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Jerusalem - Thousands Mourn The Passing Of Rav Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz

Published on: February 28, 2016 12:59 PM
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Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Jerusalem - Swells of black hatted mourners gathered on rooftops, packed the Ponovezh Yeshiva and jammed the streets of Bnei Brak for blocks as they took part in the levaya for Rav Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz who passed away yesterday morning in a Ramat Gan hospital at the age of 83.

Rabbi Leibowitz, rosh yeshiva of the Ponovezh Yeshiva and Yeshivas Kaminetz, had been hospitalized several times over the past few months after suffering a brain hemorrhage, according to Israeli news site B’Chadrei Chareidim.  His condition had deteriorated over the last several weeks, with calls for prayers for Rabbi Leibowitz’s recovery issued throughout the world.

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Rabbi Leibowitz passed away surrounded by his family members and students. When word of his death was received at the yeshiva after Shabbos, the paroches was removed from the gilded aron kodesh as a symbol of mourning.

Rabbi Leibowitz was born to his parents Rabbi Yaakov Moshe and Tzeina Leah Leibowitz in Belarus and was recognized in his youth for his incredible acumen.  The family escaped to Vilna prior to the outbreak of World War II and made their way to Jerusalem.

Rabbi Leibowitz learned in Jerusalem’s Chevron Yeshiva and immediately after his marriage to Sima Rothstein, the daughter of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Rothstein head of the Diskin Orphanage in Jerusalem, he was named a rosh yeshiva at the Kaminetz Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Leibowitz was known for his style of learning, which mirrored that of his grandfather, Rabbi Baruch Ber Leibowitz, the Birkas Shmuel, a methodology he passed on to his thousands of students.

The levaya for Rabbi Leibowitz began at noon today at the yeshiva, with thousands flocking to Bnei Brak to pay their respects.  Kikar HaShabbat reported that Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, rosh yeshiva of the Ponovezh Yeshiva, opened the funeral with Tehillim and a recitation of the yud gimel midos before delivering a eulogy where he credited Rabbi Leibowitz with successfully carrying on the tradition of the Vilna Gaon.

Rosh yeshiva Rabbi Berel Povarski described Rabbi Leibowitz as “a chasid, who was humble and merited that his body was transformed into an actual neshama, and we saw with our own eyes that that neshama did not want to leave that holy body.”

Rabbi Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi, who had known Rabbi Leibowitz for decades, spoke about Rabbi Leibowitz’s brilliant mind, which had been evident even in his youth, assisting his father as he gave shiur and following in his grandfather’s footsteps.

“Now we are accompanying the Birkas Shmuel himself, whose traditions, whose Torah, whose greatness and whose righteousness were embodied by the niftar,” said Rabbi Ezrachi.

Rav Moshe Schapiro and Rabbi Leibowitz’s son, Rabbi Yaakov Moshe also spoke at the levaya.  The procession continued to the Kaminetz Yeshiva in Jerusalem, where another eulogy was delivered by the rosh yeshiva, Rav Yitzchak Scheiner, with burial taking place on Har Hamenuchos.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in Jerusalem, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of  head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra-Orthodox Jews attend the funeral of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)
Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)Ultra orthodox jews pray near the body of head Yeshiva of Ponivezh Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz in the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak, early on February 28, 2016, Rabbi Chaim Shlomo Leibowitz died early on Saturday at the age of 83. (Credit: Flash90)

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