Man trampled at rabbi’s vast funeral


Israel's strictly-Orthodox community is mourning the death of one of its most revered rabbis, Shmuel Halevi Wosner.

Tens of thousands of people attended his funeral on Sunday, and one man was trampled to death in the crowd.

Rabbi Wosner was a strong voice on many of the community's key fights. He raged against the use of internet for anything except essential business and banned its use in Charedi homes under any circumstances. He took a hard line on conversion, claiming that some of Israel's state conversions gave people false credentials as Jews. And he tried to scupper the draft of Charedim into the military and called for greater modesty in women's dress.

His authority stemmed from his reputation as an expert on Jewish law, which he established through his speeches, his writings - such as his Shevet HaLevi - and by virtue of his association with towering rabbis of pre-war Europe including Israel Meir Kagan, who was known as the "Chafetz Chaim".

Rabbi Wosner was 101 when he died. He was born in Vienna and moved to British Mandate Palestine before the Holocaust, becoming one of the central figures who shaped the Israeli Charedi community as it grew after the war.

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