Rabbi, Deceased Person
1913 – 2003
Who was Chalom Messas?
Shalom Messas attended an Alliance Israélite Universelle school. He was a promising Torah prodigy at a very young age, and was a leading student of Morocco's Chief Rabbi Yehoshua Berdugo. The Messas family is an old one, with roots deep within Spain and Portugal. Shalom Messas was appointed Chief Rabbi of Casablanca at the young age of 36, he later served as Chief Rabbi of all Morocco. In 1978, then-Israeli Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef asked Rabbi Messas to come to the holy city and become its Chief Sephardic Rabbinical authority. When he departed for Israel, Rabbi Messas was escorted to the airport by Morocco's King Hassan himself, who requested that the Rabbi bless him one last time before his departure, and with that was his last official act in Moroccan.
He had worked on important matters of Halacha right up to his last days. He was said to be very exact in preserving Sephardic customs, and would work full days and nights to try to find a Halachic way to solve the issue at hand. As an author of many books, he wrote his first significant scholarly work, "Mizrach Shemesh" in 1930, and his last work, "V'Cham HaShemesh" was written in 2002. Rabbi Shalom Messas, died on Shabbat Hagadol, 2003, at the age of ninety. He was buried in Har Hamenuhot in Jerusalem. His many works include: Mizrah Shemesh, Tevouot Shemesh, Shemesh Umagen, Beit Shemesh and Veham Hashemesh.
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