Monday, June 07, 2010

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Passes Away

He was a great Rabbi, may his memory be a blessing:
Just as Jews around the country were preparing to gather to pray for Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, word of his death arrived.

Earlier in the afternoon, it was reported that his medical condition had severely deteriorated, and that prayers were sought.

Rabbi Eliyahu was the spiritual leader of much of the religious-Zionist sector. Hospitalized for nearly a year in Shaarei Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, his condition was downgraded today to "critical,” and not for the first time. Family members were called to his bedside, and were by his side when he passed away.

No word on funeral arrangements has yet been announced.

The sage was in poor and very painful condition for several months. Two weeks ago, tens of thousands of people gathered in three different locations to pray for Rabbi Eliyahu’s health, following a similar deterioration.

His son, Tzfat’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, told Arutz-7’s “Preparing for Redemption” radio program at that time, “The situation is not good. Ever since last Elul [August], the rabbi has been in the emergency room, and is undergoing terrible suffering. The very fact of his long hospitalization leads to a slow deterioration; sores open, close, open... things are going backward instead of forward.”

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu was born in 1929 in the Old City of Jerusalem; his mother was a granddaughter of the famed Ben Ish Chai. He served as Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi - the Rishon LeTzion – from 1983 until 1993, together with the late Rabbi Avraham Shapira, and the two continued for years afterwards to lead the national-religious public in matters of Jewish Law and thought. He authored several works on both.

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