The spiritual leader of the Jewish community of Paris, Chief Rabbi David Mashash, passed away Sunday after a lengthy illness.
Rabbi Mashash, who was age 70, was being cared for in a Paris hospital at the time of his death. He was the son of Rabbi Shalom Mashash, a former Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Jerusalem.
Rabbi Moshe Arbel, a close relative of the family, shared his thoughts about the rabbi with Arutz Sheva, noting that 21 years ago, Rabbi Mashash was the chief rabbi of Geneva. The rabbi subsequently accepted a position as the head of the Rabbinical Court of Paris, after which he became the chief rabbi of the French capital – a position he has held for 20 years.
“The rabbi founded Congregation Ahavat Shalom in Paris, and was very busy delivering many Torah lectures, and bringing back disenfranchised Jews to their cultural and religious roots,” Rabbi Arbel said. “He continued the path of his fathers, both as a rabbi and as a rabbinical judge. His door was always open to those who asked, and he was a philanthropic man, one whose countenance was filled with beauty, light and spirituality.”
The funeral for the Chief Rabbi is scheduled to begin from his synagogue, Ahavat Shalom, on Sunday afternoon, with the main eulogy expected to be delivered by Israel's Chief Sephardic Rabbi Moshe Shlomo Amar, who is currently in Paris.
The coffin containing the body of Rabbi Mashash will then be flown to Israel on Sunday evening, with interment scheduled for Monday morning on Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem. May his memory be for a blessing.