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Former Israel Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Hospitalized

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, former Chief Sephardic Rabbi, was hospitalized on Monday after losing consciousness for several minutes in his home.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 8/24/2009, 3:38 PM

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, who served as Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi from 1983-1993, was hospitalized on Monday after losing consciousness for several minutes in his home.

The 80-year-old rabbi was treated first in his home by emergency paramedics, and was then taken to Shaarei Zedek Medical Center. His family, including his son Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat (Safed), asks that the public pray for his health (Rav Mordechai Tzemach ben [son of] Mazal).

Rabbi Eliyahu suffered a heart attack in April of last year, and for several months afterwards he was in and out of the hospital. His condition was listed as critical for several weeks, and many prayers by groups and individuals were offered on his behalf. Last October, he had dangerous open-heart surgery, and he said afterwards that he survived only by virtue of the Torah study and prayers of his students and followers.

This past Saturday night, he took part in the traditional annual post-midnight early-Elul selichot (penitential prayers) service in his synagogue in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem.