rabbi eliyahu 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Former chief Sephardi Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu passed away on Monday afternoon at
Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center after a prolonged hospitalization. He
was 81 years old.
Eliyahu was born and raised in Jerusalem, and served as
chief rabbi between 1983 and 1993. He was one of the spiritual leaders of
religious Zionism, and remained an influential voice among the national
religious community after stepping down.
Last Pessah, Eliyahu underwent
bypass surgery, following which he suffered a stroke. In August he was
to Shaare Zedek again, and remained hospitalized from then on.
took place on Monday night in the capital.
Eliyahu was laid to rest at the
Har Menuhot cemetery.
Thousands of predominantly Orthodox Jews from all
over the country packed Rehov Reines and the surrounding streets of
to hear the eulogies and pay their last respects to Eliyahu.Netanyahu grieves Rabbi Eliyahu's loss
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed deep grief over Eliyahu’s
“Rabbi Eliyahu was the paramount spiritual leader of religious
Zionism,” he said.
“[Rabbi Eliyahu] was a pious man loyal to our people,
who always combined words of Torah, sharp observations and wise advice.”
Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger delivered a tearful speech in which he
Eliyahu’s many virtues.
“This is a huge loss to the Torah world and the
rabbinate,” Metzger told The Jerusalem
shortly before the
“Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu was a pillar of Israel’s Chief
Rabbinate. He started off as the country’s youngest rabbinical judge,
his way up to the High Rabbinical Court through his greatness in Torah,
where he was appointed chief Sephardi rabbi,” Metzger continued.
him a personal debt; I received so much from him,” Metzger added. “He
unrivaled as far as his human relations, loved by all, and Jews of all
hassidim, Lithuanians, settlers, Ashkenazim and Sephardim – would
convene in his
house to hear Torah from him.
“This is a difficult day for all of Israel,
and so many rabbis who were privy to his advice and wisdom,” he said.
memory be blessed.” A Shas spokesman said that “Shas’s Council of Torah
the Shas movement, its rabbis and public from all over the country mourn
feel pain over the death of the great genius... who taught so many and
Eliyahu’s death will be wept over by every household, and may God
console us.” The Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the
Strip also lamented the death of Eliyahu, “who led the world of Torah,
Zionism and the settlement movement in Judea and Samaria,” its
“His guidance, courage and love for the people of Israel and the
Land of Israel led generations in their struggle over establishing and
fortifying the settlements,” it continued. “We’ve lost our guide, who
the camp and led us in the face of the challenges of the times.”
Citizens Committee called Eliyahu “the pillar of fire leading the
Judea and Samaria, encouraging them in their difficult times and acting
The Jewish Community of Hebron released a statement mourning the loss
of “a true leader of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and a
friend of Hebron’s Jewish community.
“The rabbi was always available to
help and show support in every way possible. His death is a tremendous
the Jewish people and will be especially felt by Hebron’s Jewish
the decades,” the community’s statement said.