Rabbi Abraham Elkanah Kahana Shapira, Chief Rabbi of Israel

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Rabbi Abraham Elkanah Kahana Shapira (Kahana-Shapira), Chief Rabbi of Israel

Hebrew: הרב אברהם אלקנה כהנא שפירא, הרב הראשי לישראל
Also Known As: "ר' אברום"
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel
Death: September 27, 2007 (92-93)
Jerusalem, Israel
Place of Burial: Jerusalem
Immediate Family:

Son of R' Solomon Zalman Shapira and Henna Reizel Kahana Shapira
Husband of Peninnah Pearla Shapira
Father of Private; Private; Private; Private; Private and 1 other
Brother of R' Samuel Shapira; Elisheva Miriam Kleinman; Yente (Esther Rebecca) Ashkenazi; Chaya Michla Barash; Private and 1 other

Occupation: r"h Merkaz Ha'Rav", ראש ישיבת מרכז הרב רב ראשי
Managed by: Meyer Tzvi Apfeldorf
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Rabbi Abraham Elkanah Kahana Shapira, Chief Rabbi of Israel

Avraham Shapira (Hebrew: אברהם אלקנה כהנא שפירא‎; 20 May 1914, Jerusalem[1] – 27 September 2007) was a prominent rabbi in the Religious Zionist world. Shapira had been the head of the Rabbinical court of Jerusalem, and both a member and the head of the Supreme Rabbinic Court. He served as the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel from 1983 to 1993. Shapira was the rosh yeshiva of Mercaz haRav in Jerusalem, a position he held since Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook died in 1982.

Avraham Elkanah Shapira was born to a Jerusalemite family; his father was Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Shapira. As a child, he studied at Etz Chaim Yeshiva in Jerusalem, later moving to the Hebron Yeshiva, where he studied under Rabbis Moshe Mordechai Epstein and Yechezkel Sarna. After his marriage, he was invited to join Mercaz HaRav yeshiva,

Rabbi Shapira published his years of correspondence with the Chazon Ish, Rabbi Zvi Pesach Frank, Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik and Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer in a book, Even haEzel.

In 1956, he was appointed as a member of the Jerusalem religious court by the chief rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog. In 1971 he was appointed Av Beit Din, and in 1983 he became chief rabbi of Israel.

Rabbi Shapira died on the first day of Succot of 2007. On the preceding Rosh Hashana fifteen days earlier, he had been brought to prayers in a wheelchair and within days was hospitalized and did not recover.

Tens of thousands of people took part in his funeral procession on September 28, on the eve of Shabbat, which started from the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva and wound its way through the streets of Jerusalem past the original location of the yeshiva in the Geula neighbourhood until the Mount of Olives cemetery where Rabbi Shapira was buried.

Published works

  • Shiurey Maran HaGra Shapira, a summary of his lectures, six volumes.
  • Minchat Avraham, a collection of his halachic essays, three volumes.
  • Morasha, essays on various topics


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Rabbi Abraham Elkanah Kahana Shapira, Chief Rabbi of Israel's Timeline

20, 1914
Jerusalem, Israel
Age 68
Jerusalem, Israel
September 27, 2007
Age 93
Jerusalem, Israel
September 28, 2007
Age 93