Eliezer Abehassera: The Spiritual Father of the Israelis

In Israel, people are starting to celebrate the Moussem of the “Hiloula” of Rabbi Eliezer Abehassera, who died on July 29, 2011 at the age of 62. On this occasion, thousands of Jews flock to his shrine on the Mount of Olives in Israel. They believe in his blessing and his supernatural ability to heal the sick and disabled.

Rabbi Eliezer Abehassera is the older brother of Rabbi David Abehassera and Rabbi Yekutiel Abehassera who are the maternal uncles of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto. Eliezer Abehassera was born on August 9, 1948 in the city of Midelt to a Moroccan Jewish family. His father is Rabbi Mayer and his mother Simcha Abehassera. His maternal grandfather is the Moroccan Jewish Chief Rabbi Israel Abehassera, known as “Baba Salé”. He lost his mother at a very young age and emigrated with his father to the Promised Land in 1966. They settled in Ashdod where many Moroccans, including rabbis, reside.

Rabbi Eliezer Abehassera was very close to his nephew, Rabbi Pinto, especially during the last years of his life. Rabbi Pinto helped him a lot and stood by him when he encountered problems in the United States. Rabbi Eliezer Abehassera gave Pinto a blessed watch, inherited from his grandfather Baba Salé.

Eliezer Abehassera never forgot Morocco and he insisted on going there every year. He died after being stabbed by a mentally ill Jewish extremist while receiving his disciples in Beer-Sheva. His funeral was attended by thousands of Israelis, including high-ranking state officials headed by Prime Minister Benyamin Natanyahu. Natanyahu said he was shocked by the disappearance of the spiritual father of the Israelis.

Eliezer Abehassera was one of the most important symbols of the “Kabbalah”, the esoteric tradition of Judaism which has many followers.

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