One of the great Rabbis, Rabbi Chaim Yosef Azulai, known as the Chidah (1704-1806), shared with us a fascinating insight about his great grandfather, Rabbi Avraham Azulai (1570–1643). It was the year 1599, and he boarded a ship with his family from Fes, Morocco, headed to Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel. A violent storm hit the ship and it sank, destroying the ship and all of its contents. Miraculously, the Rabbi and his family survived.
As a form of Todah – thanks – Rabbi Avraham decided that from then on he would sign his name in the shape of a ship! “Indeed”, writes the Chidah, “I saw my great-grandfather’s ‘ship signature’”!
Rabbi Avraham authored several books and we are also lucky enough to have his signature.
Look carefully at his amazing signature:
Can you see the ship sailing? It’s probably easier to notice the picture of the ship than his signature!
BTW: Can you imagine if this Rabbi would be signing his name nowadays, on one of those electronic, digital checkouts in the supermarket? The people waiting in line might get quite fidgety! “What’s taking sooooo long?” “Yeah! I have a pressing appointment with my mattress!”