Hundreds of thousands attend funeral of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky

March 21, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Hundreds of thousands of Israelis attended the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky on Sunday in Bnei Brak, one of the largest funerals in the country’s history.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky’s funeral. (Avi Nedivi/TPS)

Rabbi Kanievsky, one of the nation’s Torah greats, passed away on Friday at the age of 94.

Israelis, predominantly Haredi, community leaders and politicians, converged on the city from all around the country, on thousands of buses, trains, and by foot.

The leaders of the Ultra-Orthodox community and Rabbi Kanievsky’s family delivered eulogies, after which his coffin was driven through the streets to the cemetery under heavy police guard.

Rabbi Shlomo Kanievsky, Rabbi Kanievsky’s son, eulogized his father: “How did you leave us so suddenly? We were not ready, otherwise, we would have torn down the gates of Heaven in prayers. How can I eulogize you? I’m a little person. He was one in his generation.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett eulogized Rabbi Kanievsky, saying that “despite his greatness in the Torah and in the public, the rabbi made sure to always receive every person gladly and with an open heart.”

“He was a true public leader, who from his humble home in Bnei Brak led tens of thousands of the people of Israel – in wisdom, in common sense, in rare proficiency,” he said.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “the people of Israel lost a tremendous Talmid Chacham who was a central link in the chain of Torah transmission from generation to generation. The constant fire of love for Israel and the Torah of Israel that burned in the late Rabbi Kanievsky will never be extinguished.”

President Isaac Herzog stated that “together with the masses of Beit Yisrael, I grieve the bitter news of the death of the giant of the generation and the Minister of Torah, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky. The love of the Torah, his modesty, humility and spiritual leadership will be lacking for the yeshiva world and the entire people of Israel.”

The entire country, including the police, IDF, the emergency services and medical facilities around the city of Bnei Brak, were put on high alert ahead of the funeral, expected to have been attended by a million mourners.

The police and emergency services feared a mass casualty crisis that could have been caused by the multitudes’ mass convergence on the small streets of Bnei Brak.

Ambulances, medical teams, and thousands of policemen were deployed to secure the event, and main routes leading to the city were shut down to ensure an orderly flow of traffic.

Medical teams treated 87 cases, including 15 who were evacuated to a hospital for further treatment.

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