Half a million mourners attend rabbi’s funeral in Israel


Sunday’s funeral of a revered rabbi in Israel drew half a million mourners clad in traditional ultra-Orthodox garb, turning the streets of a religious suburb of Tel Aviv into a surging sea of black.

The roads of Bnei Brak were packed with men and boys in black suits — one of the largest gatherings in Israel’s history — mourning for the Belarusian-born Chaim Kanievsky, who died Friday at age 94.

Parting the huge crowd, dozens of police formed a phalanx around the van carrying the rabbi’s body as the vehicle crept toward Bnei Brak’s cemetery.

“[Kanievsky’s] death is a huge loss for the Jewish people,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wrote on Twitter.

Police estimated the crowd at around half a million people — one of the largest gatherings in Israel’s history.


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