LIVE BLOG: More Than One Hundred Thousand Attending Atzeres Hesped For Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZATZAL [UPDATED 9:14PM IL]


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21:14: HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Tufik, Mora D’asra Betar Illit is now speaking.

21:13: Rav Amar: All that remains is to cry and daven to HKBH to forgive and redeem us. We call on Maran to continue davening and not rest until HKBH has rachmanus and redeems us.

21:07: Rav Amar: He never said ‘it is not my jurisdiction’ and tried to avoid accepting responsibility. He knew it all, Gemara, Rishonim, Acharonim. It was all open before him. One who did ever see how he toiled and worked to respond, to check all sources and possibilities does not understand.

Food, eating, our world were not a part of his life. Not trips and not anything other than the daled amos of Torah.

Now, without Maran, we have fallen a great distance, unprecedented. It is not just our generation did not see another of his greatness but this was for a number of generations. Look at the seforim and see. One who understands the seforim can understand and appreciate the depth of his vast knowledge and his greatness that has not been seen for generations.

Who will we turn to for questions today for there is none other with such broad shoulders. We have fallen and lack another upon whom we can rely and rest upon.

21:03: Rav Amar: His unique Siyata Dishmaya was unique than none others merited. I sat on batei din with him for years and the elders of the batei din would turn to Maran for assistance.

When there was a need to break a get, to address an agunah, where did they turn- to Maran, or for chalitza.

The gedolim of Yerushalayim sat and pondered issues of chalitza until they turned to Maran. The Rebitzen was still alive and she explained Maran is resting. He was up the entire night dealing with a difficult sugya and then went to shachris to daven. He is only sleeping for 15 minutes. I cannot wake him. Leave me your number and I will make sure he calls when he awakens. This was on Sunday. The lengthy in-depth response (Perek 7, Yabia Omer) arrived on Wednesday and the rabbonim were astounded, seeking to understand when and how he found the time to address the matter in such depth.

21:02: Rav Amar: Rav Shalom Rashash, who was almost 15 years older, wrote “Maran was a yachid in his generation and generations.” Rav Wosner referred to him Rav Maran, using titles reserved for the leaders. He was there and saw to Am Yisrael which was returning from all directions and addressed all aspects of life in his Halacha.

20:56: Rav Amar begins with mentioning each son and giving him a bracha. He continues addressing Maran quality of knowing how to address and reach the entire nation, each on his own level. He went to the furthest places. I accompanied him for years to Eilat. He would visit schools and high schools. He would go to those who are called not dati, and at time H’Shem Yerachem the lack of tznius and he would speak with eyes closed.

He succeeded in elevating the nation, including the working people, to bring the love of Torah to their hearts. All those who attended his shiurim for over 70 years, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren attend yeshivos for the love continues from generation to generation.

Maran raised the generation, accepting the responsibility on his shoulders. As the Rambam says on R’ Saadya Gaon, if not for him the Torah would have been forgotten. HKBH kept him for this orphan generation to elevate and build the crown of Torah. For those who can recall how we looked 50 years ago when we arrived in Israel from Yemen and the N. African countries. Torah fell apart and they followed the ways of ‘hevel’ as they referred to the immigrants as primitive. This all came to a halt with Maran, who saved and built the generation. He was the father of all the gedolei hador of the generation.

20:54: Rishon L’Tzion Rav Shlomo Moshe Amar Shlita is now addressing the tzibur.

20:52: Sanzer: Maran merited sons talmidei chachamim, seeing his son crowned as rav of yisrael. Let us not wait for such events for achdus but to remain united towards bringing the geula.

20:41: Sanzer Rebbe: The Mizbeach prevents harsh gezeiros against Am Yisrael and acts as a kapora. The Beis HaMikdash is to teach us to feel and understand H’Shem’s Kedusha.

Rav Eliezer Zeira mourned the Kedusha in the Heavenly world but we must try to mourn that the Beis HaMikdash is missing.

Maran reached a level of avodas H’Shem we cannot understand but how Maran elevated Kovod Hatorah in the world that we saw and can understand, not just Sephardim for his influence was on all of Am Yisrael, all walks of life. He influenced thousands of talmidei chachamim and directed them.

Hundreds, thousands and more were made aware there is a Creator of the World and this is what we must feel today, this void, for who will fill this void?

