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Rabbi Bezalel Zolti Dead at 63

November 18, 1982
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A crowd numbering tens of thousands attended funeral rites here yesterday for the Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of the city, Rabbi Bezalel Zolti. He died suddenly during the night from a heart attack. He was 63 years old.

A long-time member of the Supreme Rabbinical Court of Appeals, he was regarded as a foremost halachic expert, answering written queries from rabbis around the world.

As Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Zolti triggered controversy by insisting on high standards of Sabbath observance in the capital’s hotels. But the hoteliers themselves come to respect him in time for his consistency and principled but fair approach.

His learned works in halacha are called “Mishnat Yaabetz” (acronym for Yaacov Bezalel Zolti). He also headed a flourishing yeshiva in Jerusalem, Yad Aharon, and was rabbi for many years of the Ohel Rivka Congregation in the Jerusalem suburb of Rehavia where he resided. Born in Vitebsk, Russia, Zolti came to Palestine as a boy and studied at the Hebron Yeshiva.

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