1. Baba Sali was born on Rosh Hashanah at the end of the 19th century. Specifically, in 1889.
2. The father wanted to name him Yaakov in honor of his father, the great righteous man, but out of embarrassment before his glory, he could not pronounce it and gave the name Israel — the second name of Yaakov, according to the Torah.
3. As a child, Rabbi Israel was kidnapped by an Arab gang for ransom. His father, R. Massoud regularly paid for the services of Moroccan racketeering representatives, who charged for protection, a “roof” over the heads of Jews. However, the child was kidnapped. The head of the gang came to ask for forgiveness, saying that there was a mistake and they would fix it and that there was nothing to pay. R. Massoud replied that he preferred to give a ransom to those who demanded it, but not get involved in a conflict between the two gangs. He paid the ransom and received the child alive and unharmed.
4. Baba Sali walked on the waters of the Dead Sea (when it was necessary to save a friend who was carried away by the current) with the friend in his arms. His grandfather also crossed the water surface, for which he received the nickname — “The owner of the mat” (“Baal a-Mahatselet”), for he crossed the sea while sitting on the mat (“Mahatselet”, hence the Arabic phrase with the same meaning — Abuhatsira). Abuhatsira is the “owner of the mat”.
5. Baba Sali often used water instead of gasoline, according to drivers. Those who accompanied him on trips also report that he created springs, sources of drinking water, along the way to the goal. Immediately after the end of use, the resource was canceled each time, returned to oblivion.
6. Once, Baba Sali was in a car across a river and told the driver to keep driving despite the sinking. “The water has reached the windows!” the driver exclaimed in horror. “Open my window!” said Baba Sali. When the window opened, he put out his miracle stick and beat the water with it. The river split like the Yam Suf and let them pass.
7. By wrapping a bottle of arak in a towel, Baba Sali (or whoever he ordered to do so) could pour as much of this drink out of it as he liked. At his direction — without looking at the pan with schnitzels — as many schnitzels were taken from the wonderful pan as needed, ignoring all natural restrictions. On the anniversary of the death of Baba Sali, one person always arranged a feast at home for 10 Torah scholars. There came a year when he couldn’t afford it. He dreamed of Baba Sali and said: “In your shirt, lying on a chair, in your pocket there is as much money as you need for the whole anniversary, celebrate in a big way! But don’t look in and check what’s in that pocket.” The result is logical: until the wife looked in and broke the paradigm, the pocket gave them money no worse than a banker. A sumptuous meal was made and envelopes with cash gifts were given out to 10 Torah sages. For such was the custom made by that man to do so every year in honor of Baba Sali.
8. Baba Sali really wanted to come to the Rebbe. But the Rebbe King Moshiach suggested him, (who is 13 years older), not to move to the USA, but to remain in Israel and be a beacon and support of the Torah and Jewry there.
9. The “enchanted” and inaccessible synagogue of the ARI in Safed (it is also called “The Discovery of the Prophet Eliyahu”, was reopened and accessible by none other than ... young, 31 Baba-Sali, a tzaddik from Morocco.
10. On the day of his histalkus, Baba-Sali took with him 4 more Torah sages, who were part of his soul due to the sod hagilgulim and the attachment of souls. He arranged a meal for them the day before and taught them the secrets of the Torah for a long time and talked to them about it, just as the RASHBI before his last Lag B’Omer with his chosen ones, who were supposed to become his retinue and accompany him on the way to another world.
May his great deeds serve us and the fact that on this special day we will light a candle and make “lechaim” on a glass of arak and bless each other for salvation. To the merit of Baba Sali, may the most important promise come true — the revelation of Moshiach in our world!