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Jerusalem - Shas Spiritual Leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ZT'L Passes Away (photos)

Published on: October 7, 2013 06:29 AM
Last updated on: October 7, 2013 07:56 AM
By: AP
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File - File photo of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef sits surrounded by members of his staff during a rally of his Ultra-Orthodox Shas party in Jerusalem.(AP Photo/Enric Marti, File)File - File photo of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef sits surrounded by members of his staff during a rally of his Ultra-Orthodox Shas party in Jerusalem.(AP Photo/Enric Marti, File)

Jerusalem - Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the religious scholar and spiritual leader of Israel’s Sephardic Jews who transformed his downtrodden community of immigrants from North Africa and Arab nations and their descendants into a powerful force in Israeli politics, died on Monday. He was 93.

Yosef, who had suffered from a variety of medical ailments for several years, was hospitalized in recent days in critical condition after suffering kidney failure and problems with other bodily systems. Officials at the Jerusalem hospital that treated him announced his death.

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Yosef was often called the outstanding Sephardic rabbinical authority of the century. His prominence helped boost the confidence of his community, which makes up roughly half of Israel’s population but was long impoverished and faced discrimination by Ashkenazi — or European — Jews who traditionally dominated Israel’s government and religious institution.

Yosef parlayed his religious authority into political power, founding Shas, a party representing Sephardic Jews that became a kingmaker in several government coalitions.

As hospital officials announced his death, anguished cries could be heard from a large crowd of supporters that had gathered.

Eli Yishai, a Shas leader, stepped outside the hospital, recited a Jewish blessing and then broke down into tears.

“How will we remain alone. Who will lead us,” said Arieh Deri, another Shas leader, as he sobbed uncontrollably.

Crowds of anguished followers recited the kaddish, the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead. Israeli TV stations said Israel’s main highways were already jammed up as tens of thousands of people prepared to head to Jerusalem for Yosef’s funeral later in the day.

The Iraqi-born Yosef came to national prominence when he served as Israel’s chief Sephardic rabbi from 1972 to 1983. While he was revered by his followers, his critics charged that he exacerbated ethnic tensions between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Israelis.

His ornate outfit, with a gold-trimmed black cape and upswept hat, combined with his ever-present dark glasses and habitually slurred speech, made him an easy target for caricaturists. He would greet visitors, whether it be followers or prime ministers, with a playful slap to the face.

But he was the charismatic face of his Shas party, with his image plastered on posters, buses and sides of buildings during political campaigns.

Shas first ran in an election in 1984, winning four seats in the 120-seat parliament.

It subsequently grew to 17 places, the third-largest party after the mainstream Labor and Likud. However, it was hit by scandals and the imprisonment of its leader, Deri, on corruption charges. Shas currently has 11 seats, making it a midsize faction, and sits in the opposition.

Yosef’s influence reached beyond the party, and he was known for his fierce statements that offended widely disparate segments of society, including Holocaust survivors, gays, Palestinians and secular Jews.

He made his biggest political-religious waves by ruling that Israel may give back parts of the West Bank in exchange for peace, invoking the Jewish concept that preserving life is the highest commandment. In an attack on the 1990-1992 government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, the rabbi asked: “What have you (Shamir) done to prevent bloodshed?”

“The sanctity of life overrules the slogan of not giving up an inch,” he added.

The ruling countered decrees by other rabbis, who declared that no Jew had a right to hand over any part of the biblical Land of Israel to a non-Jew for any reason.

But in recent years he appeared to retreat, emphasizing the religious and security aspects of the West Bank for Israel and backing Jewish settlement there.

The rabbi said during a sermon in August 2010 that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should “perish from the world” and described Palestinians as “evil, bitter enemies of Israel.” He later apologized.

