Rabbi Eliyahu Mani

Kabbalist, an assosiate of the Ben Ish Chai, rabbi of Hebron.

Born: 1818 in Bagdad, Iraq
Died: Hebron, Israel, 1899

Kabbalist, rabbi of Hebron in the late 1800s.

Rabbi Eliyahu Mani was an associate of Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad (The Ben Ish Chai) (1833-1909).
With the blessings of the Ben Ish Chai, rabbi Eliyahu Mani decided to go and live in Israel. He settled in Hebron and served as the head rabbi of the Jewish community. He was already married upon arriving in Israel and his three children were born in Israel.

Rabbi Eliyahu Mani was so accepted and admired by the Arabs that they called him 'Sheikh.' When he died - the Jews buried him in the Jewish cemetery, but the Arabs wanted him to be buried near them, so they stole the body and buried it in the Muslim cemetery. The Jews had to snatch the body back and stand guard over the grave.

After his death, a manuscript of one of his books was found stating the following : "I have accepted upon myself not to question the writings of the Divrei Shalom, because of what happened to me." What led to this statement is the following incident:
Once Rabbi Eliyahu Mani sat and learned the text of the Divrei Shalom with his colleague Rabbi Nissim Ini. They discussed the interpretation of a difficult Kabbalistic issue that his grandfather, the Rashash (Rabbi Shalom Sharabi) addressed. After reading the Divrei Shalom's understanding of the issue, Rabbi Mani proclaimed, "This was not the Rashash's meaning!" Rabbi Mani, with his great knowledge, was able to show the true meaning of the Rashash's work. Immediately, after saying these words, Rabbi Mani became mute. He began to cry, and formed the words of the Vidui with his lips. Soon afterwards, he regained his power of speech. Rabbi Mani explained that while he was mute, he had a vision of the Rashash who said, "What right do you have to say that my grandson didn't understand me! You are the one who misunderstood the great words of my grandson." Only after Rabbi Mani further asked for forgiveness, did he become healed. 

May the merit of the tzaddik Rabbi Eliyahu Mani protect us all, Amen

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