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Jul 19, 2012

Images From Rav Elyashiv's Funeral

I went to the levaya of Rav Elyashiv last night. There was a very large crowd there, but ti seemed strange to me. It did not feel like a funeral. I've been to large funerals before - Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach's funeral supposedly had in the range of 600,000 people while the news is reporting between 250,000 and 300,000 at Rav Elyashiv's.. - so it was not the size. For some reason, all over, people were chatting, laughing, and having a good time, myself included, while waiting for the main part of the procession to approach. It seemed more like a large social gathering than a funeral.

Here are some images I snapped with my cellphone at the funeral..

somebody, or some organization, had these buckets of bug juice and water and piles of cups, all for free. a great chessed on a hot night in the crowds

big crowds, people took up vantage points wherever they could, even on top of buildings..

kids standing on the median fence trying to get a good view

men were also standing on the fence to get a good view

and on top of the bus stops....

this guy was bellowing out a call to donate tzedaka - screaming something in yiddishe about the decree of the draft. I am not sure why the possible draft has anything to do with tzedaka, but people were donating..
Rav Elyashiv's neshama should be a meilitz yosher...

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  1. I was there too and noticed what your saying. I think its because not enough loud speakers were set up and many of the speakers were also malfunctioning. No one within blocks from me had any connection to the funeral. With massive crowds like that, and no speaker system, unless you were near the meis, you felt like you were in a large social gathering as you mentioned. Also, you can factor in that weren't really hespedim, no one was especially emotional.

    I believe though, that just showing up in huge numbers, late at night in bad weather, shows significant kavod hameis.

  2. I felt the same way at the funeral for the Rosh Yeshiva of Mir.

  3. Does it have anything to do with his ripe old age?

  4. When you think of how many thousands of hours of learning were set aside in order to attend and be part of the crowd, gotta wonder whether this was really the best way to show respect to such a Torah giant?

  5. there is an obligation to stop learning torah for such a persons funeral, until he has at least 600,000 attending. That is the halacha. best or not I dont know, but thats the halacha.

    My question is does that include creating a situation when people will also not learn the next day? People didnt get home until 3 am, or 5 am, and clearly would not be able to learn the next day after being up all night. So, is the next days bittul torah also included in that halacha or only the bittul torah at the time of the funeral?


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