The great Shevet HaLevi, Rabbi Shmuel HaLevi Vosner (Wosner) passed away a short time after the start of this Passover (Pesach) holiday. A towering Torah personality, the sainted rabbi was laid to rest overnight in a 1:30 am funeral in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak.
As his body was respectfully carried by his broken-hearted students down the street, more tragedy struck as a much younger man attending the funeral died as well.
Thousands packed the streets of Bnei Brak to accompany the 102-year-old Shevet HaLevi, Rabbi Shmuel Vosner (Wosner ), zt’l, on his final journal past the Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva and to his final resting place.
The father of three, Motti Gerber, 27, joined the saintly rabbinic decisor of Jewish law in death as a result of trampling at the funeral, according to numerous reports. In addition, three others males ages 25, 14 and 40, were seriously wounded when the balcony on which they were standing collapsed while they were watching the proceedings. Eight others were rushed to local hospitals with shortness of breath and bruises due to trampling, Magen David Adom reported.
MDA emergency medical response teams were summoned to attend the massive crowd that accompanied the rabbi’s body through the streets. More than 100 people were treated for “crowding” injuries.
The ‘Shevat HaLevi’ (the Tribe of Levi) was so called after the name of the series of numerous holy books that he wrote as commentaries and response on Jewish law.
Thousands attended the overnight funeral, with several eulogizing the rabbi’s deeds. “The unity of the people of Israel was very important to him, to maintain the friendship and love in the nation,” one rabbi noted.
Rabbi Vosner’s son, Rabbi Chaim Vosner, 78, was immediately appointed to succeed his father as the head of the Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva (Lublin Torah Academy) and as rabbinic leader in Bnei Brak.
May the Shevet HaLevi be a meylitz tov — a strong advocate in the Heavenly Court — for the People of Israel, and his memory be for a blessing.