Rabbi Eliyahu Shaar Yeshuv Hakohen, Rabbi of Haifa and among the leading rabbis of Israel, passed away at age 89 this evening.
The Rabbi was born in Jerusalem to Rabbi David “The Nazirite,” known as one of the leading students of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi during the British Mandate in Israel.
The Rabbi studied at various yeshivas, including Yeshivat Merkaz Harav, under the tutelage of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Hakohen Kook. In 1948, while a student there, he was part of an underground movement that fought against British rule.
During the War of Independence, the Rabbi served with the Etzel military group, and fought to defend Jerusalem and the area of Gush Etzion. While in a battle to defend the Old CIty of Jerusalem, he was seriously injured; when the Jewish Quarter fell to the Jordanians, he was taken captive by the Jordanian Legion.
While in captivity, his foot was operated upon, though he remained handicapped afterward.
Following his release, the Rabbi served in the IDF for seven years, eventually becoming Rabbi of Military Command and Chief Rabbi of the air force.
From 1975 to 2011, the Rabbi was Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi of Haifa, in addition to the Head of the Rabbinical Courts of the city.
Recently, the Rabbi was also appointed Head of the Committee for Dialogue between Judaism and Islam, and an emissary of the Chief Rabbinate to inter-religious meetings.