Rabbi Knohl
Rabbi KnohlPhoto: From Tzohar Rabbis' website

Rabbi Elyashiv Mordechai Knohl, the rabbi of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion and one of the leaders of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, passed away at the age of 70 after a long struggle with a serious illness.

The rabbi leaves behind a wife, 11 children and grandchildren. His funeral will take place on Friday at 12:00 PM in Kfar Etzion.

Rabbi Knohl was born in 1948 to parents who were among the founders of Kfar Etzion before the War of Independence, and after the Six-Day War he was among those who re-established Kfar Etzion, the first town in Gush Etzion.

Rabbi Knohl served in the Paratroopers Brigade in the IDF. He studied for five years at Yeshivat Merkaz Harav in Jerusalem and for eight years at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Gush Etzion. In the past he served as a teacher at the yeshiva of Kibbutz Ein Tzurim.

In 2002 he published a book on the laws of marriage titled 'The Marriage Contract.'

Rabbi Knohl is the brother of Professor Israel Knohl, a lecturer in the Bible Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel said that Rabbi Knohl was "a man of kindness, a great sage, and a teacher for life. "He was one of the founders of Kfar Etzion. May his memory be blessed."

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan eulogized Rabbi Knohl: "This was a man whose vision and deeds were all public, and he never asked for anything. How symbolic it is that he passed away on Independence Day - the day that public and state authorities were restored to our country."

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein expressed regret over the death of Rabbi Knohl. "I received with great sorrow[ the report of] the death of Rabbi Elyashiv Knohl. Rabbi Knohl was a man of kindness and contribution, one of the founders of Kfar Etzion after the Six-Day War. He was a man who was entirely giving and about loving his fellow man and the land."

MK Moti Yogev of the Jewish Home party, said: "It is very, very painful to hear the death of Rabbi Elyashiv Knohl, the Rabbi of Kfar Etzion, who passed away after a serious illness."

"Rabbi Elyashiv was one of the sons and daughters of Kfar Etzion, a man of all sizes who illuminated his face to all and a great Torah scholar who knew how to connect his generation with the Torah through his lessons and books," added Yogev.

Amitai Porat, secretary general of the religious kibbutz and a member of Kfar Etzion, said: "Rabbi Elyashiv, one of the first residents of Kfar Etzion to return to their home and one of the pillars of Kfar Etzion's renewal after the Six-Day War, was a man of Torah and kindness. May his memory be blessed, his merit will stand at Kfar Etzion and all of Israel. "