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Rabbi Baruch Ben Haim, ZL

Rabbi Baruch Ben Haim was born in in Jerusalem in 1921. At a young age he entered the famous Yeshivat Porat Yosef and studied there for many years under the great Rabbi Ezra Attieh, ZL. He was part of the "wonder class" which included Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, ZL, Rabbi Ben Zion Abba Shaul, ZL, Rabbi Sion Levy, ZL, and many others that went on to become the greatest leaders in the Sepharadi world in the 20th century.

In 1950, Hacham Baruch accepted a position from Isaac Shalom, AH, to serve as a rabbi in the growing Syrian-Sephardic community. Immediately, the rabbi began teaching in the newly formed Magen David Yeshivah, the first all-day private yeshivah in our community. He also worked very closely with Chief Rabbi Jacob Kassin, Z"L, in managing and administrating community affairs. He married Charlotte, the daughter of Rabbi Kassin and began building a family in the community.

Hacham Baruch spent thirty years teaching in Magen David Yeshivah. Most members of that generation are proud to say that their foundation of Torah knowledge and religious life is a credit to having Hacham Baruch as a teacher in their youth. At the same time while he was teaching, the rabbi assisted Rabbi Kassin in Shaare Zion and officiated in thousands of brit milahs, bar mitzvahs, funerals, etc.

In the mid 1990's, while serving as the Rabbi of Shaare Zion, Hacham Baruch established the Shaare Zion Torah Center. Its goal was to inspire and educate laymen and average businessmen and professionals. Today, to his credit, Shaare Zion Torah Center has hundreds of people learning Torah in the morning and the evening, 7 days a week 365 days a year. The reason for its success is because it caters to all community members, regardless of educational background or religious observance.

Hacham Baruch passed away in Brooklyn in June of 2005 after many months of severe illness and deteriorating health. His funeral was held in Magen David of Bensonhurst and was attended by over 2000 people. Many yeshivahs arranged buses to bring students there. Immediately, the rabbis body was flown to Israel where another funeral was held in Porat Yosef and attended by over 1000 people. He was then buried on Har Hamenuhot in Jerusalem. The seven day arayat was held  in Magen David Yeshivah, the 30 day arayat was held in Ohel Yaacov in Deal, NJ (Lawrence Ave Shul). Additional memorial services were held throughout the next few months in Shaare Zion, Deal Shul and Ohel Simha in Elberon, NJ. The amount of memorials to him is a tribute to the fine legacy and enormous impact he left on the community. The spiritual growth over the past 60 years is largely due to his credit. He will always be remembered for his warmth, tolerance, and love for our community.


Written by Joe Mansour 

Copyrighted. All Rights Reserved. Congregation Shaare Zion.

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Tue, June 25 2024 19 Sivan 5784