Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away Monday, October 7th at age 93. He was a bold leader of the the Shas Party and advocated for the interests of Jews with Middle Eastern and North African origin.
On Monday evening, over 800,000 people fled the streets of Jerusalem mouring the passing of Rabbi Yosef. It took the van carrying his body over four hours to arrive at the Sanhedria Cemetery traveling from the Geula neighborhood.
During Rabbi Yosef's leadership, the Shas Party became a major force in governing coalitions. Many Israeli leaders from all different backgrounds and views sought support from Rabbi Yosef.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented “The Jewish people have lost one of the wisest men of this generation. Rabbi Ovadia was a giant in Torah and Jewish law and a teacher for tens of thousands.”
President Shimon Peres said he had been at the rabbi’s bedside hours before his death. “When I pressed his hand, I felt I was touching history,” Mr. Peres said, “and when I kissed his head, it was as though I kissed the very greatness of Israel.”