Thousands of people took part on Monday in the funeral of the Rebbe of Erlau, Rabbi Yochanan Sofer, who passed away from severe pneumonia on Monday morning at the age of 93.
Rabbi Sofer, who is known as the “Elder of the Admorim," was a fifth generation descendant of the “Chasam Sofer” (Rabbi Moses Sofer). He also was a member of the Torah sages council of the United Torah Judaism party's Agudat Yisrael faction.
He was buried the same day as Samuel Willenberg, the last survivor of the Treblinka death camp, who ironically also passed away at the age of 93.
The funeral procession set off from the Erlau Yeshiva in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem, and headed from there to the Har Hamenuchot cemetery in the capital's northwest.
The rabbi's eldest son tearfully eulogized him, saying, "my holy father studied Torah for dozens of years. He had a special power of prayer, he would work salvation beyond the ways of nature…even secular people here in the neighborhood would always ask him: rabbi pray for us."
Twelve people were lightly wounded suffering cuts and bruises during the funeral, due to the overcrowding caused by the large number of participants.
Ze'ev Kashash, chairperson of the United Hatzalah medical organization, said the funeral had proceeded without any unusual incidents other than the 12 injuries.
He noted that "in the shade of the winter weather and the rains of blessing thousands are taking part in the funeral procession."