Former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, died at age of 79 from the COVID-19, Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed that this is the country's highest-profile death from the pandemic.

According to the hospital announcement, the rabbi was hospitalised a few days ago after tested positive with the virus. On Sunday, 12 April, evening, his condition deteriorated and passed away, reported Xinhua news agency.

former rabbi of Israel
former rabbi

Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, who served from 1993 to 2003 as the state's top chaplain for Sephardim, or Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent, succumbed late on Sunday, April 12 to complications from the respiratory virus in a Jerusalem hospital, aged 79, Israeli media said.

The hospital noted that he also suffered from other serious diseases. Bakshi-Doron served as Israel's Sephardic chief rabbi between 1993 and 2003.

"Tragically, Rabbi Bakshi-Doron contracted the coronavirus and doctors' efforts to save him did not succeed," Netanyahu said in a statement.

"Rabbi Bakshi-Doron was an important link in the chain of Torah scholarship of the Sages of Spain," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in light of the rabbi's passing. He "served as a guide to all Israeli communities, in Israel and in the world."

Israel reports 104 deaths

In Israel, two chief rabbis serve simultaneously, as one is the rabbi of the Sephardic Jewish communities who came to Israel mainly from Islamic countries, while the other is the rabbi of the Ashkenazi communities who originated in Europe.

Coronavirus pandemic
Coronavirus pandemicIANS

The number of coronavirus deaths in Israel has reached 104. A total of 11,145 people tested positive with coronavirus in Israel so far.