Harav David Chelouche, zt”l, the longtime Chief Rabbi of Netanya, was niftar Tuesday night at the Laniado Hospital in the city. He was 96, and left behind dozens of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Harav Chelouche was born on Asarah B’Teves 5680/1920 in Morocco and came to Israel in 1930. His father, Harav Yosef, served as the Rav of the Moroccan community in Yerushalayim.
He learned at the Porat Yosef Yeshivah, where he was considered one of the top talmidim, and later married Rabbanit Dinah, the daughter of Harav Meir Vaknin, zt”l, Rav of Teveriah. His first rabbinic post was Rav of the Moroccan “Ma’aravi” community in the city.
In the early 1960s, he was assigned by former Chief Rabbi Benzion Meir Chai Uziel, zt”l, to serve as Chief Rabbi of Netanya, a position he held until his petirah. He was the author of over two dozen sefarim, including perushim on the Torah, Tehillim, selichos, Sheilos U’teshuvos and on Megillas Esther. He also wrote a compendium of halachos and articles about the immigration of Ethiopian Jewry to Israel.
In a statement, Shas said that the Moetzet Chachmei HaTorah “mourned the passing of a Torah giant, among the senior rabbanim in Israel. He was one of the last members of a marvelous generation of rabbanim who learned at Yeshivat Porat Yosef, among them Harav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l, Harav Benzion Abba Shaul, zt”l, Chacham Mansour Ben-Shimon, zt”l, and hundreds of others. His greatness was evident in the many sefarim that bear his name. He was a close friend of Harav Ovadia. Shas, along with the entire Jewish people, mourn his petirah.”
Harav Chelouche’s levayah on Wednesday was attended by thousands. It set out from Netanya and continued to Yerushalayim, where it left Yeshivat Porat Yosef, to Har Hamenuchos.
Yehi zichro baruch.