November 11: Yahrzeit of Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt'l

He had so many amazing and unique character traits. He was a true Torah genius, sharp and proficient in any and every area of the Torah. He was devoted to Torah study with every fiber of his being and the Torah, in turn, sanctified him, similar to the sages in generations gone by. Anyone who knew him knew how hard it was to distract him from Torah study, even for a moment.

Nevertheless, he made it his priority all his life to travel all over the world to bring merit to the public. Even in his youth, he would travel every Wednesday to cities all over Israel, such as Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Nahariya, ] He and the individual accompanying him would enter random synagogues and the accompanying individual would announce, β€œThere is a Torah scholar here and he would like to say some words of Torah between Mincha and Arvit? Would you be interested in hearing?” The congregations would immediately reply in the affirmative and he would then stand before them and speak words of wisdom and Mussar, offer them reassuring words, and encourage them to preserve their observance of Torah and Mitzvot by sending their children to religious, Torah institutions.

He would take time out of his Torah study all his life for this purpose amid boundless love for his brethren, the Jewish nation. Countless Jews had changed for the better in the Torah observance because of his influence and personality, for he was like a magnet that drew people closer to their Father in Heaven.

Sometimes, it is difficult for one to truly appreciate the value of our holy Torah and the great spiritual levels one can attain through Judaism. It is specifically during this period of time that we must remind ourselves of the behavior of the great Torah luminaries who have already passed on. His great sacrifices already in his youth to be able to study Torah amid terrible poverty and many a sleepless night. Only in this way will we be able to educate our children so that they too will remember these glorious personalities who spread Torah to the entire Jewish nation. Indeed, the Torah promises, β€œFor it shall not be forgotten from their offspring,” meaning that in spite of all of the powerful waves of materialism washing over the world, the Torah shall always continue to illuminate the hearts of the Jewish people.

Adapted from Halacha Yomit