Rabbi Azaria Basis, the Chief Rabbi of the city of Rosh Ha’ayin in central Israel, passed away on Monday evening at the age of 74.
Rabbi Basis, a member of the Chief Rabbinate Council, was born in Rada'a, Yemen, and made Aliyah to Israel with his parents when he was five years old, as part of Operation Magic Carpet, which took place between June 1949 and September 1950 and brought 49,000 Yemenite Jews to the state of Israel.
In the past Rabbi Basis had served as the Chief Rabbi of the town of Beit Dagan, located near Rishon Lezion in central Israel. In 1992 he was elected as Rabbi of Rosh Ha’ayin, and held that position held until his death.
The Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, expressed his condolences over the passing of Rabbi Basis.
"I received with great sorrow the painful news of the death of the Gaon Rabbi Azaria Basis, the Rabbi of Rosh Ha'ayin, one of the veteran rabbis of Israel and one of the prominent leaders of the community of Yemenite Jews,” said Rabbi Yosef.
“The public in Israel today lost one of the best rabbis who enlightened everyone and was knowledgeable in all aspects of the Torah and famous for his humility and righteousness. My condolences to his family and to all his students,” he added.