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Mourners Throng to Pay Final Respects to Torah Sage, Largest Funeral in Israel's History

As many as 1 million mourners attended the funeral of the leader of the haredi Orthodox community, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, on Sunday afternoon, in the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak, making it the largest funeral in Israel’s history.

Rabbi Kanievsky, who took his final breath on Friday afternoon at age 94, after suffering a massive heart attack, was a scion who was known by his followers as “The Prince of Torah.”

Reb Chaim (as he was internationally known), was at the forefront in supporting efforts to restore the Snipiskes Jewish cemetery, in accordance with Jewish Law. The Jewish world's most prominent authority in Jewish law, had strongly condemned efforts to use the cemetery for any other purpose, other than as a resting place for the deceased.

Thousands of men escorted the late leader from his home on Rashbam Street to his final resting place, close to the grave of his uncle, Rabbi Avraham Yeshayohu Karelitz (the “Chazon Ish”) in the Zichron Meir Cemetery.

Close members of family and senior public figures, including Israel’s chief rabbis, approached the grave side for the actual burial. Thousands followed.

Reb Chaim Kanievsky provided his signature, in full support of efforts by the Save Vilna coalition, to condemn using the Snipiskes cemetery, for any other purpose other that as a resting place for the deceased. Reb Chaim urged authorities to restore the cemetery and the tombstones of Torah scholars, in accordance with Jewish law.

The Save Vilna Coalition is leading efforts to restore the Snipiskes Jewish cemetery, to its former prominence in the Jewish world.

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