RABBI ELIYAHU ABERGEL

Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel

 

Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel, son of Rabbi Yosef Abergel, learned in yeshivot in Marrakech and Casablanca, and in the Yeshiva of Baba Sali in Arfud, before emigrating to Israel with his family at age 13. There, he studied at Yeshivat Porat Yosef in Jerusalem, with Rabbi Raphael Rosilio, now of the rabbinical court of the Sephardi Eda Haredit, and with Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira.  

 

At the age of 17, Rabbi Abergel was personally asked by Rabbi Ovadya Yosef to teach Rabbi Yosef’s 15-year-old son Yitzhak Yosef, who is now chief rabbi of Israel. 

 

In 1968, he received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Ovadya Yosef, Rabbi Amram Aburabia and Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg (the Tzitz Eliezer). 

 

Two years earlier, he had become certified as a professional shochet (kosher meat slaughter) by Rabbi Yosef Munsa; Rabbi Solomon Hugi Abude, Av Beth Din of Jerusalem; Rabbi Ovadya Yosef; and Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg.  He has practiced this skill over the decades. 

In 1986, Rabbi Abergel received two separate types of semincha enabling to serve as a dayan (judge) for a rabbinical court and also qualifying him to serve as head rabbi for one of Israel’s large cities. The judicial Semicha was bestowed by the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Mordechai Eliyahu and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Avraham Elkana Shapira. He was appointed to the rabbinical court in Be'er Sheva, where he advanced to head judge and served for 30 years.  

 

His earned his certification to serve as an ordained rabbi for a major Israeli city from Rabbi Eliyahu, Rabbi Shapira and also from Rabbi Shalom Masas. Despite this qualification, he never served as a city rabbi, choosing instead the life of a dayan in the rabbinic court.

Over time, Rabbi Abergel has become a renowned posek and a writer of many volumes of works in Halacha.  He published his rulings in the 10-book series "Dibrot Eliyahu," which includes approbations from Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Rabbi Yehuda Tzadkah, Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, Rabbi Avram Shapira, Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg, Rabbi Hayim David HaLevi and many others.

 

Rabbi Abergel next served as Chief Justice of the Rabbinical Courts in Jerusalem. In 2013, he ran briefly for the position of Sepharic Chief Rabbi of Israel, but withdrew his name.  He retired in 2018 from full-time work as Chief Rabbinical Judge of the Rabbinical Supreme Court of Jerusalem, but he continues to consult, write and assist the court with complicated cases. 

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