Rabbi Meir Abitbol - director of the publishing house 'Or Hamarav' of the books of the Sephardic sages and Morocco - passed away this evening at the age of 79.
The late Rabbi Abitbol was born in Casablanca. In 1960 he moved to Tangier to study. In 1963 he moved to England and studied at the Gateshead yeshiva, headed by Rabbi Aryeh Ze'ev Gurevich. Then, in 1967, he participated in the establishment of the 'Merkaz HaTorah' yeshiva in the suburbs of Paris, headed by Rabbi Ya'akov Toledo.
In 1968 he married Yocheved Lardo from Mazagan. In the same year, he followed his parents to Montreal, Canada.
In 1981 he immigrated to the Land of Israel and settled in the Gilo neighborhood in Jerusalem. There he established a midrash and financed including an evening in the neighborhood. was called to manage the Ohel Moshe yeshiva and institutions in Bnei Brak of Rabbi Moshe Malka, which had about 700 students at the time.
After being exposed in Israel's libraries to the writings of the sages of Spain and the Maghreb and the photographs of their manuscripts in the National Library, in 1983 he established the "Bnei Issachar" institute (named after his grandfather, Rabbi Issachar Simoni) for the research and publication of the books of the Sephardic sages.
In 1985 he founded the Sephardic Library, which collects books by the sages of Spain who saw light. In 1990, he established 'Or Hamarav Publishing', the marketing arm of the activity. Until 2019, the institute published nearly 400 books.
In 2008, he won the Nissim Gaon award, for '25 years of activity and distribution of the books of the sages of the Sephardim'.