Initial Levaya Estimates: Over 500,000, Fear of Buildings Collapsing


rav-ovadah-yosef-levayaYerushalayim – The levaya of Chacham Ovadia Yosef has drawn a crowd estimated over 500,000, according to police.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews have converged on the in Yerushalayim from all around the country.

Over 40 people have already received first aid by MDA and United Hatzalah, the emergency medical personnel operating at the levaya. United alone dispatched 350 medical professionals, 9 ambulances and 150 first aid motorcycles to the area and set up a field clinic to treat injuries.

One of the maspidim was Sefardic Chief Rabbi Rav Yitzchak Yosef, son of Rav Ovadiah, who compared his father’s petirah to the churban Bais Hamikdash and said that “we must continue on his derech.”

Police have warned of the very real danger of loss of life due to the huge crowds. TV footage showed an unconscious man being carried out through the tightly packed crowd.

Police estimated that there are some 400,000 people in attendance, with more arriving every minute.

Police Commander Yochonon Danino, in a televised interview, pleaded with people to stay away and warns that “the levaya could end in a tragedy” because of the vast crowds.

Police trying to control the masses were themselves stuck in the crowd

Besides for people on the ground, there are crowds filling the surrounding rooftops, some of them hanging literally from antennas. Police are doing what they can to bring them down.

“There is real danger of loss of life,” Danino says.

Channel 2 reported that because tens of thousands were coming to Yerushalayim to attend the levaya, the entrance to the city was temporarily blocked. With shkiah approaching, people stopped their vehicles en masse to daven Minchah on the road.

A Channel 2 reporter is speculating that Rav Ovadia’s levaya will prove to be the largest levaya ever seen in Israel.

A police official on Channel 2 explained that authorities are concerned that, due to the extremely heavy crowds expected to arrive for the funeral, some of the buildings in the neighborhood may actually collapse from the weight.

Around the Sanhedria cemetery, the streets are closed to car and bus traffic and the police have instructed the public not to arrive in private vehicles to the site.

The following roads are closed: Shmuel Hanavi, Eshkol, Golda Meir, Bar Ilan, Yirmiyahu, Malchei Yisroel and Yechezkel.

Egged has arranged for public buses to leave from the parking lot of the International Convention Center, near the Central Bus Station, to a parking area in Sanhedria.

The city opened a special hotline for public queries concerning street closures, transportation and parking: 1-700-553-100.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. the seen is crazy there are little kids on wire poles ligit with wires lining thie chests u ant move evrery side street is packed its not to be believed every thing the news is reportng is true