Funérailles du rabbin Kanievsky à Bnei Brak, le 20.03.22

Israel: Hundreds of Thousands at Rabbi Kanievsky’s Funeral

Rabbi Chaim Kanevsky was buried on Sunday in an event that saw hundreds of thousands of people flock to Bnei Brak to pay their last respects to the influential Haredi leader.

It is estimated that between half a million and 750,000 people turned out, and dozens of schools and highways were closed before the funeral.

Traffic disturbances are expected to continue overnight, and Route 4, a major north-south route through Bnei Brak, has been blocked in both directions to allow buses to reach the area.

Many other roads were closed and traffic came to a standstill in Bnei Brak itself.

Police deployed nearly 3,000 officers to the scene to maintain order.

The procession began around noon at the rabbi’s home, and hundreds of police escorted the body to Zichron Meir cemetery in the ultra-Orthodox suburb of Tel Aviv.

Kanievsky, who died Friday afternoon at the age of 94, was a hugely influential leader of the ultra-Orthodox non-Hasidic Lithuanian sect, with hundreds of thousands of adherents, and a descendant of rabbinic dynasties known for his elitist study of the Talmud.

Prominent figures in the ultra-Orthodox community praised Kanevsky, remembering him as an unparalleled scholar and spiritual leader.

The police prevented the cemetery from entering the public, and only allowed family members and public figures to attend the burial for fear of overcrowding.

However, hundreds of people managed to break through the barricades and enter the cemetery while the police tried to hold them back. Quarrels broke out at the entrance to the cemetery as several stranded people tried to enter.

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Soon after the funeral, the crowd began to disperse without further disturbance.

Officials said at least 50 people were treated at the scene by emergency services and four were taken to hospital.

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