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Yiḥya Tsalaḥ

Rabbi Yihya Tsalah (alternative spellings: Yichya Tzalach; Yehiya Saleh), known by the acronym of Maharitz (מוהר"ר יחיא צאלח‎, Moreinu HaRav Yichya Tzalach), (1713 – 1805), was one of the greatest exponents of Jewish law known to Yemen. He is the author of a liturgical commentary entitled Ets Ḥayyim (The Tree of Life), in which he follows closely the legal dicta of Maimonides. Rabbi Yiḥya Ṣāleḥ is widely remembered for his ardent work in preserving Yemenite Jewish customs and traditions, which he articulated so well in his many writings, but also for his adopting certain Spanish rites and liturgies that had already become popular in Yemen. In this regard, he was strongly influenced by the Rabbis of his previous generation, Rabbi Yehudah Sa'adi and Rabbi Yihya al-Bashiri. Initially, Rabbi Yiḥya Ṣāleḥ worked as a blacksmith until the age of thirty, after which he worked as a sofer, before becoming chief jurist of the rabbinical court in Sana'a.


Announcement of the Count of Years since the Destruction of the (First) Temple, from the Yemenite Baladi-Rite (Tikhlal Ets Ḥayyim of Yiḥya Tsalaḥ)

Contributed on: 01 Jul 2021 by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | Yiḥya Tsalaḥ |

Many communities have a custom of announcing on the night of 9 Av the years since the destruction of the Temple. The Yemenite rite is unique in that it announces both the years since the destruction of the second, but also the years since the destruction of the first, in this poetic form recited after the conclusion of the evening kinnot. Why? Because the Yemenite community traced its origins back to the destruction of the first temple, claiming not to have returned under Ezra. Here the original Hebrew text is included along with a new translation and a transcription in the Yemenite pronunciation style. . . .

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