Rabbi Haim Meir Wosner, a senior and revered ultra-Orthodox rabbi, died on Sunday at the age of 82 from COVID-19. Thousands of mourners attended his funeral in Bnei Brak. Israel Police set up fences and barricades to attempt to control the crowd, but those were quickly removed once over 10,000 individuals showed up. A police vehicle that was present at the beginning of the gathering escaped the massive crowd. Wosner is the son of the late Rabbi Shmuel Halevi Wosner, considered one of the greatest arbiters of Jewish law of recent generations, whose own funeral in Bnei Brak was attended by an estimated 100,000 mourners, during which two people were crushed to death due to overcrowding outside of Wosner’s yeshiva. Haim Meir Wosner was a senior rabbinic authority in Bnei Brak and the dean of the Hachmei Lublin Yeshiva there, which was founded by his father. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid tweeted sharply criticizing the mass gathering and the lack of police response to it. "The Israeli government, instead of losing control and looking for others to blame: Why did you not prevent this funeral?"
Wosner reportedly contracted COVID-19 after attending the wedding of his granddaughter last month, according to the Kikar Hashabbat news website. Last month, tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox mourners attended the funerals of Rabbi Meshulam David Soloveitchik and Rabbi Yitzhak Scheiner, both revered and respected figures who died on the same day, both after having contracted the coronavirus. Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.
ממשלה לא שפויה, לוויה לא שפויה.ממשלת ישראל במקום לצעוק, לאבד שליטה ולחפש תירוצים ואשמים - למה לא מנעתם את קיום הלוויה הזאת? (צילום הערב בבני ברק) pic.twitter.com/vFvlXtUunV— יאיר לפיד - Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) February 7, 2021