Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews attended the funeral of a prominent rabbi on Thursday, who lumped together in Jerusalem despite new coronavirus precautions.
Rabbi Aharon David Hadash, a spiritual leader of the Mir Yeshiva ultra-Orthodox group, died earlier Thursday at the age of 90 after being hospitalized due to complications from Covid-19.
The group of mourners gathered in a grand procession from the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim to a cemetery on the outskirts of the city.
While police were on hand for the outdoor activities and handing out masks to those who did, no measures were reportedly taken to distance themselves from society.
Ensuring that coronavirus precautions are adhered to among Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jews, or Haredim, has been a challenge during the pandemic.
However, different Haredi groups have responded differently to the Ministry of Health guidelines.
The Mir Yeshiva is part of the Lithuanian Haredi group, whose leaders have expressed support for measures to protect against the coronavirus but have sometimes rejected them, especially with regard to the closure of religious schools, or yeshivot.
The Mir Yeshiva take their name from a yeshiva that was founded in 1815 in the city of Mir, in what is now Belarus.
The Yeshiva was an important hub for Torah study in Europe until the outbreak of World War II, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
Some of Mir Yeshiva’s rabbis and students survived the war by fleeing to Shanghai.
After the war, Mir Yeshiva settled in Brooklyn, New York and Jerusalem.