Jerusalem - Jews Worldwide Mourn Passing of Sadigerer Rebbe, ZT'L
Jerusalem - Once again, the Torah world has been plunged into mourning following the petira of the Sadigerer Rebbe, R’ Avrohom Yaakov Friedman just after 9 AM this morning.
The Rebbe, who had been suffering from pneumonia for the last several days was rushed to Bnei Brak’s Maayanei Hayeshua Hospital early this morning after losing consciousness, and was 84 years old at the time of his death.
Thousands upon thousands attended the levaya, among them some of the most prominent Rabbonim in Israel, including R’ Aryeh Leib Shteinman, R’ Yona Metzger, Chief Rabbi of Israel, the Vishnitzer Rebbe, the Sanz-Klauszenberger Rebbe of Netanya, the Nadvorna Rebbe, R’ Nissim Karetliz, R’ Berel Povalski and Bnei Brak Mayor Yaakov Asher with many people from Belgium and England flying in for the levaya as well.
“I have never seen so many people in my life,” Bnei Brak resident Chaim Braun, who attended the massive levaya, told VIN News. “All of Bnei Brak was closed down.”
The levaya, which was scheduled to begin at the Sadigerer Beis Medrash on Rechov Gutmacher at 1:30 PM, began exactly on time.
“Everyone made circles around the niftar who was in the center of the beis medrash to make sure that no one could come close,” reported Brown. “The whole tzavaa was read in very clear Yiddish and the niftar wrote that his son, R’ Tzvi Yisroel Moshe Friedman, the Av Beis Din of the Sadigura chasidim in London, should become Rebbe as of now. Everyone said mazel tov and then they said Kaddish.”
The Rebbe is also survived by two daughters, as well as his sons in law R’ Pinchas Shapira of Tel Aviv and R’ Shmuel Zaanvil Scharf of the United States. While the Rebbe’s son had been in Israel at the time of the Rebbe’s petira, R’ Schapira and his wife were in Switzerland and were only able to get back to Israel after the levaya had already started.
The procession traveled through the streets of Bnei Brak as the niftar was brought from the Sadigerer Beis Medrash to the Ruzhin Sadiger Yeshiva on Rechov Ezra, with kevura taking place at Nachlas Yitzchak in Givatayaim.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Knesset member Yaakov Katz described the Sadigerer Rebbe’s legendary love for every Jew.
“He was one of the great leaders of the Torah world who led everyone, not only his followers. He had a love of people, a love of Eretz Yisroel and a love of the Torah and he knew how to combine all three of those things. We all need to tear a very big kriya on his passing.”
Born in Vienna, the Friedman family moved to Pshemishel Poland in 1934, but left to Israel just a few years later, successfully escaping the horrors of World War II. The family moved once again to Crown Heights in the 1940’s but the Rebbe eventually returned to Israel, founding the Ruzhin yeshiva in Bnei Brak. The Rebbe succeeded his father, R’ Mordechai Sholom Yosef Friedman, the fourth rebbe of the significant chasidic dynasty in 1979 after his death and was named a member of the presidium Agudath Israel’s Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah in 1989.
According to Israeli news source News 1, Hatzala had been called to the Rebbe’s home this morning where emergency medical technicians began CPR, which they performed continuously for over an hour, even as the Rebbe was transported to the hospital. Hospital staff worked furiously in an attempt to resuscitate the Rebbe and hospital CEO Gershon Lieder personally oversaw the Rebbe’s medical care.
“The medical staff did all that could possibly be done, continuing intensive life saving efforts, but to our great distress, the decree had been written,” reported Lieder. “Together with family members and the Rav of the hospital we gathered a minyan and said tearfully recited viduy and Shema Yisroel with the Rebbe until his pure neshama left us.”
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