Rabbi Elyashiv in golf cart
Rabbi Elyashiv in golf cart Baruch Yaari
The golf cart that was used for years by former leader of Lithuanian-haredi Jewry and arbiter of Jewish law, the late Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, to move around the Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem, and identified closely with his appearance, will be put up for public sale. After the death of Rabbi Elyashiv, the scooter was also used by the successor to the late rabbinic leader and arbiter Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of the Shas movement Rabbi Shalom Cohen. In two days the scooter will be put up for sale by Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem with an opening price of $5,000.

The cart was originally purchased by a close associate of Rabbi Elyashiv, later to be mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupoliansky, through his Yad Sarah organization, to help the haredi leader move from his home at 10 Hanan Street in Mea She'arim to his Yeshiva, Tiferet Bachurim. In 2013, the elderly Rabbi Elyashiv underwent an emergency surgery, and in order to make his recovery easier for him, a beit midrash (house of Torah study) was built in a caravan near his home, where he used to pray and teach Torah. His home also underwent special accessibility adjustments by Yad Sarah's accessibility and rehabilitation experts.

For many years until his death, it was a famous sight to see the special golf cart making its way in the early morning hours through the narrow alleys of Mea Shearim, with Rabbi Elyashiv, in his tallit and tefilin, on his way to morning prayers. During the day, he would travel in the cart between home and the beit midrash as needed, and also to give classes and to countless ritual circumcision ceremonies where he served as “Sandak,” the honoree tasked with holding the baby during the ceremony. His presence was surrounded always by dozens of people, disciples, admirers and those who sought his blessing and advice.

The vehicle is the property of Yad Sarah, Israel's largest volunteer organization, which has a national network for lending medical equipment, devices, accessories and technological solutions for patients with disabilities. Now that the vehicle was removed from regular circulation, it is being offered for sale. Proceeds from the sale will be allocated to finance the organization's activities.

Meron Eren, one of the owners of the Kedem auction house, notes that, “This is a historical item of exceptional sentimental value that has been given to us. The cart symbolizes the devotion of the great haredi leader to continue to learn and teach Torah study, to his last day, at any price."

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