Yaakov Yosef, influential rabbi and son of Shas spiritual leader, dies


(JTA) — Tens of thousands joined the funeral procession of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, the eldest son of the Shas party’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Yaakov Yosef died Friday at 66, succumbing after a long battle with cancer. He was buried in Jerusalem before the start of the Sabbath.

Yosef, the rabbi of the haredi Givat Moshe neighborhood in Jerusalem and the Hazon Yaakov Yeshiva, was an influential right-wing rabbi. He was a Shas lawmaker in the Knesset from 1984 to 1988, as well as a member of the Jerusalem City Council.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mourned the loss of Yosef, calling him “a great teacher and adjudicator of Jewish law who followed in the path of his father,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

The Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger, in his eulogy said Yosef’s passing is “a great loss to the people of Israel, to the land of Israel and to the world of halachah,” Jewish law.

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