The Gemara in Baba Basra speaks about when Avraham was niftar and how the gedolim of the world stood in a row and mourned the loss of a leader of the world. What does this mean for we have only one leader, HKBH. So what is the peshat that the leader of the world was lost? I thought that the simple explanation is – Rashi says Avraham sent Eliezer. In the beginning they knew in Shomayim that only HKBH runs the show but down on earth this was not evident and they worshipped avoda zara. Avraham came and shouted otherwise and yelled there is a HKBH and we must be accountable to him.

Perhaps this is the meaning. When Avraham was niftar the leaders shouted the leader is gone for who will fill this void today – who will bring Jews closer to HKBH and his avoda. That is where we are today for who will fill Maran’s void – to shout of the avoda we must do and get the message out there is a HKBH. There was one Maran in the generation – one whose every moment was precious, to learn Torah. And nevertheless he was the Shmuel Hanavi when necessary, traveling from place to place to bring Yidden closer to HKBH, no matter how many or how few, he traveled.

20:37: Sanzer Shlita: I am humbled to speak at this holy event in memory of Maran HaKodosh. Speaks of Gemara Baba Basra and aveilus over Yerushalayim and understanding what we mourn and why.

The Mechaber in the beginning of Shulchan Aruch says every Yiras Shomayim should mourn the Beis HaMikdash.

20:36: The Sanzer Rebbe Shlita is now speaking.

20:34: Rav Cohen: He left sons, talmidei chachamim and a Rishon L’Tzion. B’ezras Hashem Rav David will join the Moetzas Gedolei Hatorah to exert his influence towards carrying out Maran’s work. We must do our utmost to fulfill his wishes and carry one his work.

20:32: Rav Cohen: We must do our utmost to continue in his path. Chas v’sholom a single yeshiva or principal should stray from today’s path, the correct path. He left a strong man to make sure his wishes are carried out, Rav Aryeh Deri. He relied upon him, believed in him and gave him the koach to act.

20:30: Rav Cohen: The rosh yeshiva is now crying, trying to compose himself. Maran did not leave us the levana or a small candle. Woe to us. We are indebted to him and must act accordingly. His life’s work, to enhance the kovod of Torah and open another school and another talmud torah and this is why he started a political party and B”H he succeeded.

20:25: Rav Cohen: Many times I accompanied him. How he traveled during Elul around the country to bring people back. When I was speaking he would not wait, but he ran to another shul in the interim. He ran and ran to reach the people to bring them to teshuvah.

20:17: Rav Cohen: There is no greater responsibility than piskei Halacha. How the rav was totally immersed in his limud and that was accompanied by chessed. How many agunos did he release when no one else wished to deal with these cases. What modesty and total commitment to his limud and Am Yisrael.

20:08: Rav Shalom Cohen Shlita, Rosh Yeshivat Porat Yosef is the next speaker.

20:04: Belzer Rebbe: While some of Rabbeinu Maran’s Torah remains in his seforim, other is not. We are surrounded by 70 wolves and we must daven for few chareidim adhere and cling to mitzvos as we should and we are in constant danger. Those around us mock our ways and all that is kadosh. Who will daven for us and remove these landmines from in front of our path?

We must ask Maran to continue being mispallel for us in Olam Haba and continue his work to protect us. To protect us against those who hate Torah and Yiddishkheit.

19:59: The Belzer Rebbe begins by thanking Rav Tzadka for directing Am Yisrael towards ma’asim tovim.

The Gemara says one who sees a talmid chacham who died it is like a Sefer Torah that was burned. Kal V’Chomer of this caliber who is called to the yeshiva shel mala. Woe is to us and how much we must cry, be sorrowful and daven.

19:58: The Belzer Rebbe Shlita is the next speaker. It appears Aryeh Deri will speak soon thereafter.

19:57: Ichud Hatzalah: 32 people have been treated at the atzeres.

19:55: Rav Tzadka: We mustn’t learn from the goyim. These items must be destroyed and removed. We speak of the sickness and those are the cause if sickness in the machane. We must increase tznius as well, for this is how we protect ourselves. There is much to say but time does not permit….

19:54: Rav Tzadka: Every generation has its avoda zara and today it is the technological gadgetry. Whoever has them break them and toss them with the internet. This has infiltrated our camp, the chareidi camp too.

