May 2008 Archives

Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel - Mordehai Eliyahu shlita, went into cardiac arrest Tuesday May 20 - and underwent resuscitation. He remains in critical, but stable condition at Jerusalem's Shaarei Tzedek hospital in ICU.

Schools and yeshivas across Israel have called prayer assemblies to recite Psalms on his behalf. His family requests that people recite the following prayers in the merit of Hakham Moredehai Tzemach ben [son of] Mazal Tov: the entire book of Psalms, the book of Psalms divided amongst a group and the verses of Psalm number 19 spelling out the rabbi's name.

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"Prayers for Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordehai Eliyahu"

(This Original Essay is Copyrighted by Shelomo Alfassa - All Rights Reserved)

This paper is an official educational tool for the Zionist Timelines and the Israel at 60 programs of The Jewish Agency for Israel.

Over the many centuries, while the Jewish people were exiled from Eres Yisrael (the land of Israel), Jerusalem, Safed, Hevron and other holy cities, retained a sparse Jewish population, fed by a small but constant stream of pilgrims. A cursory examination of Jewish personalities demonstrates that Sephardim took it upon themselves to migrate to and fortify Eres Yisrael, driven by a sense of historic yearning for their ancestral home. Centuries later, Sephardim continued to not only settle in the land, but were key players in its modern development, although this fact has, regrettably, been often eclipsed in the historical narrative. Few documents and small bits of history exist on Jewish national liberation and the development of Eres Yisrael, and how the country came to be with assistance and nurturing offered by Sephardic Jews. It is with tremendous ignominy that the Sephardim have been almost completely marginalized in the modern Zionist record of history.

Whether they came from Spain, North Africa or the Middle East, what is fact and needs to be remembered is that Sephardim played a considerable role in the State’s origins and modern fruition. Throughout their centuries in the Diaspora, Sephardim developed and devoted a sense of philosophical and spiritual nationalism that prepared the foundation for which modem Zionism stood on, and the resulting fruit which is the return of the Jewish people to their land.


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