Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Thousands Attend Levaya of Rav Shteinman

Bnei Brak, Israel - Several hundred thousand people have taken part in the levaya of Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, the leader of the charedi world who passed away on Tuesday morning aged 104.

Tens of thousands from the Haredi community streamed to Bnei Brak from around the country in order to participate in the funeral procession of the departed rabbi, with men, women, boys and girls lining the streets, watching from balconies, climbing walls and taking up any available vantage point to watch the proceedings.

Mourners who gathered spoke of Rabbi Shteinman’s great depth of Torah knowledge, his great humility and his almost complete abstinence from worldly pleasures, fasting frequently and sleeping just a few hours a night.

The rabbi’s humility was borne out in his will, in which he requested that no eulogies be said for him, although Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, who will likely be accepted as the new “leader of the generation,” did give a speech about the rabbi.

Rabbi Shteinman also requested that eulogies not be written about him in newspapers, saying that a picture of him in the newspaper would be enough, and asked that no rallies be held for him, that notices of his passing not be printed, and that announcements of his death on the radio and in the streets over loudspeakers not be made.

All these requests have largely been ignored by the press and the public.

“It is enough that just ten people come to the funeral,” said the departed rabbi in his will, read out in front of hundreds of thousands of mourners waiting for the funeral procession to begin.

He also requested a simply burial plot, saying “my place in the cemetery is next to regular people,” and requested that no titles be written on his headstone and that it be “the cheapest and simplest” one available, and that money not be wasted on an expensive place in the cemetery.

Exceedingly frail, Rabbi Shteinman had been in and out of hospital over the last few months and was put on life support early Tuesday morning from which he never recovered.

Rabbi Shteinman has formally led the Ashkenazi, non-hassidic Haredi community since 2012 when the former leader of the generation Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv died.

click here for photos

No comments: