Aug 15, 2011

Becoming A Baba

Rav Pinchas Abuchatzeira, the eldest son of the murdered Baba Elazar, is taking over his fathers former position.  Rav Pinchas is going to be accepting the crowds of people who seek advice and blessings.

I don't know what makes a person into a "baba". I don't know what turns a 36 year old avreich into someone who can give advice on the entire gamut of worldly and spiritual concerns, along with giving blessings. I imagine it is a combination of genetics, siyata d'shmaya, the support and blessings he has received from the gedolim he has been visiting and perhaps some of it is from what he has seen his late father do over the years.

According to Kikar, Rav Pinchas has begun accepting the crowds, but he has changed some of the rules of kabbalat kahal. One thing in particular that he changed was how the line to get in would work.

When Baba Elazar was giving the brachas and advice, it could take many hours of waiting for the average person to get in. While waiting with the crowds, and I went to him once and waited until the wee hours of the morning so i saw this firsthand, all sorts of other people came and got ushered in quickly to the rav's room. Some of them took just a few minutes and others took a long time. The people who were ushered in quickly ahead of those who had been waiting for hours were rich people and other important people. I don't blame anybody in particular for the favoritism showed, some say it was on orders, some say it was the gabbaim.

One of the new procedural rules under Rav Pinchas is that nobody has priority. People who come for a bracha will all be equal. They will sign in on a form when they come and they will be taken in according to the list. He told his gabbaim he does not even want to know who is in the waiting room so that he should not have to be distracted from the person who has come to talk with him.

This is a rule that is going to endear him to the regular people. While waiting all those hours, watching other people get rushed in, one can get frustrated and upset with the system. This first change is one that many people are going to like. Is it going to cause a drop in donations and financial support? It might not matter, considering his estate is estimated to be worth around 600 million NIS according to recent reports. Either way, to me, this is a wise first decision. I wish him well and much success in his new undertaking.


  1. 600 million NIS? Can you say crook? Charlatan? Or any of a number of similar adjectives. And no, I am not insulting a "great rav." Anyone who gets that rich on dispensing supposed "torah-based" advice to people in distress is not pious Jew. I can't believe anyone would give this character a cent/shekel of their money.


    If Rabbis are genuine and honest (can't believe things have gotten to this) they have nothing to be afraid of, only fear of heaven.

  3. One of the new procedural rules under Rav Pinchas is that nobody has priority.

    Yeah right.

  4. Who or what is Yaga?

    Maybe a cousin of Booey?

  5. One of the new procedural rules under Rav Pinchas is that nobody has priority.

    That is dangerous to the business. While it may endear him to the common man waiting on line, the business thrives on the aura emanating from the rich/famous/powerful supplicants who drop in. If they balk at having to wait and therefore stop coming, it will diminish his overall appeal.

  6. "If [the rich donors] balk at having to wait and therefore stop coming, it will diminish his overall appeal."

    It will not necessarily "diminish his overall appeal" but it will definitely diminish his overall bank balance.

    LTC, who started this thread of comments is right on the money - and no apologies for that appalling pun.

  7. You ask what makes an aveirach into (an overnight) baba? It's not genetics, etc. as you list. It's followers desperate for answers to their financial, health, and familial challenges; it's when they do everything right for the right reasons and nothing improves their plights. From the beginnings of mankind, Eve sought answers from the snake for a life better than that in Gan Eden. Since then, Jews and non-Jews have sought salvation from "inspired leaders." It's a common, human frailty and failing leading to sexual or financial abuse by the leaders and disillusionment and violent behavior by the truth-seekers. My father used to warn me, "Harold," he's say, "take a soap box to Bug House Square in downtown Chicago, and even you'll get 20 followers."

  8. Rabbi pinchus you are young don't try to take money from people for a blessing I mean like you father did. And return all money to the victims who got ripped off. You know very good how people are crying for their losses 26000.00 dlrs for haveing a child 52000.00 for a son to get healed and 100.000.00 bonus blessing you know how your father asked again after a year passed with fraud he asked again the same amount with a curse you pay or you die trying to get again the same amount this is not the way to go and it is fraud. Return all the money you have to the victims. Its not yours.

  9. BS"D: Perhaps this will create some sort of mystical, simultaneous change in Am Yisrael here in Israel and all lines will be dealt with decorum and order, first-come, first-serve?

    My husband, rav Yehudah Alfas is a mekubal (really!) and we joke that if he'd just wear a jalabia and call himself Baba, we'd have more donations for our Yeshivah, except Baba Yehudah just doesn't sound good, somehow.
    It isn't so much a question of his wealth (ok, fine, perhaps he's receiving his Olam Haba in Olam haZe) but if you figure 10% ma'aserot on all that wealth, his financial support of other Torah institutions, the poor, etc, ought to also be newsworthy...So, I nominate ourselves for his next big newsworthy philanthropic effort....
    Signed, Tzfat Mekubalim, no car, tiny apartment, supporting 10 learners, eager to hear from you, Rav Baba


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