Rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu, RIP
Just as Jews around the country were preparing to gather to pray for Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, word of his death arrived.It's a real shame that another very honorable member of the rabbinical leadership of Israel is now gone.
Earlier in the afternoon, it was reported that his medical condition had severely deteriorated, and that prayers were sought.
Rabbi Eliyahu, 81, 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.
Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe of the Land of Israel Task Force said, “One of the great leaders of the People of Israel has been lost. He fought bravely for the integrity of the Land of Israel, and the love of Israel beat in his heart. The loss of righteous people is as terrible as the burning of the House of our G-d; who can replace him? All of those loyal to the Torah of Israel and the Land of Israel must strengthen themselves and continue in his path. We express our condolences to his son and follower in his path, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.”
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.
Rabbi Eliyahu was close to many leading rabbis, including the Chazon Ish, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and Rabbi Yitzhak Nissim, and was the personal rabbi of imprisoned Jonathan Pollard. He headed the Keren Moreshet network of Torah core groups that settled in various cities throughout the country.