Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, a prominent hardline ultra-Orthodox leader, dies at the age of 95

Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, a prominent Ultra-Orthodox leader, died in Jerusalem on Saturday at the age of 95.

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

He was hospitalized at the Hadassah Ein Kerem medical center in Jerusalem, where he was put on a ventilator and sedated until his death.

Weiss was a leader of extremist anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox factions and the leader of the Eda Haredit group. He was known for his uncompromising efforts to enforce Shabbat restrictions and prevent yeshivah students from being drafted into the military.

However, he was not always opposed to mainstream, secular society. He supported bereaved families who lost loved ones in the military and thwarted ultra-Orthodox anti-state protests during Memorial Day, news site Ynet reported.

His funeral will take place at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Mount of Olives Cemetery in Jerusalem.

Police expect tens of thousands to attend the funeral. Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai conducted a situation assessment to prepare for the event, and additional officers were to be dispatched to the area.

The funeral procession was to start from Weiss’ house in the Givat Moshe neighborhood, then wind through Mea Shearim and head to the cemetery.

Men pray near the body of Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss at a synagogue in Jerusalem on July 30, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Traffic delays are expected in the capital between the morning and early afternoon.

Police asked funeral-goers not to climb fences, trees and buildings for a view and asked drivers to remain patient.

Weiss, 95, was a community leader in Antwerp before taking charge of the group Eda Haredit in 2004.

Born in Slovakia, he came to Britain before the outbreak of World War II as part of the Kindertransport.

Eda Haredit is staunchly opposed to Zionism, and his followers, who number in the tens of thousands, reject any government funding. She wields considerable influence through her Badatz Kashrut certification, considered the gold standard by many in the ultra-Orthodox world, even among members of competing groups.

The group sparked controversy in 2018 when it stripped a winery of its seal of approval and demanded that it ban its Ethiopian employees from any contact with its wine, citing alleged doubts about their Jewish affiliation.

Members of the Eda Haredit have also engaged in violent demonstrations against the IDF and the state, fighting with the police and blocking roads to protest the government’s proposed policies.

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