Jerusalem – Thousands flocked to the Ramat Shlomo section of Jerusalem Sunday morning to pay their final respects to Rabbi Moshe Shapiro, a prominent rabbinical figure in the world of Jewish outreach, author of numerous seforim and the noted rosh yeshiva of Jerusalem’s Yeshiva Pischei Olam who died yesterday at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital at the age of 82 after a lengthy illness.
Rabbi Shapiro was an instrumental force in several yeshivos throughout his lifetime, serving as the rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva Bais Binyomin in Stamford Connecticut and as a rosh mesivta at Jerusalem’s Yeshiva Ohr Somayach.
Known as a deep thinker who was well versed in both mussar and kabala and blessed with an exceptional memory that allowed him to quote entire paragraphs of text by heart, Rabbi Shapiro’s many shiurim were widely attended, according to Israeli news site Hidabroot.
Rabbi Shapiro’s funeral began at 11 AM at the Mishkan Moshe synagogue with a tearful eulogy delivered by Ponovezh rosh yeshiva Rabbi Berel Povarsky as reported by B’Chadrei Chareidim.
“Even from his youngest days it was evident that he was destined for greatness,” said Rabbi Povarsky. “He was a special child and we knew he would become one of the gedolim of our generation. Throughout his life he continued to rise and he was unique in his generation.”
“You always kept yourself hidden and conducted yourself in a quiet way, but in truth you have students in all corners of the world who will be mourning you,” observed Rabbi Yehuda Ades, rosh yeshiva of Bayit Vegan’s Yeshiva Kol Yaakov as he addressed the mourners.
Other speakers included Rabbi Aviezer Piltz, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Tifrach and Rabbi Shapiro’s three sons who described their father’s humility and his tireless efforts to help those in need.
The funeral procession proceeded to Har Hazaysim where Rabbi Shapiro was laid to rest.
Former minister of internal affairs Gideon Sa’ar, shared his memories of Rabbi Shapiro, describing the one on one Monday afternoon study sessions that he shared with Rabbi Shapiro at Yeshiva Pischei Olam.
“Those weekly meetings with Rabbi Shapiro were a deep intellectual and Judaic experience that were beyond compare,” said Sa’ar, who said they often learned Pirkei Avos, Gemara and delved in depth into the works of the Ramban.
Sa’ar said that he would often consult with Rabbi Shapiro on issues that arose in the Knesset and that while he had met many extremely wise people in his life, he would be hard pressed to think of any who were on the same level as Rabbi Shapiro.
“We lost a giant who leave behind a tremendous void, for his students, those who knew him and the entire Jewish nation,” said Saar.