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December 11, 2019 4:06 pm

Shofar Used by Legendary Kabbalist Sage Baba Sali Goes on Sale for $30,000

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Poster representing the Baba Sali. Photo: Joseph Nahan Hirsch via Wikimedia Commons.

A shofar used by the legendary Israeli rabbi and Kabbalist Baba Sali is being sold for $30,000.

The Israeli news site Walla reported that the sale was being handled by the auction house Tiferet and the artifact came with a personal letter written by the rabbi’s nephew, Rabbi Yehiel Abuhatzeira, testifying to its authenticity.

“This sacred shofar was received from the hands of my holy and pure teacher and uncle Sidna Baba Sali — may his memory be a shield for us, amen — and it was used by him for years,” the letter reads.

The auction house said that the shofar is almost certainly suitable for use under Jewish law, though its quality as an instrument has not been thoroughly checked.

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Born in 1889 in Morocco, the Baba Sali was the scion of a rabbinic dynasty of noted Kabbalists and became legendary for his scholarship and charisma, as well as a reputation as a miracle-worker.

He became head of a yeshiva at the age of only 18 and settled permanently in Israel in 1970, living in the southern city of Netivot. His home became a place of pilgrimage for Israelis, including many prominent secular politicians, who sought his blessing.

He died in 1984, and has remained revered among Jews both religious and secular, with his picture hung in many places of business and private homes. Thousands make annual pilgrimages to his grave.

Since the Baba Sali’s death, personal and religious items used by the sage have made their way on to the private market. Among other objects being sold is his personal book of Psalms, priced at $20,000; his prayer book, priced $14,000; and a ten-shekel note he gave to one of his intimates, selling for $1,800.

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