Thousands of police maintain order at overcrowded Kanievsky funeral

Thousands of police maintain order at overcrowded Kanievsky funeral


The funeral procession of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in Bnei Brak, March 20, 2022. Credit: City of Bnei Brak.

Judy Lash Balint, JNS

(JNS) Israel held its collective breath on Sunday as hundreds of 1000’s converged on Bnei Brak to choose aspect in the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, 94, 1 of the most notable scholars and influential leaders of the Haredi planet.

Just about a 12 months right after 45 haredi men and boys ended up trampled to death at a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the loss of life of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron all through an once-a-year Lag B’Omer pageant, rabbis implored their followers to behave meticulously to protect against a very similar tragedy.

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar urged mourners to look at the party from just one of 10 large screens set up all around the metropolis, noting that the commandment to maintain daily life trumps the commandment to honor the dead.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett implored the general public to safeguard one particular yet another stating, “I simply call on people attending the funeral not to crowd and not to push. The trauma of the Mount Meron disaster is nevertheless clean for us. This tragedy can’t recur. I talk to everybody to clearly show personalized duty, and mainly to enjoy over the kids.”


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Israeli Police deployed 3,000 officers which include Border Law enforcement to immediate crowds and regulate site visitors. In spite of some scuffles and momentary losses of manage, security personnel prevailed to preserve get. Quite a few dozen individuals sustained small injuries, with only a number of hospitalizations.

Educational institutions in the Tel Aviv spot reverted to on the internet understanding for the day whilst commuters have been instructed to keep residence. Route 4, a major freeway in the Tel Aviv area was closed to targeted visitors for most of the working day to accommodate extra than 1,800 buses from each component of the state that ferried mourners in and out of the location.

Hundreds started arriving in the town of Bnei Brak on Saturday night to stake out positions as near as achievable to either the Kanievsky residence on Rashba Street or the cemetery a lot less than a mile absent.

On a regular day Bnei Brak, located just exterior Tel Aviv, is Israel’s most crowded metropolis. Police believed that much more than 350,000 people today descended on the area’s slender streets Sunday to hear to the eulogies and to try to escort the revered rabbi to his ultimate resting position.

Gentlemen and females stood on individual streets as they strained to hear the eulogies. Every single rooftop and balcony have been crammed with men and women, properly outside of security suggestions.

Kanievsky and his late spouse lifted their eight young children in a two-bed room household and were being renowned for their modest lifestyle. Family members users, effortlessly distinguished by their torn shirts as the indicator of mourning, appeared at the top of the stairway major to the apartment to hear to the eulogies.

All three eulogies were being heartfelt and sent in the melodic, Yiddish-inflected Hebrew that marks haredi leaders.

As cameras panned the masses in their black jackets and hats and white shirts assembled below, it was apparent that for quite a few of the children this was a permitted social collecting.

Household customers and near associates of the rabbi scuffled for a position as Kanievsky’s human body was carried down the stairs on a stretcher wrapped in a prayer scarf to a waiting around black ambulance van.

Border Law enforcement lined up five deep on either facet of the van in a vain try to prevent the masses from rushing ahead to attempt to touch the auto carrying the revered rabbi. Crawling through the surging crowds, the van in some way managed to traverse the distance to the cemetery in about twenty minutes.

Police kept the general public out of the significant cemetery when the 20 close associates vied with just about every other to pull the stretcher out and bring the entire body to the waiting around gravesite. The older pallbearers joined palms and circled the grave chanting psalms as law enforcement officers experimented with to keep back hundreds of guys and youths who experienced broken by means of the barricades and ran in involving the hundreds of gravestones to get closer to the motion.

Bags of earth were quickly damaged open to fill the grave as the psychological group pushed ahead. A person aged man with a lengthy white beard took off his jacket, climbed onto a neighboring grave, elevated his arms to the heavens and exhorted the more youthful men to serene down.

Relatives customers recited Kaddish and ended up escorted out. By then, quite a few hundred were pushing to touch the grave and after the ceremonial facets were concluded, the Law enforcement and Border Law enforcement withdrew to the sidelines leaving chaos at the site.

In the meantime, a lone employee from the Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance corps established a corridor that allowed the adult males to bend down, contact the ground of the grave and then be pushed out of the chaos.

Interviewed on Israeli Television set Channel 11, a spokesperson for the law enforcement explained that the condition remained “under control.”

As the crowds dispersed and streamed out in their thousands to the row of buses that stretched for almost a mile, political analysts were being swift to pivot from the story of an overcrowded funeral, toward predictions of who would select up the mantle of political energy in the critical voting bloc of the harediglobe.

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