Thousands attend funeral of Mir Yeshiva rabbi, violating regulations

Attendees are reportedly throwing stones at police, who are trying to enforce coronavirus restrictions.

Crowds gather for the funeral of Jerusalem Rabbi Aharon David Hadash. (photo credit: SHETACH BOER)
Crowds gather for the funeral of Jerusalem Rabbi Aharon David Hadash.
(photo credit: SHETACH BOER)

Violating coronavirus regulations, thousands of haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews attended the funeral on Thursday of prominent Jerusalem Rabbi Aharon David Hadash, spiritual leader of the Mir Yeshiva. Hadash died early Thursday morning, according to haredi media.

While many of the attendees of the funeral wore masks, a gathering of so many people – even outdoors – is not permitted according to government-mandated regulations. Later reports indicated that attendees were not wearing masks as the event proceeded.
At some point during the funeral, rocks were reportedly thrown at police officers, injuring one. The officer was transferred to a hospital with a light head wound.

“You’re willing to tolerate a funeral with absurdly immense crowds, but not to entertain guidelines for gyms, studios, and pools,” Yisrael Beytenu MK Yulia Malinovsky tweeted. “Maybe trainers and gym-goers should wear shtreimels (traditional fur hats worn by haredi men). Then they’ll be able to open,” she added.
Hadash was hospitalized in Hadassah-University Medical Center’s coronavirus ward two months ago after he experienced difficulty breathing and tested positive for the disease.
His condition improved, and he was moved to a regular intensive care unit before his condition worsened, haredi news site Behadrei Haredim reported.
The Mir Yeshiva administration met with Israel Police representatives on Thursday to make arrangements that would allow the community to mourn the passing of the rabbi while maintaining coronavirus safety precautions. However, footage from the funeral showed that the precautions were not put in place due to the large number of attendees, according to N12.
They agreed to close the Mir Yeshiva building, only allowing family members and the leadership of the yeshiva to enter. Nearby roads were divided into capsules and police began dividing the street using barricades Thursday morning.
Esti Sompo, who was denied a get (Jewish divorce document), by Hadash’s grandson Eli Sompo, asked the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court to delay the funeral, according to Ynet News. The delay was intended to pressure the grandson to give her a get. She is basing her request on a previous case in which a funeral was denied in order to pressure a get refuser.
Sompo told Ynet News that the family supports her husband’s refusal to grant her a get and so the funeral should be delayed, or he should not be allowed to attend. Eli Sompo currently resides in Gibraltar and has ignored multiple orders to grant the get, according to the Israeli news website.
Hadash was born in Jerusalem and was known as the most senior of the yeshiva mashgichim (supervisors), Behadrei Haredim reported. The rabbi made a point of forming personal relationships with many Mir Yeshiva students in order to help them with their spiritual development.