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Ovadia Yosef, the Former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Died At 93

Oct 8, 2013 12:40 IST

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the influential spiritual leader of Israel's Sephardic Jewish community died on 7 October 2013 at Jerusalem. He was 93 years old.

Life History of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

• Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was born as Abdullah Youssef on 23 September 1920.
• He was the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is recognised by the law as a supreme halakhic and spiritual authority for the Jewish people in Israel. The Council of Chief Rabbinate provides assistance to the two chief rabbis, who take up the presidency alternatively. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel consists of two Chief Rabbis, which are- an Ashkenazi Rabbi and a Sephardi Rabbi.
• He was elected as the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel in the year 1973 by a majority of 81 to 68 votes. He replaced Yitzhak Nissim.
• He was also the recognised Talmudic scholar.
• He remained the spiritual leader of the Shas political party in Parliament of Israel.
• He was considered as the most important living halachic authority.
• In the year 1970, he won the Israel Prize for Rabbinical literature.
• In the year 2005, he was voted the 23rd-greatest Israeli of all time. The poll was conducted by the Israeli news website Ynetnews in order to find out the point of view of the general public regarding the 200 greatest Israelis.
• His early published works included a detailed commentary on the Ben Ish Chai titled Halikhot Olam.
• Also, two sets of Yosef's response have been published, Yabia Omer and Yechaveh Da'at.
• He authored series of books under the title of Chazon Ovadia.
• He wrote laws concerning Shabbat, holidays and other topics.
• He also printed the commentary on the Mishnah tractate Pirkei Avot.

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