Thursday, 8 January 2015

Rabbi Moshe Calphon HaKohein - Shoel VeNishal

Rabbi Moshe Calphon HaKohein - known for the responsa he wrote entitled "Shoel VeNishal" an 8 volume collection of Halachic responsa of more than 3000 answers, was born on 12 Shevat 5634/1874 and departed this world on the 18 Tevet 5710/1950. He was the rabbi of the Island of Gerba and one of the giants in Torah of Tunisia in the previous generation. To date, some 44 books of his writings have been published, with many other works still in manuscript form.

Already from a young age his talents were recognised. He studied the laws of Shechita and Bedika (Shu"b) the laws for ritual slaughter and checking of the animal for signs indicating the animal may not be kosher - in the city of Zervis in Gerba, and received his ordination for Shechita from the rabbis in Gerba. At the tender age of 25, he was already asked to officiate on the Beit Din in Gebra - but he refused all offers - for reasons amongst others that he wanted to earn his Parnassah from the work of his own hands i.e. and not to receive his income from his Torah activities.

He was in the process of making Aliyah to come to live in the land of Israel when, during his activities to arrange for his papers, he died in Tunisia where he is buried. Later, in 2005 his bones were taken to be buried in the land of Israel - being buried on Har Hamenunchot next to Rabbi Masas, Rabbi of Jerusalem. He was eulogised by Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who emphasized his particular strict observance and approach and direction in Halachic thinking in accordance with the laws as laid out by Rabbi Yosef Karo in his Shuchan Aruch.

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