Elli Fischer |
Special To The Jewish Week
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s funeral in Jerusalem on Monday was the largest in recorded Jewish history; it drew an estimated 800,000 attendees, fully one-tenth of Israel’s entire population, with barely five hours’ notice. Thousands rent their garments in mourning. Jews around the country sobbed. The media held vigil in the hospital corridors during the rabbi’s last hours, as disciples and politicians came to take leave.
Hundreds of thousands of people took to Jerusalem streets to mourn the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Monday evening, with crowd estimates as high as 800,000 and possibly close to 1 million.
President Shimon Peres called him “a great man with an unbelievable memory and the wisdom to share his knowledge with others.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the former Sephardic chief rabbi was “a giant in Torah and Jewish law and a teacher for tens of thousands.
“”He worked greatly to enhance Jewish heritage and at the same time, his rulings took...