Ultra orthodox Jewish men seen mourning around the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which hundreds of thousands of mourners will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where  Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox Jewish men seen mourning around the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which hundreds of thousands of mourners will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra orthodox Jewish men seen mourning around the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which hundreds of thousands of mourners will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where  Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox Jewish men seen mourning around the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which hundreds of thousands of mourners will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra orthodox Jewish men seen mourning around the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which hundreds of thousands of mourners will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where  Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox Jewish men seen mourning around the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which hundreds of thousands of mourners will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men try to push past a police cordon in an attempt to reach a vehicle transporting the body of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-religious Shas political party, before his funeral in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men try to push past a police cordon in an attempt to reach a vehicle transporting the body of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-religious Shas political party, before his funeral in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)
Ultra orthodox Jewish men seen carrying the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef into the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which hundreds of thousands of mourners will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where  Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox Jewish men seen carrying the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef into the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which hundreds of thousands of mourners will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
DOzens of ultra orthodox Jewish mourners seen on a rooftop near the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, where hundreds of thousands of of mourners are gathering, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)DOzens of ultra orthodox Jewish mourners seen on a rooftop near the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, where hundreds of thousands of of mourners are gathering, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Leader of the Shas party Aryeh Deri (C) cries as he stands with Israeli President Shimon Peres (2R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not seen) near the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who passed away earlier today at the age of 93, in Jerusalem. October 07, 2013. (Credit: Flash90)Leader of the Shas party Aryeh Deri (C) cries as he stands with Israeli President Shimon Peres (2R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not seen) near the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who passed away earlier today at the age of 93, in Jerusalem. October 07, 2013. (Credit: Flash90)
Israeli President SHimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of Shas party Aryeh Deri seen helping to carry the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who passed away earlier today at the age of 93, in Jerusalem. October 07, 2013. (Credit: Flash90)Israeli President SHimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of Shas party Aryeh Deri seen helping to carry the body of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who passed away earlier today at the age of 93, in Jerusalem. October 07, 2013. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra Orthodox Jewish men cry out as they mourn Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra Orthodox Jewish men cry out as they mourn Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef who passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews gather outside Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews gather outside Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews gather outside Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews gather outside Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews gather outside Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews gather outside Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man cuts his clothes in despair as he reacts to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man cuts his clothes in despair as he reacts to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews gather outside Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews gather outside Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews gather outside Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Thousands of ultra orthodox Jews gather outside Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem, from which they will walk to the Sanhedriya cemetery where Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will be buried later this evening. Rabbi Yosef passed away in Jerusalem today, on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra Orthodox Jews cry out as they react to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra Orthodox Jews cry out as they react to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Orthodox Jews cry as they react to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Orthodox Jews cry as they react to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra Orthodox Jewish men react to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra Orthodox Jewish men react to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra Orthodox Jews cry out, outside the Hadassah EIn Kerem hospital, as they react to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra Orthodox Jews cry out, outside the Hadassah EIn Kerem hospital, as they react to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra Orthodox Jews cry out, outside the Hadassah EIn Kerem hospital, as they react to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra Orthodox Jews cry out, outside the Hadassah EIn Kerem hospital, as they react to the news that Shas spirtual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef passed away in Jerusalem on October 07, 2013 at the age of 93. (Credit: Flash90)
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man reacts upon hearing news about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of the ultra-religious Shas political party, in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man reacts upon hearing news about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of the ultra-religious Shas political party, in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men react upon hearing the news about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of the ultra-religious Shas political party, in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men react upon hearing the news about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of the ultra-religious Shas political party, in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man reacts upon hearing news about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of the ultra-religious Shas political party, in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man reacts upon hearing news about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of the ultra-religious Shas political party, in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman reacts upon hearing about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-religious Shas political party, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)An ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman reacts upon hearing about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-religious Shas political party, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)
Onlookers watch from a hospital window as ultra-Orthodox Jews mourn upon hearing about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-religious Shas political party, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)Onlookers watch from a hospital window as ultra-Orthodox Jews mourn upon hearing about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-religious Shas political party, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men walk after visiting Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-religious Shas political party, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men walk after visiting Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-religious Shas political party, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)
Aryeh Deri (C), leader of the ultra-religious Shas political party, reacts as he address the media upon hearing news about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of Shas, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)Aryeh Deri (C), leader of the ultra-religious Shas political party, reacts as he address the media upon hearing news about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of Shas, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man reacts upon hearing news about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of the ultra-religious Shas political party, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man reacts upon hearing news about the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual mentor of the ultra-religious Shas political party, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem October 7, 2013. Yosef, an Iraqi-born sage who turned an Israeli underclass of Sephardic Jews of Middle Eastern heritage into a powerful political force, died on Monday at the age of 93, plunging masses of followers into mourning.  (Credit: Reuters)
Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)
Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)
Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)
Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)
Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)
Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)
Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)
Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef  in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)
Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)Religious Israelis react to death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in the hallway near his room at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, 07 October 2013. Reports state that Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party and an influential figure in Israeli politics, died on 07 October 2013 in a Jerusalem hospital aged 93. (Credit: EPA)


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1

 Oct 07, 2013 at 06:59 AM sad Says:

boruch dayan haemes

2

 Oct 07, 2013 at 07:02 AM BlueBerry Says:

Bde, We Lost A Giant.

