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Jerusalem - Tens Of Thousands Attend Levaya of R’ Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Zatzal (photos)

Published on: November 8, 2011 10:04 AM
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Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. Photo by Flash90.Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. Photo by Flash90.

Jerusalem - Tens of thousands of people attended the levaya of one of the greatest Roshei Yeshiva of our generation, a shining light who was responsible for the limud Torah of tens of thousands of yeshiva bochurim and kollel yungerleit.

The streets of Yerushalayim were rendered completely impassable, as hundreds of policemen, dozens of ambulances and thousands upon thousands of mourners came to pay their respects to R’ Nosson Tzvi Finkel, zt’l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Mirrer Yerushalayim, who was niftar late last night at the age of 69 after a sudden heart attack.

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Businesses in Yerushalayim shuttered their doors and both R’ Sholom Yosef Elyashiv and R’ Aryeh Leib Shteinman instructed all talmud torahs, yeshivos and kollels in Yerushalayim to come out and attend the levaya which took place in the Beis Yisroel neighborhood, home of the famed Mirrer Yeshiva, the largest in Israel and, according to some, possibly even the largest in the world.

The streets of Beis Yisroel began to fill with people in the early morning hours as people tried to face the loss of a Gadol Hador whose words of Torah inspired countless of thousands.  Bereft talmidim with tear filled eyes tore kriya for the Rosh Yeshiva as the paroches was removed in the yeshiva and the hanhala implored the heartbroken talmidim to continue in their learning up until the moment of the levaya so that the Kol Torah should continue to resound, as always, in the hallowed halls of the Mirrer, even at this darkest moment.

The Rosh Yeshiva was taken from his home at 11:30 AM Israeli time, and brought to the Yeshiva, where the levaya began with the recital of Tehillim, led in a broken voice by R’ Shmuel Yaakov Borenstein, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Kiryas Melech, a long time close friend and chavrusa of the Rosh Yeshiva, zt’l, followed by eulogies by some of the biggest names in the Torah world.

“There is great joy and happiness in shomayim with the arrival of a soul so clean and so pure,” said R’ Aryeh Leib Shteinman in his hesped.  “We are grieving here but in the heavens, they are rejoicing as they are joined by a Yid who devoted literally his entire life to the Torah.”

R’ Shteinman also announced that the position of Rosh Yeshiva at the Mirrer would be transferred to R’ Nosson Tzvi’s eldest son, R’ Leizer Yehuda Finkel.

R’ Aryeh Finkel, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Mirrer Brachfeld, spoke tearfully of his mentor, calling him, “my father and my mother.  My father in matters of ruchiniyus and my mother in matters of gashmiyus.  The Aron Hakodesh has been taken from us.  He was a giant in Ahavas Hatorah.  May he be a meilitz yosher for your family and the entire yeshiva.”

“The yeshiva lost the Sar Hatorah who continuously brought us higher and higher,” said R’ Rafael Slomovitz.  “We ask mechila in the name of the entire yeshiva if we did not give the Rosh Yeshiva the kavod he deserved.  He was a meilitz yosher for all of us.

“You were a father to thousands,” said R’ Leizer Yehuda Finkel.  “You lived with strengths that were above the normal ways of the world.  You had no body or even the image of the body because everything about you was completely holy.  The Aron of Hashem has been taken.  You were a Mishkon of Torah; your entire life spent in learning.  You demanded from us that we too rise to even greater heights.  Oy Tatte, please go up to the kisei hakavod, tear the shaarei shomayim so that Hashem will bring an end to all of our tzaros and rebuild the Beis Hamikdash.”

R’ Shmuel Finkel, another son of the niftar, spoke about how despite the size of the yeshiva, R’ Nosson Tzvi loved each one of his talmidim and made sure to know their names.

“His mesirus nefesh in spreading the Torah, his every present love of Torah, that is something rare.  He would close the door and learn with one bochur until 2 AM, and at 4 AM he would be learning with another bochur.  He would spend all of Friday, until the arrival of Shabbos, immersed in his learning.  Each one of us should take on some of the hanhagos of the Rosh Yeshiva to strengthen himself and my father will be a meilitz yosher for us.”

