Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu
Photo: Haim Horenstein
Thousands attend funeral
Photo: Gil Yohanan
The stream of mourners is unending at the house of Israel's former chief Sephardi Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who has died at the age of 81. His family, sitting shiva, has set up a tent to accommodate the visitors during the busiest hours when the house is full to overflowing.
Both ultra-Orthodox and national-religious Jews arrive to show their respects. Two of Eliyahu's children are associated with the haredi community including his son Rabbi Yosef Eliyahu.
His family is already thinking about ways to honor his name, and each visitor is asked to write about his leadership on paper provided specially for this purpose, and to leave a telephone number so that the family can contact him or her.
One of the stories appearing on these pages is the take of a woman in labor who was struggling to give birth. After the bag containing the Rabbi's talit was passed over her belly, she gave birth within five minutes.
Another step taken in his memory concerns the Six Orders of the Mishnah, and each visitor is asked to study in the Rabbi's name.
One family member said the family wishes to receive all the stories and publish the best of them in a book, to be published in his memory.
"There are so many stories about Rabbi Eliyahu which don't reach the public because of his modesty," one of the Rabbi's associates said. "Now is the time to tell the public so that they understand what a great rabbi he was."