3

 Oct 07, 2013 at 07:05 AM GevalDigeh Says:

Bde. Anothe lost. Another person that has put us closer to moshiach

4

 Oct 07, 2013 at 07:10 AM Michael Says:

BD"E

5

 Oct 07, 2013 at 07:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Its the end of an era!

6

 Oct 07, 2013 at 08:02 AM Anonymous Says:

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. The great lion of time has a new home! BDE

7

 Oct 07, 2013 at 08:36 AM Anonymous Says:

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. He was a great man from a different generation, and we were lucky enough to have him lead us for many years. may hashem grant us another Rav that will lead us in the same manner.

May his neshama be blessed.

8

 Oct 07, 2013 at 08:42 AM Insider Says:

One of the greatest Torah scholars of our time. More than 100,000 listeners came or tunes in to his weekly Motzaei Shabbos shiurim. His passing is a great loss to Klal Yisroel. Boruch Dayan Ha'emes.

9

 Oct 07, 2013 at 08:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Baruch Dayan Emet.
i am a noahide. and its heartbreaking that the non jewish world do not realise just how great a loss this is to the jewish people and the world . as the sages wrote, if only they knew of the importance of the temple they would not have destroyed it twice . and just as then, today they refuse to realise one of the greatest tzaddiks has left us. May G-d bless and protect israel always.

10

 Oct 07, 2013 at 08:51 AM BuzBuz Says:

Hi,

Numbers were set up that are streaming Shas's radio station in Israel. The numbers are:
US: 712-432-4200
Israel: 072-22-4-2222

11

 Oct 07, 2013 at 09:02 AM Yipyap Says:

I see men and women mixed together. and BD'E

12

 Oct 07, 2013 at 09:24 AM Deveee Says:

Sar VeGadol Nafal BeYisrael

13

 Oct 07, 2013 at 09:51 AM Anonymous Says:

we need everybody to calm down moshiach is coming don't get carried away....

14

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:03 AM proud-mo-israeli Says:

93. We should all be so lucky

15

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:08 AM Psychiatrist Says:

Reply to #11  
Yipyap Says:

I see men and women mixed together. and BD'E

Get help.

16

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:13 AM Our loss Says:

Reply to #11  
Yipyap Says:

I see men and women mixed together. and BD'E

Many people do not realize that when we pray for a refuah for a gadol we are reallying praying for our own benefit. The loss of a gadol of the stature of Rav Elyashiv ztl or Rav Ovadia Yosef ztl, author of the Yabia Omer, leaves us with his sefarim, his sayings, his recordings, and his legacy amongst his children and his true followers-- but we are all orphaned and those of us seeking guidance in halachic matters do not have him to turn to, anymore. The written word and recorded words cannot replace a live posek, let alone a posek and mekubal of the stature of this gadol.

We have to pray, fervently, that "ha-shivah shofteinu ke'va'rishona v'yoatzenu ke'vat'chilah v'haser mee'menu yagon v'anacha...".

--- Ashkenazi Admirer

17

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:13 AM Aron1 Says:

Reply to #11  
Yipyap Says:

I see men and women mixed together. and BD'E

And I see people who make "brilliant" observations.
BD"E

18

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:13 AM some1 Says:

Reply to #11  
Yipyap Says:

I see men and women mixed together. and BD'E

Only people with crooked heads could type such a comment in the middle of such sad news, obviously you didn't had a problem looking on these pictures.

19

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:18 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Yipyap Says:

I see men and women mixed together. and BD'E

ur an idiot. this is all you can think about at a time like this.

