Pardes, Eliyahu

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PARDES, ELIYAHU (1893–1972), chief rabbi of Jerusalem and leader of religious Zionism. Born in Jerusalem, descendant of a long line of Sephardi rabbis, he served as an educator and administrator from 1915 to 1952. He was among the founders of the religious-nationalist group "Al ha-Mishmar" in 1925 and played an active role in the leadership of the Mizrachi Organization. During this period, he also served on the Jerusalem rabbinic court and was sent on several trips as educational emissary to North Africa, Europe and South America. In 1953 he was elected rabbi of Ramat Gan and, from 1961 until his death, he served as chief rabbi of Jerusalem.

He was deeply committed to the Zionist cause, and worked tirelessly to inculcate in the younger generation a love of Israel and concern for settlement, both within Palestine and abroad. He was among the first educators to struggle for the revival of the Hebrew language and its use in daily life. He was a lover of peace, and constantly attempted to unite the various political, religious and ethnic groups within the Yishuv. As a rabbinic scholar, he wrote on halakhah, ethics and homiletics. A selection of his articles and responsa appeared in 1974.