There are biographies written about gedolim—and then there are books like Maran: The Life and Scholarship of Hacham Ovadia Yosef. Books where you don’t just get to read some nice stories about the gadol in question and get to learn about his background and family—but where you are actually given a clear window into the gadol’s whole mehalech hachaim, an understanding into how he paskened and wrote teshuvos—indeed, an authoritative account of the Torah giant’s life and scholarship.
Yes, you’ll learn about Hacham Ovadiah’s history and family, too, in this book, and there are certainly a plethora of amazing stories about Hacham Ovadia in these pages. But Maran is so much more than that.
Firstly, much of this book is based on Hacham Ovadia’s own words in his lectures and writings. Secondly, this work is a product of years of extensive research conducted by Yehuda Azoulay and his team, who combed through Hacham Ovadia Yosef’s fifty-three published works. The autobiographical information, anecdotes, and opinions of Hacham Ovadia, which they unearthed among his halachic responsa, have become the heart of this book. In this way, by reading Maran, you are getting the most close-up look possible at this beloved and influential Torah sage.
Hacham Ovadia was many things: an extraordinary posek, an engaging teacher, a sensitive and devoted bet din judge, a political powerbroker, and a rabbi tirelessly dedicated to the Jewish People. This book focuses on his life, his mission in restoring the primacy of halachah among Sephardic communities, his infinite ahavat Yisrael, and his vast scholarship, brilliant halachic rulings, and the halachic approach he developed and promulgated.
Read this book—and you’ll feel like you had the privilege of knowing Maran yourself.
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