A young girl looks down over the city of Haifa..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Chief Rabbi of Haifa Shlomo Shalush, who also served as the head of the Haifa District Rabbinical Court, died on Wednesday morning, aged 76.
Shalush was hospitalized at the beginning of the week and treated at Carmel Government Hospital in Haifa due to heart failure.
A year-and-a-half ago the police recommended that Shalush be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust on the suspicion that he forced businesses that were under his supervision as municipal chief rabbi to employ close associates of his.
The state prosecution had announced that it intended to indict the rabbi, but this was yet to be served.
Several eulogies by prominent public figures were nevertheless made for Shalush.
Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben-Dahan said that Shalush had been a great Torah scholar.
“Rabbi Shalush was a great rabbinical judge, his heart was open to the troubles of couples who came to his court, and he was the head of a special court that sought to solve problems of agunot [a Jewish woman who is “chained” to her marriage] and other problematic halachic situations, and in the merit of his decisions many of these problems were indeed solved,” said Ben-Dahan.
“His absence will be felt greatly in the rabbinical world.”
Chief Rabbi David Lau also eulogized Shalush and said he was one of the longest standing municipal city rabbis and one of the most active in the Council of the Chief Rabbinate, of which Shalush was a member, on issues of Jewish law, kashrut, Shabbat and other important issues.
“This is harsh news for Haifa, the Council of the Chief Rabbinate and the rabbinic world,” said Lau.