More than 150,000 people crowded Jerusalem Sunday to mark the last day of the seven-day shiva mourning period for Rav Ovadia Yosef, who died last week at the age of 93.
The spontaneous outpour of mourners stood in stark contrast to the annual rally on the Saturday night before the anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin in Tel Aviv, as reported here. Leftists rounded up 30,000 people to blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the failure to make peace not only with the Palestinian Authority but also with Iran.
The scene in Jerusalem was a smaller but just as impressive copy of last week, when 800,000 crammed Jerusalem for the funeral. Police learned their lesson form not being prepared last week to handle the flood of people, and thousands of police officers patrolling the event and closing main arteries. The cemetery was closed to the public in mid-afternoon.
Medics treated approximately three dozen people.
Rav Ovadia’s greatness as a Torah sage was marked by the words of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, who said that the late rabbi will be “remembered for generations” and “belonged to all of the People of Israel.”
Religious officials and family members barred Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from speaking inside the funeral home because he does not observe the Sabbath, and his had to settle for eulogizing Rav Ovadia the building.
Photos by Flash 90:
Rav Ovadia’s chair remains empty next to his sons in the mourning tent in Jerusalem.