexed.

What made Abuhatzeira, known as the Baba Elazar, so special to the scores of people from all walks of life who sought his blessing and advice?

“He had intuition, or the holy spirit; he had something going on. I attributed it to his family lineage, and his holy lifestyle,” said Chaim Cohen, an educator from Jerusalem.

Abuhatzeira was a scion to a famous Moroccan rabbinic dynasty. His grandfather was Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, the Baba Sali, believed by his followers to work miracles.

As for the lifestyle, Cohen said that Abuhatzeira trained himself to suffice with only two hours of sleep a night, with short naps during the day. That way, he could spend the whole day studying Torah and helping people. He also covered himself, and never looked at women. He would fast the entire month of Elul, and was a great Torah scholar.

“Nobody who had so much in body and spirit had such discipline in serving God, that’s why he had the gifts he had,” said Cohen, “which he used to help people.”

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