August 13, 2022

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Rabbi Yitzgok Tovia Weiss, prominent hardline militant leader, dies at 95

Rabbi Yitzgok Tovia Weiss, prominent hardline militant leader, dies at 95

Rabbi Yitzhak Tovia Weiss, a prominent ultra-Orthodox leader, died Saturday in Jerusalem at the age of 95.

He had an infection earlier this year and was discharged from the hospital about a month ago, but his condition has deteriorated in recent days.

He was taken to the hospital at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he was put on a ventilator and sedated until his death.

Weiss was a leader among the ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist factions and the head of the Ida Haredit group. He was known for his tireless efforts to enforce Sabbath restrictions and prevent religious school students from being drafted into the army.

However, he was not always opposed to the mainstream secular society. The Ynet news site reported that he was supportive of bereaved families who lost loved ones in the military and prevented ultra-Orthodox protests against the state during Memorial Day.

His funeral will be held at the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem at 10:30 am on Sunday.

Police expect tens of thousands to attend the funeral. Police Commissioner Kobe Shabtai has conducted an assessment of the situation in preparation for the event and additional officers will be dispatched to the area.

The funeral procession was expected to set off from Weiss’ home in the Givat Moshe neighborhood and then make its way through Mea Shearim before heading to the cemetery.

Men pray near the corpse of Rabbi Yitzhak Tovia Weiss at a synagogue in Jerusalem, July 30, 2022 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Traffic disturbances are expected in the capital between morning and afternoon.

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Police told funeral goers to refrain from climbing fences, trees and buildings to view the views, and asked drivers to be patient.

Weiss, 95, was a community leader in Antwerp before taking over the leadership of the Ida Harrett group in 2004.

He was born in Slovakia and arrived in Great Britain as part of Kindertransport before the outbreak of World War II.

Aida Haredit is vehemently opposed to Zionism and its adherents, who number in the tens of thousands, refuse to accept any government funding. It holds great influence through the Badatz kashrut testimony, which is considered the gold standard by many in the ultra-Orthodox world, even among members of rival groups.

The group sparked heated controversy in 2018 when they did it off printer to approval from the winery, asking her to prevent her Ethiopian employees from having contact with her wine due to an apparent suspicion about their Jewishness.

Members of the Aida Haredi community also participated in violent demonstrations against the Israeli army and the state, fighting with the police and blocking roads to protest the government’s draft policies.

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