Eliyahu was born on June 25, 1933 to Rabbi Ezra and Naomi Korah. The family made aliyah in 1930 with three children, and nine more were born there. The father was on Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court, while the mother raised the dozen children and saw to the community’s needs.
Yosef’s paternal grandfather, Rabbi Hayim Korah, was the Chief Rabbi of Yemen, bearing a letter of approbation from seventy local rabbis. His maternal grandfather, Yosef Yitzhak HaLevi, was the rabbi of Tel Aviv’s Nordia neighborhood.
The family lived in the Menashiya neighborhood of Tel Aviv, on the Jaffa border. In 1935, they were among the two hundred founding families of the HaTikvah neighborhood, under the auspices of the JNF.
Eliyahu studied in Talmud Torah Kalischer and in Bilu night school, working by day for a printer.
At age fourteen, he spent a short time with HaNoar HaOved. He even wanted to join the Hagana. When he told his mother, he was surprised to hear her advise him to join Lehi, to join his sister Beracha and brother Yosef, so that there would be no strife in the house. His sister made the connection, and Eliyahu joined Lehi in July 1947.
He was trained in ideology, firearms and surveillance; his first activities were putting up posters, distributing material and passing messages from the commanders to their comrades.
After a secret meeting with Geula Cohen, he became a newsreader for the special program, “The Voice of Lehi for the Youth.” It was broadcast from the home of Pinchas Ginnosar’s parents on Rothschild Street in Tel Aviv; this was a fascinating underground experience for young Eliyahu. The broadcasts included propaganda and promotional material, as well as interesting plays. They continued until the establishment of the State. One day at work, one of the secretaries said to him, “Good morning, Shimshon.” This was the pseudonym under which he broadcast, and he realized she had recognized his voice. He begged her to keep his secret.
In 1951, he joined the IDF, serving as a communications sergeant at an Israel Air Force base. After he was discharged, from 1954 to 1959, he worked for a printer. In 1959, he ran a press himself for a year, HaBoker. He was active in the General Zionists Union, and in 1959 he ran for Knesset. In 1960, he worked in the Farmers Union, and he was manager of the labor relations departments, representing the farmers to government institutions. He retired in 1998.
He remains a member of the emergency economic council of the government committee in the Ministry of Agriculture. He continues to represent farmers’ interests to the government. He is a member of the board of directors of Bank Leumi.
Since 1976, he has been a permanent representative at the international labor conference in Geneva, representing agricultural workers.
Since his retirement, he has served as the general secretary of the Pardes Hannah Agricultural School.
He has two daughters and a son.