20

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:18 AM barbaabba Says:

I see some people putting on a show with over-the-top cry like emotional burst. BDE Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was a great leader and a great scholar and it is a great loss for our generation
the man was 93 years old and in very frail health condition for a while, it is not like we didn't know that he was being dispatched to the heavens. most people likely prepared emotionally for this possibility
I believe that instead of hanging around the hospital or the streets crying or just standing around there should be an increase in learning and Tehilim in his merit, additional tzedakah and good deeds will be much more appropriate
may his neshamah be a good advocate for all of us and our generation

21

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:25 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

we need everybody to calm down moshiach is coming don't get carried away....

"moshiach is coming".

So you know somthing the rest of us don't??? What is the source of your confidence?? When the sinas chinam in EY is at all time highs and the chareidi sector is polarized from the mainstream of yidden in EY, that gives you confidence of z'man moishiach. I wish I shared your optimism. Lets hope Rav Yosef, will be a maylitz yosher for all of us and his succesor works to bridge the gaps between sephardeshe and litvish communities and between frum and frei yidden so we truly may have some hope of living to see z'man moishiach b'maharah b'yamanu. Sadly, more of the same polarizing rhetoric is unlikely to bring us closer to that day.

22

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:31 AM Ariel_Gold Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

we need everybody to calm down moshiach is coming don't get carried away....

Is that a fact or an opinion?

23

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:31 AM Godol-Hador Says:

BD"E.
Such a Torah Giant and genius. Mamesh knew everything.
Amazing zchuss to have the greatest leaders of medinas yisroel, of which he was such a great and integral part of, carry his holy oron.
I'm sure he will be missed by every lover of Israel after all he and shass did.

24

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:33 AM Moose Says:

Reply to #11  
Yipyap Says:

I see men and women mixed together. and BD'E

Funny,
I had just made a mental note to myself,
"wow, look at that, even in the hallway where it is impossible to organize, we still see the men and women in seperate bunches".
I guess you see what you look for.

25

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:34 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

Baruch Dayan Emet.
i am a noahide. and its heartbreaking that the non jewish world do not realise just how great a loss this is to the jewish people and the world . as the sages wrote, if only they knew of the importance of the temple they would not have destroyed it twice . and just as then, today they refuse to realise one of the greatest tzaddiks has left us. May G-d bless and protect israel always.

In all honesty to would be important to non-Jews because....?

26

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Yipyap Says:

I see men and women mixed together. and BD'E

Yes, I know it sounds crazy to you but many sephardeshe women also feel the loss of Chacham Ovadia and are entitled to show their grief publicly. If such displays of grief for a gadol hador trouble you, then crawl back into your cave. How can you make such a comment when the niftar hasn't even been buried???

27

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:47 AM Godol-Hador Says:

BD"E.
Such a Torah Giant and genius. Mamesh knew everything.
Amazing zchuss to have the greatest leaders of medinas yisroel, of which he was such a great and integral part of, carry his holy oron.
I'm sure he will be missed by every lover of Israel after all he and shass did.

28

 Oct 07, 2013 at 10:54 AM chaim Says:

A true loss to all of klal yisroel.
He was a man of the tziur may he continue in shomayim

BD'E

29

 Oct 07, 2013 at 11:24 AM 5TResident Says:

BDE and ZTL.

He lived to be 93. Instead of mourning, we should be celebrating that such a man was given such a long life, giving us his knowledge for many, many years.

30

 Oct 07, 2013 at 11:28 AM Benabenja Says:

BD'E!! I was fearing this day for years and woe to me, woe to us, it has come early! He was not only a Torah giant, he was the Gadol Ha'dor!! This a day of mourning and crying for the departure of our master, avi' moreinu!! I am weeping with bitter tears!

31

 Oct 07, 2013 at 11:28 AM some1 Says:

Reply to #20  
barbaabba Says:

I see some people putting on a show with over-the-top cry like emotional burst. BDE Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was a great leader and a great scholar and it is a great loss for our generation
the man was 93 years old and in very frail health condition for a while, it is not like we didn't know that he was being dispatched to the heavens. most people likely prepared emotionally for this possibility
I believe that instead of hanging around the hospital or the streets crying or just standing around there should be an increase in learning and Tehilim in his merit, additional tzedakah and good deeds will be much more appropriate
may his neshamah be a good advocate for all of us and our generation

you have zero clue what reb ovadia was and what he did to acheinu hasfardim, how the sfardim were before he was in power and what he made them to be.

