Yesterday’s funeral of Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri drew over 200,000 mourners who jammed Jerusalem’s Bukhari neighbourhood. Rabbi Kaduri, who passed away Saturday night after a brief illness was estimated to be at least 106 yeaars old. He was considered one of the last great kabbalists and often had miraculous powers attributed to him.

In his eulogy, Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar relayed to the teeming mass of humanity that gathered outside the yeshiva Kaduri’s wish that each and every person present accept upon himself or herself one good deed… “He was sacrificed for all of us,” said Amar. “We must repent.” Rabbi Reuven Elbaz, known as the head of the”tshuva movement,” a grassroots push to encourage religious observance, spoke of Kaduri’s righteousness in heart piercing lamentations… “He was our spiritual light tower,” cried Elbaz. “We are lost without him.” Rabbi Ya’acov Hilel, head of the Ahavat Shalom Yeshiva and a respected teacher of Kabbala, said that Kaduri was not just a Jewish mystic. “He was a role model for the pursuit of truth who mastered anger, never argued, nor was he ever jealous or hateful. He had nothing but love for the Jewish people.”

Mourners included masses of black clothed haredim, normally dressed Sephardim, women in pants, men in disposable cardboard kippahs and, reportedly, 14 plane loads of mourners from France.

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Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • You know, low riser tight jeans (on the men) and midriff baring t-shirts with ginormous logos and hair with the tips frosted blonde, accessorized with a giant gold chain and magen david necklace.
    KIDDING! I meant they weren’t wearing black coats and fedoras. That sort of thing.

  • “He was sacrificed for us all”
    “we must repent”

    hm. sounds like someone else I’ve heard about…

  • Is anyone discussing the fact that Rav Kaduri was instrumental in the signing of a religious peace agreement with the Sheikh of Al-Aqsa? Rabbi Marc Gopin writes about it at length, and Eliyahu MacLean of the Sulha was intimately involved. Basically, they were very close to getting major press coverage when then-President Clinton agreed to be there for the signing ceremony. CNN and of course everyone else were going to go live with the event. Then, at the very last second, I believe there was a bombing, and the delicate balance Clinton was trying to broker between Barak and Arafat was once again shaken, setting everything back. So Clinton couldn’t make it to the signing, and what could have been the most important event, an actual peace agreement between two venerable religious leaders, was thwarted to the point where pretty much nobody knows of its existence. The point is, though, that Rav Kaduri and the Sheikh came together. That, I believe, is one of the events we should remember Rav Kaduri by.

  • CK, did you make it?

    I personally understand the need for everyone to mention that all kinds of Jews were there, but frankly the charedim outnumbered us ‘normal’ (admit it ck, very poor choice of adjective) people by 1000 to 1, no maybe 10 000 to 1. That’s how I felt, I didn’t see very many seculars (with the creased fold-up kipas) at all. Very few ‘modern-othodox’. Probably not importnat enough to take time off work. As for the great mix of Jews, it was certainly incredible to be in a crowd with a total heterogeneous mix of…
    …ultra-othodox of all flavours: Shas, Litai, Ashkenazi, Breslov, children, yeshiva bochers, old guys with white beards, etc…

    Best reason to take 5 hours off work, the experience was tremendous. We’ve lost a giant. May he now fight for mercy on us in the great court in the sky.

    Some of the posters on the walls of Jerusalem:

  • CK, I agree with you. We Sephardim are normal. Where does it say in the Torah or the Talmud that one has to wear black clothes?