Rav Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi zt”l


rav-mordechai-ashkenaziIt is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rav Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi zt”l, Chief Rabbi of Kfar Chabad for 40 years. He passed away suddenly today at the age of 71. 1

Rav Ashkenazi had been traveling to Teverya to visit the kever of his father on his yahrtzeit when he suffered a heart attack. He was transported to Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer, where he passed away.

Rav Ashkenazi was born into a prominent rabbinic family. His zaide, Rav Eliezer Karasik, served as the rov of the Chabad community of Tel Aviv.

Rav Ashkenazi attended the Chabad Yeshiva of Tel Aviv and then in Lod, Israel. When he was 20, he traveled to study in New York.

After his marriage to Rebbetzin Sima , daughter of Rav Yitzchok Volpo of Yerushalayim, he received semicha from the first rov of Kfar Chabad.

A few years later, at the age of 31, he was appointed as Chief Rabbi of Kfar Chabad after the passing of Rav Schneur Zalman Garelik in a car accident.

Rav Ashkenazi was also a member of the Chabad Beis Din – Vaad Rabonei Chabad in Israel.

In the 1970s, he began writing seforim on Hilchos Talmud Torah and just a few years later had already published 6 volumes.

In the last few years, he started a project to explore minhagim, and every week he published an about a different custom. The first sefer of this set, titled Shaarei Tefillah Uminhag, was published a year ago.

This Thursday, Rav Ashekenazi would have been marking 40 years as Chief Rabbi of Kfar Chabad, and his family had been planning an event to mark the occasion.

He is survived by his wife, Rebbetzin Sima, and his children, Gitah Brod; Rivkah Kaplan – Sitriyah, Israel; Rabbi Meir Ashkenazi – Tzfas, Israel; Rabbi Chaim Eliezer Ashkenazi – Montreal, Canada; Rabbi Zelig Ashkenazi – Yekaterinburg, Russia; Mrs. Chaya Feigel Wilhelm – Detroit, MI; Rabbi Menachem Mendel Ashkenazi; Rabbi Schneur Zalman Ashkenazi; Rabbi Sholem Ber Ashkenazi; Rabbi Yossi Ashkenazi; Rabbi Yisrolik Ashkenazi and Yehuda Ashkenazi – all of Israel; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his siblings, Mrs. Malka Wilshansky – Tzfas, Israel and Mrs. Esther Twersky – Brooklyn, NY.

The levaya will take place tomorrow, Thursday, at 10 a.m. in Kfar Chabad and will continue to Teverya for kevurah.

Yehi zichro boruch.


{Matzav.com Israel/Photo: B. Ezagui}


  1. His paternal grandfather was Reb Meir Ashkenazi z”l, Rav of Shanghai from the 1920’s through the 1940’s. He helped the Mirrer Yeshiva and many other refuges during WWII.

  2. His grandfather, helped all the yeshivos in shanghai, he was sent there by the previous lubavaticher rebbe in 1920’s. He was very close to r’ y kotler in lakewood. They would meet on a regularly…BD”A