32

 Oct 07, 2013 at 11:30 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Insider Says:

One of the greatest Torah scholars of our time. More than 100,000 listeners came or tunes in to his weekly Motzaei Shabbos shiurim. His passing is a great loss to Klal Yisroel. Boruch Dayan Ha'emes.

The greatest one, the leader of our generation.

33

 Oct 07, 2013 at 11:42 AM NewsBoy Says:

Buruch diyen hemes,we all lost one of the biggest and leading true torah leaders

34

 Oct 07, 2013 at 11:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

"moshiach is coming".

So you know somthing the rest of us don't??? What is the source of your confidence?? When the sinas chinam in EY is at all time highs and the chareidi sector is polarized from the mainstream of yidden in EY, that gives you confidence of z'man moishiach. I wish I shared your optimism. Lets hope Rav Yosef, will be a maylitz yosher for all of us and his succesor works to bridge the gaps between sephardeshe and litvish communities and between frum and frei yidden so we truly may have some hope of living to see z'man moishiach b'maharah b'yamanu. Sadly, more of the same polarizing rhetoric is unlikely to bring us closer to that day.

How do you reconcile "b'chol yom sheyavo" with your cynical attitude?
Yes! # 13 (along with the rest of us) knows something that you don't!!

35

 Oct 07, 2013 at 01:02 PM REALIST Says:

Reply to #29  
5TResident Says:

BDE and ZTL.

He lived to be 93. Instead of mourning, we should be celebrating that such a man was given such a long life, giving us his knowledge for many, many years.

We are not mourning him.
We are mourning ourselves, who no longer have his wisdom, counsel, and protection.

36

 Oct 07, 2013 at 01:22 PM Ashkenazi brooklyn mom Says:

With a saddened heart, we continue to be a generation of orphans. Oy lanu! May he be a meilitz yosher for all klal Yisroel in Gan Eden, the same as he was when he was in Olam Hazeh. May he bring us closer to Moshiach.

37

 Oct 07, 2013 at 01:23 PM sighber Says:

Reply to #29  
5TResident Says:

BDE and ZTL.

He lived to be 93. Instead of mourning, we should be celebrating that such a man was given such a long life, giving us his knowledge for many, many years.

The Jewish people mourned for Aharon HaCohen and the Jewish men for Moshe Rabbeinu, even though they were old. We lost a Rav - a leader of a generation. Boruch Dayan Emes.

38

 Oct 07, 2013 at 02:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #34  
Anonymous Says:

How do you reconcile "b'chol yom sheyavo" with your cynical attitude?
Yes! # 13 (along with the rest of us) knows something that you don't!!

Any the somthing you know is???? Please share you chiddush with the rest of the tzibur.

39

 Oct 07, 2013 at 03:01 PM I_Am_Me Says:

Reply to #20  
barbaabba Says:

I see some people putting on a show with over-the-top cry like emotional burst. BDE Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was a great leader and a great scholar and it is a great loss for our generation
the man was 93 years old and in very frail health condition for a while, it is not like we didn't know that he was being dispatched to the heavens. most people likely prepared emotionally for this possibility
I believe that instead of hanging around the hospital or the streets crying or just standing around there should be an increase in learning and Tehilim in his merit, additional tzedakah and good deeds will be much more appropriate
may his neshamah be a good advocate for all of us and our generation

You can never really prepare for the loss of a family member, loved one, friend, rabbi, spiritual leader. It might not impact as much, but that doesn't mean you're prepared. Our minds play tricks on us & we deny things that are obvious but difficult, we are only human.

40

 Oct 07, 2013 at 03:03 PM I_Am_Me Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

"moshiach is coming".

So you know somthing the rest of us don't??? What is the source of your confidence?? When the sinas chinam in EY is at all time highs and the chareidi sector is polarized from the mainstream of yidden in EY, that gives you confidence of z'man moishiach. I wish I shared your optimism. Lets hope Rav Yosef, will be a maylitz yosher for all of us and his succesor works to bridge the gaps between sephardeshe and litvish communities and between frum and frei yidden so we truly may have some hope of living to see z'man moishiach b'maharah b'yamanu. Sadly, more of the same polarizing rhetoric is unlikely to bring us closer to that day.

Doesn't change the fact that Moshiach is coming & now Rav Ovadia Yosef has a chance to work behind the scenes to bring that day ever closer.

