Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most senior haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis in the world, passed away at age 94 on Friday afternoon.
Politicians all along the political spectrum made statements in mourning of the rabbi, who was one of the most prominent figures in haredi society in Israel.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday said, "Together with all the people of Israel, I received with deep sorrow the news of the death of the greatest of the generation, the late Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky.
"Despite his greatness in the Torah and in public, the rabbi made sure to always receive every person with an open heart and bright eyes," he continued. "He was a true public leader, who from his humble home in Bnei Brak led tens of thousands of the people of Israel - in wisdom, in common sense, in rare proficiency."
President Isaac Herzog said, "Love of the Torah, his modesty, humility and spiritual leadership will be missed. My sincere condolences to his family, students and loved ones."
"The people of Israel lost a tremendously wise student who was a central link in the chain of Torah transmission from generation to generation," said opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu. "Rabbi Kanievsky's home in Bnei Brak served as a center of pilgrimage for our people from all walks of life. The image of the old rabbi who is constantly diligent about his Talmud inspired the hearts of those around him. He took advantage of every spare moment to study, and this was reflected in his immense knowledge of the written Torah and the oral Torah."
"I admired his modesty, his deep intellect and his devotion to Torah study," said Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar of the rabbi's passing. "I visited his house many times, especially before the Israeli holidays. Each visit was an experience I will never forget. He was a giant who would be missed not only by those who saw him as their leader, but by all of Israel."