Rabbi Shmaryahu Yosef Nissim Karelitz, a revered Rabbi and posek who served as the chairman of the beis din Tzedek of Bnei Brak, passed away on Monday night at the age of 93.
The central Israeli city of Bnei Brak, where he lived, came to a standstill, as tens of thousands participated in his funeral procession on Tuesday.
Rabbi Karelitz was born in 1926 in Vilnius.
In his youth, he studied in the Ponevezh Yeshiva. He also studied with his uncles, the Chazon Ish and the Steipler. His wife Leah was the daughter of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Kopshitz of Jerusalem and the great-granddaughter of Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld.
His rabbinical court handled all kinds of matters, including financial disputes, marriage conflicts, and conversions. He was also a member of the Vaad Halacha of the Maayanei Hayeshua Hospital of Bnei Brak and the av beis din of the Bnei Brak neighborhood of Ramat Aharon.
His wife Leah passed away in 2105.
Many public figures paid tribute to Karelitz upon news of his passing, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, chief rabbis Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau, and the heads of the ultra-Orthodox parties, among others.
During the funeral, several participants and observers were injured – most of them by falling from high places they had climbed to observe the funeral.
United Hatzalah said its volunteers treated 15 people, all of whom sustained only light injuries.