41

 Oct 07, 2013 at 03:11 PM I_Am_Me Says:

Reply to #29  
5TResident Says:

BDE and ZTL.

He lived to be 93. Instead of mourning, we should be celebrating that such a man was given such a long life, giving us his knowledge for many, many years.

93 is not a long life when people are living to be 120. In fact, the Rebbe use to bench to 180 for a reason & that's practically only half of Rav Ovadia's life span. Yes, 51 is young (the age my father died) & yes babies die daily, but 93 is still to young.

42

 Oct 07, 2013 at 03:12 PM Sociologist Says:

What made R. Ovadia Yosef z'L a gadol? That he was able to be meikeil whenever possible. He wanted to make the observance of mitzvot easy for people. MAy the next generation of poskim take that as a model.

May his memory be a blessing for all of klal Yisrael including those who were hurt by his words in his last decade on Earth.

43

 Oct 07, 2013 at 03:16 PM I_Am_Me Says:

BDE!!! My heart goes out to his family, friends, followers & loved ones. May klal Yisroel find peace in this tragedy somehow

44

 Oct 07, 2013 at 03:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #42  
Sociologist Says:

What made R. Ovadia Yosef z'L a gadol? That he was able to be meikeil whenever possible. He wanted to make the observance of mitzvot easy for people. MAy the next generation of poskim take that as a model.

May his memory be a blessing for all of klal Yisrael including those who were hurt by his words in his last decade on Earth.

There were also times where I disagreed with Rav Yosef's choice of words with reference to his political opponents but your backhanded slap at the niftar within several hours of the levayah ( "including those who were hurt by his words in his last decade on Earth”) demonstrates the same insensitivity you are indicting him for. Also, I'm not sure everyone would agree he was a gadol because he was "meikel" on halacha wherever possible so more yidden could believe they were fully shomrei mitzvot. Does that make a rav who is machmir on most halachos a "rosha" or take away for his status as gadol??

45

 Oct 07, 2013 at 04:07 PM barbaabba Says:

Reply to #31  
some1 Says:

you have zero clue what reb ovadia was and what he did to acheinu hasfardim, how the sfardim were before he was in power and what he made them to be.

It has nothing to do with the comment i made and I still stand by it. It is a loss to all of the Jews all over the world but this type of display may not be appropriate
I was there when i founded the Shas party and I was aware of the tremendous work he did on behalf of Agunot way before that, there are no arguments regarding his greatness and what he did to help the sephardic community in Israel and abroad
I have firsthand knowledge on the condition of the Sphardim before his revolutionary creation of the party as i lived in Israel for many years
I gave tzdakah this morning when i found out the news, i also will comit to saying more tehilim in his merit and hope to also learn something in his honor
good deeds will go so much further then standing around the streets crying or pretending to cry so to look more sad then the person next to me

46

 Oct 07, 2013 at 05:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Baruch Dayin Haemet
Our people will never be the same without him. I don't know how we will cope. We are allowed to mourn. He was our Spritual Leader. We got so much from him. Give us our space and stop being so critical about what you see. If you came to the funeral to inspect, then your intentions are much to be desired. We all came to pay our last respects to the big Gaon. Not to see how others feel about his loss.

47

 Oct 07, 2013 at 05:32 PM Anonymous Says:

93 is old? Who is measuring years here? We lost our spiritual leader. We are at a loss for what will be.

48

 Oct 07, 2013 at 06:13 PM Ariel_Gold Says:

Reply to #47  
Anonymous Says:

93 is old? Who is measuring years here? We lost our spiritual leader. We are at a loss for what will be.

Not to Lubavitchers.

49

 Oct 07, 2013 at 06:14 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #41  
I_Am_Me Says:

93 is not a long life when people are living to be 120. In fact, the Rebbe use to bench to 180 for a reason & that's practically only half of Rav Ovadia's life span. Yes, 51 is young (the age my father died) & yes babies die daily, but 93 is still to young.

93 is old. Live in reality please.

50

 Oct 07, 2013 at 09:26 PM I_Am_Me Says:

Reply to #49  
Anonymous Says:

93 is old. Live in reality please.

I am in reality, you obviously aren't to knowledgable on science & Brachot or you would t have made that comment

51

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