Bnei Brak funeral trampling claims second fatality


(JTA) – A teenager became the second person to die in the trampling at the mass funeral of a prominent haredi Orthodox rabbi near Tel Aviv.

On Wednesday, Yitzhak Samet, 18, of Jerusalem, succumbed to injuries he suffered on April 5 while attending the funeral in Bnei Brak of Rabbi Shmuel Halevi Wosner, the Ynet news site reported. Samet, a member of the Toldos Aharon Hasidic sect who was engaged to be married, according to the Times of Israel, will be buried on Wednesday afternoon.

Nearly 100,000 mourners came to Bnei Brak for the funeral of Wosner, who died on April 3, shortly before the start of the Passover holiday. He was 101.

The first fatality from the funeral was Mordechai Moti Gerber, 27, of Elad, who died shortly after being trampled. Gerber, a former student of the rabbi, is survived by his wife and young son.

The procession began from the offices of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva headed by Wosner and snaked through the heavily Orthodox Bnei Brak to the Zichron Meir cemetery.

Among the three critically injured at the event was a 14-year-old boy. The police have opened an investigation into possible negligence.

Wosner immigrated to Mandatory Palestine before the outbreak of World War II and later established the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva in Bnei Brak. He is the author of the Shevet Halevi commentary on Jewish law. He had been hospitalized since March.

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