Short Biography Of Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi – The Inspiring Legacy Humility, Kindness, and Divine Atonement

Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi, a luminary figure in the world of Kabbalah, left an indelible mark on Jewish history with his profound humility and spiritual wisdom.

Early Beginnings and Spiritual Quest

Born in the city of Shar’ab, Yemen, Rabbi Sharabi’s life was a testament to unwavering dedication to Torah, kindness, and an extraordinary connection to Hashem.

His early years were marked by both hardship and a burning desire to learn and teach Torah. At the age of nine, his path intertwined with the renowned Kabbalist Rabbi Chaim Sinwane. This fortuitous encounter occurred while Rabbi Mordechai was an orphan, traveling through villages to share Torah wisdom.

His innate passion for learning, reading a book while steering a horse with one hand, captured Rabbi Chaim’s attention, and they began their journey of learning together.

Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi in his later years

Legacy of the Rashash (Rabbi Shalom Sharabi) and Yeshivat HaMekubalim Nahar Shalom

Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi’s lineage is traced back to the legendary Rabbi Shalom Sharabi known as the Rashash. Building on this esteemed legacy, Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi founded the Yeshivat HaMekubalim Nahar Shalom in the neighborhood of Nachlaot. Here, students delved deep into the Kavanot (intentions) and Kabbalah of the Rashash, and many righteous individuals emerged from this spiritual crucible.

Unlike those who sought personal gain, Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi’s approach to Kabbalah was rooted in selflessness. He never demanded payment for his prayers but rather accepted donations. This practice, in itself, is a litmus test for genuine Kabbalists as I explain in my other article on how to spot a real Kabbalist.

True Kabbalists, like Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi, trust in Hashem to provide, unburdened by material concerns.

A Remarkable Tale of Transformation from Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi

One striking story reveals Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi’s boundless compassion.

A young irreligious man openly provoked his during Shabbat, recklessly driving his motorcycle near him and creating a disturbance. Instead of reacting with anger, Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi responded with understanding, remarking, “It’s not his fault, but his motorcycle’s.

The unexpected happened—the motorcycle refused to start after they left. This incident marked the beginning of a profound transformation for the young man. He couldn’t understand how his motorcycle wouldn’t start and questioned Rabbi Mordechai.

“Now, your motorcycle will keep Shabbat”, was the answer.

Refusing this answer, the young man tried to persuade Rabbi Mordechai to “undo” the decree. “Why don’t you join me for Shabbat meals?”. The young man accepted and was astonished by the sage’s wisdom and compassion, then stayed for Havdalah and asked many questions. Eventually, he did Teshuvah.

A Life of Love and Acceptance

In times of divine judgment and harsh decrees, when the world is laden with Dinim (judgments), a Tzaddik often becomes the vessel for atonement as our sages teach in the Talmud. Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi’s passing, as the story tells us, served as atonement for the Jewish people.

The Baba Sali, a venerable sage, sensed an impending calamity and engaged in intense prayer and fasting to avert it. Ultimately, Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi gave his life, serving as a conduit for atonement, and the decree was rescinded.

Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi’s life was marked by humility and kindness. Although he was married for over half a century and had no children, he embraced the challenges of life with unwavering love. Many couples conceived thanks to his blessings. Later, after his wife’s passing, he remarried, and their son was a witness to his father’s teachings and love for the Torah.

Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi’s legacy lives on through the lives he touched and the students he inspired. His impact endures, not only in the lessons of Kabbalah at Nahar Shalom, but also in his embodiment of humility and compassion. Rabbi Benayahu Shmueli now carries the torch as Rosh Yeshiva of Nahar Shalom, ensuring that Rabbi Sharabi’s teachings continue to illuminate the spiritual path of the students.

Nahar Shalom

Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi’s Yeshivat HaMekubalim Nahar Shalom, situated in the heart of Jerusalem’s Nachlaot neighborhood, served as a spiritual haven for seekers of Hashem. It attracted individuals from all walks of life, creating a diverse and dynamic environment for the study of Kabbalah.

It is there that people can buy the famed Rechovot HaNahar siddurim with the Kavanot of the Rashash for all times of the year. The Yeshiva has made a remarkable effort in editing these works and making them accessible to the public. This I can personally attest as I have a few of their Siddurim and they look amazing.

Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi's grave

Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi is buried in Har Hamenuchot, his kever is a place of pilgrimage for many especially on his Hilula.

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Chaim Apsan

Chaim is a teacher and Kabbalah enthusiast. He loves helping Jews connect with true Torah teaching and enhancing their spiritual growth. With a focus on meditation, he guides individuals on transformative journeys of prayer, contemplation, and connection with Hashem. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and kids, and is committed to sharing the wisdom and power of Kabbalah in a genuine way.

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