The streets of Yerushalyaim were closed as the levaya left the yeshiva at 2 PM.  Helicopters swirled overhead as the procession traveled, on foot, along Rechov Meah Shearim down Malchei Yisroel, along Sarei Yisroel, Torah Mitziyon, Rechov Hatzvi, Shderot Weitzman, Rechov Yirmiyahu, through the Givat Shaul neighborhood until Akiva Azulai before turning into the Beis Oylam on Har Menuchos.

Umacha Hashem Elokim dima mayal kol panim.

Ultra Orthodox Jews are seen during the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel in Jerusalems neighborhood of Beit Israel, 08 November 2011. Tens of thousands of Ultra Orthodox Jews participated in the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel who was the head of Mir Yeshiva, one of the biggest Jewish religious school in the world. (Credit: EPA)Ultra Orthodox Jews are seen during the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel in Jerusalems neighborhood of Beit Israel, 08 November 2011. Tens of thousands of Ultra Orthodox Jews participated in the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel who was the head of Mir Yeshiva, one of the biggest Jewish religious school in the world. (Credit: EPA)
Ultra Orthodox Jews are seen during the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel in Jerusalems neighborhood of Beit Israel, 08 November 2011. Tens of thousands of Ultra Orthodox Jews participated in the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel who was the head of Mir Yeshiva, one of the biggest Jewish religious school in the world. (Credit: EPA)Ultra Orthodox Jews are seen during the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel in Jerusalems neighborhood of Beit Israel, 08 November 2011. Tens of thousands of Ultra Orthodox Jews participated in the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel who was the head of Mir Yeshiva, one of the biggest Jewish religious school in the world. (Credit: EPA)
Ultra Orthodox Jews crowd during the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel in Jerusalems neighborhood of Beit Israel, 08 November 2011. Tens of thousands of Ultra Orthodox Jews participated in the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel who was the head of Mir Yeshiva, one of the biggest Jewish religious school in the world. (Credit: EPA)Ultra Orthodox Jews crowd during the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel in Jerusalems neighborhood of Beit Israel, 08 November 2011. Tens of thousands of Ultra Orthodox Jews participated in the funeral of Rabbi Nathan Tzvi Frenkel who was the head of Mir Yeshiva, one of the biggest Jewish religious school in the world. (Credit: EPA)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men stand on a roof as they watch the funeral procession of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men stand on a roof as they watch the funeral procession of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men watch the funeral procession of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men watch the funeral procession of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather for the funeral procession of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather for the funeral procession of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls stand on a roof as they watch the funeral procession of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish girls stand on a roof as they watch the funeral procession of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather for the funeral of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather for the funeral of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather for the funeral of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather for the funeral of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather for the funeral of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather for the funeral of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69.  (Credit: REUTERS)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather for the funeral of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69. (Credit: REUTERS)Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather for the funeral of Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighbourhood November 8, 2011. Finkel was the head of the Jewish seminary Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He died on Tuesday at the age of 69. (Credit: REUTERS)
Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old. Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old. Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)
Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old. Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old. Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)
Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old. Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old. Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)
Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)
Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)
Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011.  (Credit: Flash90)Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011.  (Credit: Flash90)
Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)
Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)
Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011. (Credit: Flash90)
Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011.  (Credit: Flash90)Rabbi Natan Tzvi Finkel, who headed the Mir yeshiva in Jerusalem, passed away at the age of 69-years-old.  Thousands of people participated in the funeral today, Nov 8 2011.  (Credit: Flash90)

 


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Read Comments (11)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 08, 2011 at 10:27 AM Talmid. Says:

I hope all roshei yeshiva take one middah which was him, Ahavas yisroel! this tzaddik had an open heart, ear, and mind and every other one of his eivarim running to help another yid. This was evident by him accepting anybody ready to learn.

Accept every yid to your yeshiva with an open heart and you will help what he started. and that is turning back the clock on yiddin going off the derech. I can say, I learned in the mir more than in all my prior years combined. The knowledge that money is not a priority by this tzaddik zy"a, and that they are there to do anything to get talmidim to learn without any other daaga. He had an opening in his heart and house for another yiddishe neshama.

We sourly need him and miss him.
avad tzaddik min haaretz.

