Harsh blow to the ultra-Orthodox world: Haredi- Lithuanian leader Rabbi Yosef Elyashiv passed away at the Shaare Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem on Wednesday at the age of 102. He was considered by many in the ultra-Orthodox world as the most prominent arbiter of halacha of his generation. Hundreds of thousands are slated to take part in his funeral which will be held on Wednesday at 10 pm.
Dozens of rabbis, public figures and yeshiva students arrived at the hospital upon hearing the news of his death. Haredi news agencies reported that just a short while after his passing, a baby was named after the rabbi at a brit milah ceremony held in Beitar Illit.
Rabbi Elyashib has been hospitalized for several months and his has condition deteriorated many times. Doctors were forced to place him under anesthesia and put him on a respirator machine.
Over the past few months, his condition improved at various points and it was even reported he was allowed out of his room to pray at the hospital's synagogue. However, last month his condition deteriorated drastically due to a bacteria infection.
Rabbi Elyashiv was born in Lithuania in 1910. Despite not taking any official capacity at the United Torah Judaism party he had profound influence over its policy. A strict observer of the halacha, Rabbi Elyashiv was considered by some as a zealot compared to the haredi mainstream. In several cases, he joined forces with the radical Eda Haredit faction.