A cultured scholar and a fluent linguist, R. Elyashar wrote thousands of responsa in answer to questions from both Ashkenazim and Sephardim all over the world. He was respected by the authorities and the heads of other religious communities, and received orders of merit from the Turkish sultan, Abdul Hamid, in 1893, and the German kaiser, William II, in 1898. He was accepted by both the Sephardi and Ashkenazi communities and worked hard to put religious institutions in Jerusalem on a solid foundation. The affection in which he was held is reflected in the fact that he was referred to as “Yissa Berakhah” (“conferring a blessing”), the word Yissa (ישא) being derived from the Hebrew initials of his name. He enjoyed marked success as an emissary to Smyrna (1845), Damascus (1854), Alexandria (1856), and Leghorn (1873).
In 1888 when a controversy arose as to the permissibility of working on the land during the following year, a sabbatical year, R. Elyashar decided that such work could be permitted by selling the land formally to a non-Jew, but suggested that each Jewish agricultural settlement leave a small portion of land uncultivated as a symbol and reminder of the commandment. R. Elyashar died in Jerusalem, where the Givat Sha'ul district is named after him.
דף [2, א]: הקדמת בני המחבר: ר' חיים משה אלישר ור' נסים בנימין מרדכי אלישר. דף [2, ב]: בקשה לאמרה אחר תיקון חצות, המתחילה: יבער לבי אש אוכלת, עם האקרוסטיכון: יעקב אלישר חזק. דף [א]-יג, ב (מן הספירה האחרונה): פני האי"ש, שבע דרשות: לשבת כלה ולהספד. הדרוש החמישי לר' חזקיה שבתי; הששי לר' אברהם פילוסוף.