The leader of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox community in Israel, Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman, 103, was hospitalized on Saturday at the ICU of the Ma’ayaney Ha’Yeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak, as the result of an infection, according to a statement issued Sunday morning by the hospital. “Our senior team of doctors are performing tests to locate the source of the infection found in the Rabbi’s body,” the statement said, adding, “The rabbi’s condition is stable.”
Sources at Rabbi Steinman’s home told the media that his hospitalization followed “acute respiratory distress he had suffered for a few hours.” The decision to hospitalize was made in an emergency consultation with his personal physician, Professor Abraham Weinberger.
Rabbi Shteinman is a leader of the Haredi Degel HaTorah political party and has great influence over the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) Knesset faction, an alliance of the Lithuanian Degel HaTorah and the Chassidic Agudat Israel party.
Rabbi Shteinman is renowned for his extremely modest lifestyle. His Bnei Park apartment is furnished sparsely and has not been painted in many years. Until 2014, he slept on the same thin mattress that he had received from the Jewish Agency when he made Aliyah in the early 1950s.