Hacham Eliyahu Pardes

< Tammuz 5784 July 2024 >

A Short Tribute

Hacham Eliyahu Pardes was born to Mazal-Oro and Hacham Ben Zion Pardes on 17 Tammuz, 5693 (1893), in Jerusalem. He began his studies with his father, who was a preacher and one of the Beit El yeshiva kabbalists. He was subsequently educated and ordained to the rabbinate in Jerusalem, influenced, in particular, by Hacham Hizkiyahu Shabtai and chief rabbis Rishon LeZion Hacham Yaakov Meir and Hacham Ben Zion Meir Hai Uziel.

The education of Jewish children was his primary interest and, for over a decade, he was principal of a girls' school. During this period he also traveled on Jewish education missions to Egypt, Lebanon, European countries and the USA.

In 1914 he married Hermosa, daughter of Hacham Yosef Mordecai Halevy, and the couple had two children. When his wife Hermosa died, Hacham Yosef Mordecai Halevy married Zohara Aburavia, and the couple had seven children. After his second wife died, Hacham Yosef Mordecai married Alegra, his first wife's sister.

In 1953 he was appointed Chief Rabbi of the city of Ramat Gan, and in 1962 he was appointed Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, in which position he remained until his decease.

Hacham Eliyahu Pardes was deeply involved in public action throughout his life and maintained extensive associations with the community. His eloquence drew people to him, and he was popular with people from all walks of life. He founded and led several associations, Torah institutions and foundations, including the Honen U'Malveh and Tomchei Torah loan funds for the needy.

Hacham Eliyahu Pardes passed away on 11 Nissan, 5732 (1972) at the age of 79, and was buried on the Mount of Olives.

His sermons and articles on Halakha and philosophy were published in journals. In 1974 the Municipality of Jerusalem published a collection of many of his articles in a commemorative book; an additional collection of his writings is being gathered for publication by his family.

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