Today is the 20 of Teves, the Yarhzeit of the Abir Yaakov, R. Yaakov Abuchatzeira zt’kl (the grandfather of the Baba Sali).
I am BT, and was frum for over 13 years before I discovered his teachings, and those of his grandson, R. David Abuchatzeira (brother of the Baba Sali).
I had learned European Torah extensively and in depth – Mussar Greats, Chassidic Masters, etc. Yet I have never experienced Torah that resonated and connected with me like the Torah of the Abir Yaakov and R. David. The Torah of the Abir Yaakov has literally changed my spiritual life for the so much better.
If you can read Hebrew seforim, from the depths of my heart, for what its worth, I strongly and highly reccommend all dedicated Torah learners who have the skills to learn the seforim of the Abuchatzeiras.
Notably, the Abuchatzeras are unique Tzaddikim in that nobody ever disputed or argued on their greatness. The entire Torah world – Litvish, Chassidish, and Sefardi, respectfully and collectively agreed (and agrees) that the Abuchatzera family represents a uniquely special, highest order of holy Tzaddikim.
Curiously, so few Torah Jews have learned the Abuchatzera Torah. Perhaps this is because people know of the Baba Sali, who never published, but are unfamiliar with his much greater brother R. David hy’d, and much much greater grandfather, the Abir Yaakov, whose works are published.
I recommend the purchase of the Abir Yaakov Mikrot Gedolot. It is a beautiful edition, with Rashi, Sifsei HaChomim, Baa’ ha Turim, Ohr haChaim, Abir Yaakov (Pituchei Chotaim, Machsof Lavan, Reisha v Sefa, Lavan Zacha), and R. David (Petach Ohel). This sefer is a taste of the World to Come and will always suprise, elighten, and inspire.
If you want just a taste for starters, I recommend the Pituchei Hotam, the Abir Yaakov’s seminal work on Chumash.
The memory of the Abir Yaakov should be a merit for all the Jewish People.