January 28, 2006

Leading Israeli Kabbalist dies, was older than 104

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - One of the most revered Jewish holy
men in Israel died on Saturday aged more than 104-years-old.

Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri taught Kabbalah, a mystical form of
Judaism. Followers flocked to his Jerusalem home to receive
blessings and politicians visited to try and boost their
popularity among devout Jews who saw him as a sage.

"This is a huge loss for all of Israel," the leader of the
ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Eli Yishai, told Israel Radio. "He
saved many with his prayers."

The Sephardic rabbi was admitted to a Jerusalem hospital
earlier this month after contracting pneumonia.

He is believed to have been born before 1900 in what is now
Iraq. His personal physician had estimated his age as between
104 and 108.