[PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]
It is a day of true aveilus for the Kurdistan Jewish community as its elder, Chacham Zechariah Barashi ZT”L was niftar at the amazing age of 116.
The levaya is set for Monday evening 8 Adar at 7:00PM from the Sephardi Beis Halvayos in Givat Shaul. The family is sitting shiva at 16 Naftali Street in the Baka area of Jerusalem.
YWN published an interview with Chacham Barashi when he celebrated his 111th birthday in 2011.
The rav us the last child born to Rabbi Eliyahu Barashi and Rebitzen Simcha. Six siblings died during childhood. Rav Zechariah survived along with sisters Sara and Reichana. Rav Zechariah’s father moved from village to village, serving as their rav. He arrived in Palestine in 1936. This was connected to Jewish Agency official Dr. Moshe Zamura visiting Kurdistan, selecting Barashi as his interpreter since he knew Hebrew. He was unable to arrange for his parents to follow, but his father insisted he make the move without them. Hence, he arrived with his wife, leaving his parents and family behind.
Times were hard and parnasa was scarce as his wife worked as a housekeeper. With Siyata Dishmaya, he managed to bring his parents to Palestine in 1938. They were unfortunately niftar months apart three years later.
With time he became known as Chacham, signifying his stature, which increased considerably after he was recognized by HaGaon HaRav Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron Shlita and HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L .
יהי זכרו ברוך
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)