2

 Nov 08, 2011 at 10:52 AM ChachoMoe Says:

Well said by Rav Shteinman "pure" is what he was all about ...pure ahavos haTorah...pure Ahavos Yisrael (all m'toch yeSurim, despite all his physical pain!). Rarely do we find that nowadays.

3

 Nov 08, 2011 at 12:32 PM GEULA Says:

WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!!!!! These pictures say so much! I have never seen such a crowd in my life. At 4:00pm at the other end of yerushalayim avreichim and people from all ovver were still walking in crowds. And to #1: You are so right. While Mirr holds some real real serious ameilim batorah, he allowed everybody else, even those that just want a bit of torah to come and learn. Such Ahavas Yisroel. You can see it on his face. What a loss!!!!

4

 Nov 08, 2011 at 12:22 PM Anonymous Says:

It may be not the right moment to mention this at a time of a great loss to klal yisroel, but it should be noticed.
We can understand an appreciate that everyone wants to be part of the leviye and see everything. Howevwr seeing the photographs how people standing on the roofs of the buildings, standing all the way to the edge of the building that has no gate (מעקה) scares me. This for itself is a ness that nothing happened there.

5

 Nov 08, 2011 at 01:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

It may be not the right moment to mention this at a time of a great loss to klal yisroel, but it should be noticed.
We can understand an appreciate that everyone wants to be part of the leviye and see everything. Howevwr seeing the photographs how people standing on the roofs of the buildings, standing all the way to the edge of the building that has no gate (מעקה) scares me. This for itself is a ness that nothing happened there.

Thought the same thing

6

 Nov 08, 2011 at 04:01 PM GEULA Says:

Anonymous #4 and #5 , you guys must have a real hard life, if you find in such insipirational and warm moments something negative to say. So irrelevant and unimportant.

7

 Nov 08, 2011 at 05:48 PM InformedConsent Says:

GEULA, you have it so right. #4, #5 have forgotten the following rules:

Just because you think it, doesn't mean you should say it.
Just because you said it, doesn't mean you should write it.
Just because you wrote it, doesn't mean you should publish it.

Each an every time we have a thought, saying it out loud, writing it in ink, submitting it as an online comment brings it to life; validates it in a way; alters reality.

If the only thought one chooses to publish is one of negativity, then reality becomes negative. If it is one of inspiration, then reality is inspiring.

Commentators! Take heed! Your postings and comments not only reveal your essence but shape all our realities! Post carefully. Post with purpose. Post as you want the world to be.

8

 Nov 08, 2011 at 06:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
GEULA Says:

Anonymous #4 and #5 , you guys must have a real hard life, if you find in such insipirational and warm moments something negative to say. So irrelevant and unimportant.

Would it be as unimportant if ח"וsome fell down those roofs?
I'm afraid your life and life of others in your eyes are too easy.

9

 Nov 08, 2011 at 06:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
InformedConsent Says:

GEULA, you have it so right. #4, #5 have forgotten the following rules:

Just because you think it, doesn't mean you should say it.
Just because you said it, doesn't mean you should write it.
Just because you wrote it, doesn't mean you should publish it.

Each an every time we have a thought, saying it out loud, writing it in ink, submitting it as an online comment brings it to life; validates it in a way; alters reality.

If the only thought one chooses to publish is one of negativity, then reality becomes negative. If it is one of inspiration, then reality is inspiring.

Commentators! Take heed! Your postings and comments not only reveal your essence but shape all our realities! Post carefully. Post with purpose. Post as you want the world to be.

Yene "GEULA"
I ask you to please read very carefully your last two lines "Take heed! Your postings and comments not only reveal your essence but shape all our realities! Post carefully. Post with purpose. Post as you want the world to be.”

10

 Nov 08, 2011 at 11:04 PM Ich shaym zich oych nisht Says:

lways said hello to me when he saw me in the Beth Hamedrash. His Kovod Habrius is just as magnamonius as his learning was to all klal Yisroel

11

 Nov 09, 2011 at 12:44 PM WhyBernieRuns Says:

Note how the pictures refer to the crowd as "Ultra-Orthodox Jews".
There are two types of Jews- observant Jews who accept the validity of the Torah as G-d ordained. The other type denies that connection and lives their lives accordingly. Let's just refer to Jews as Orthodox or unaffiliated.

12

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