The tzaddik, Admor Rabbi Yechiel Abuchatzeira A Son and Nephew of Miracle Workers
The name Abuchatzeira is mentioned with great awe by all Jews around the world, especially among the Jews of North African descent. There has seldom been another family of such giants, scions of Torah and yiras shamayim.
The family are descendants of the great Tzaddik Rabbi Shmuel Elbaz (a pupil of Rabbi Chaim Vital, the student of the great kabbalist, the holy Ari) who was given his surname Abuchatzeira (father of the mat) because of a famous story told about him.
Rabbi Shmuel was a great Torah scholar and great man who was chosen by his friends to collect charity funds for the yeshiva by travelling overseas in search of wealthy donors. On approaching the captain of the ship and asking for the opportunity to board the ship (without the necessary funds,) he was denied. He offered to take the basest of places on the ship and work for his upkeep while aboard. The captain however, denied him yet again. With no other choice, he removed a mat from his bag, threw it upon the waters and "rode" the mat! When the captain saw that he was a holy man, he offered him a free ride. An offer that was no longer accepted!
From that day onwards, Rabbi Shmuel was known as Rabbi Shmuel Abuchatzeira or "Father of the Mat" in Arabic. Indeed, all his descendants after him followed in his path – holy men blessed with Divine Inspiration, great men filled with kindness. Just a few generations later, his descendant Rabbi Massud – the great Rabbi of Tafilalet would have an amazing story to tell...
A couple came to the Rabbi seeking a divorce. The Rabbi granted the divorce, but the woman wanted to stay a little longer in order to talk to the Rabbanit. Night fell, and fearing for her life – the Rabbanit suggested she stay with them for the entire night. That evening, Rabbi Massud had a dream… He was told that the woman staying over was destined to give birth to a very great soul. However, it was to emanate from a holy union – one between the Rabbi and her. He was instructed to marry her three months later. Rabbi Massud had no idea how he would tell his wife about this mysterious dream!
It turned out however that the Rabbanit had the exact same dream – and was told of the importance of her husband marrying this woman. The Rabbanit, (a holy woman herself), accepted this decree and convinced the woman to marry her husband.
Upon returning from shul that morning, before Rabbi Massud had time to tell over his own dream, the Rabbanit approached her husband informing him that the woman had already accepted! A short time later, a son was born to the couple – Rabbi Yaakov! He would become the great man – the Abir Yaakov, an outstanding Tzaddik, whose grandson is known the world over; the Baba Sali – Rabbi Yisrael Abuchatzeira!
After the murder of Rabbi David Abuchatzeira, his brothers, the Baba Sali, and his holy brother the Baba Chaki made Aliya to Eretz Yisrael.
Rabbi Yechiel Abuchatzeira is the son of Rabbi Yitzchak Abuchatzeira, the Baba Chaki, who became the Chief Rabbi of Ramla. Upon Baba Chaki's passing, his son Hagaon Harav Yechiel Abuchatzeira was elected Chief Rabbi in his place.
Following his family's tradition of extreme holiness and greatness in Torah, Rabbi Yechiel Abuchatzeira devotes many hours to tefilla and Torah learning and and thousands of people appeal to him for his blessings.