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Sephardi spiritual leader dies

JERUSALEM, July 14 (JTA) — Tens of thousands of mourners attended Monday’s funeral of Rabbi Yosef Abba-Shaul, who died in Jerusalem at the age of 74. Abba-Shaul, who was the head of the Porat-Yosef Yeshiva in Jerusalem, was known for his extraordinary knowledge of the scriptures and his modesty. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau described him as one of the greatest rabbinical leaders the Sephardi community in Israel ever had. Abba-Shaul maintained a close relationship with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the fervently Orthodox Shas Party, but steered clear of politics himself.