19:52: 8 persons injured due to severe crowding. Some were transported to a local hospital.

19:48: Rav Tzadka: Speaking of the hesped for Rav Yochanan, that the sun set in the afternoon, suddenly – resulting in fear and confusion. This is because he was Maran of Yisrael and their rosh yeshiva and leader. When he was niftar his Torah and light went dark suddenly and that is why they say this posuk. This is the case with Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L, for in addition to his Torah he led all of Am Yisrael, and we all benefited from his Torah, men, women and children. Now that he is no longer, it is difficult as that day when the sun set in the afternoon.

What do we do – we light candles but this does not help, it is insufficient. When the sun sets we all feel it, all of us without exception. Will we remain in the darkness and confusion and cry – we must light the candles which will not bring the sun, but at least their light and this is our task – that which we must do.

Maran never stopped learning for a moment. He was a giant but us, we must do what we can to keep the light going. We must accept his leadership and Torah upon us…

The Gemara teaches us the first question we will be asked is if we set aside times for limud…

19:48: Rabbi Moshe Tzadka is addressing the tzibur next.

19:47: 180 rabbonim shlita are seated at the multi-tiered dais.

19:46: The Belzer Rebbe Shlita has arrived.

19:44: Rav Ezrachi: The gezeira of the draft – they are trying to separate the chareidim from their chareidi lifestyle and they will not succeed. Without a doubt Maran is davening in Shomayim to lift the gezeiros. They will not succeed to cut us off from Torah and our life. (The crowd cheered loudly in response to this.)

19:42: Rav Ezrachi : The levaya proved to us all, 800,000-1 million that Maran was the leader of Klall Yisrael, compared to Aaron HaKohen. We must learn from Maran, that which bothered him and what he gave his energies for. The first was limud Torah and he exhibited mesirus nefesh for limud and kovod for talmidei chachamim. He was the masmid of the generation. He was concerned that there should not be a single person in Am Yisrael that could not learn and expand in his Torah.

19:38: HaRav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi Shlita is speaking

19:37: Former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yonah Metzger is in attendance.

19:35: Police are concerned as the crowd continues to swell, the incidents of pushing and injury increase. Hatzalah has just been summoned to the area near the dais as conditions become increasingly difficult.

19:27: Rosh Yeshivas Ponevezh, Rav Berel Povarsky Shlita is speaking now

19:26: Channel 1 News reports the crowd is not 100,000-150,000. Israel Police unwilling to release an estimate figure.

19:21: Rabbi Moshe Shlomo Amar has just arrived

19:20: Rav Shalom Cohen has just arrived

19:15: Rabbi Binayahu Shmueli is speaking at this time.

19:13: Rav Lau says that 30 years ago when he visited Eida Gavaad Rav Weiss ZT”L he had Yabia Omer and explained to him ‘one cannot render a psak Halacha without first checking what the Yabia Omer says’.

19:12: Among those present is Beersheva Chief Rabbi and Ravaad Rabbi Yehuda Deri

19:08: Chief Rabbi David Lau is speaking at this time.

19:07: MDA Jerusalem operating at highest operational status to accommodate the atzeres.

19:06: It appears the Belzer Rebbe Shlita will deliver the main address.

19:05: Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau is among the rabbonim in attendance at the atzeres.

19:03: Media reports today indicate Rav David Yosef will be a member of the Shas Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael. Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar Shlita has reportedly been invited to sit on the body, which appears will be headed by Rabbi Shalom Cohen Shlita, Rosh Yeshivat Porat Yosef.

19:00: In his hesped for Maran given after the levaya in Russia, HaGaon HaRav Usher Weiss stated “in 100 years from now they will talk about those who lived in the period of the Beis Yosef and those who lived today, during the period of the Yabia Omer”.

18:58: Former Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron is speaking now.

18:57: It appears a final decision was made today regarding the type of matzeivah and the wording and it has been ordered. The company is doing it free of charge to honor the late gadol hador.

18:56: The Belzer Rebbe Shlita is expected to arrive at the atzeres in the immediate future.

18:53: It is estimated that 40,000 people are taking part in the Yerushalayim atzeres in memory of Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L.

(Photos Uri Davis, Ichud Hatzalah Spokesman’s Bureau)

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(YWN Israel News Desk – Jerusalem)