Former Sephardic Rabbi Ovadiah Yossef will speak this evening, at Merkaz HaRav Kook, the flagship yeshiva of religious Zionism in Kiryat Moshe, Jerusalem. The yeshiva is having a special Torah program at 6:30 p.m.in memory of the late Rosh Yeshiva, Chief Rabbi Avraham Elkanah Kahana Shapira (1914-2007), with noted Torah personalities and yeshiva heads. The evening is open to the public, both men and women.
Rabbi Shapira was considered the leader of religious Zionist world. He headed the Rabbinicial court of Jerusalem and was a member and head of the Supreme Rabbinic Court. He served as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1983 to 1993 with the late Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu and the two were fast friends.
Rabbi Shapira was head of Merkaz HaRav yeshiva after the death of Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook in 1982. He came out strongly against the "disengagement" from Gush Katif, calling it a terrible mistake and turned courageously to IDF soldiers to refuse commands to evacuate Jews.
His son, Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, succeeded him as rosh yeshiva and is also a member of the Supreme Rabbinical Court of Israel.