Influential Israeli Orthodox rabbi dies aged 102
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, one of Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewry's most influential rabbis, died in Jerusalem on Wednesday aged 102 and was buried after a huge funeral procession attended by an estimated 250,000 mourners.
Elyashiv's many followers, including ultra-Orthodox lawmakers, sought his advice on a range of issues concerning daily life and religious edicts and he influenced the policies of the Shas party, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling coalition.
Netanyahu issued a statement saying he mourned the passing of Elyashiv, who was "a great rabbi whose edicts were sharp and to the point, a wise man of great knowledge and prominence who represented the values of the bible and of giving to others".
Elyashiv was buried at a central West Jerusalem cemetery after tens of thousands of ultra-orthodox Jewish men clad in black followed the procession through the streets.
A police spokesman said roads were blocked off to accommodate the huge crowds.
(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
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