Revered Authority on Jewish Law Elyashiv Dies at 102

Posted July 18th, 2012 at 8:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Thousands crowded the streets of Jerusalem Wednesday for the funeral of one of the world's top authorities on Jewish law, Israeli Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.

The rabbi died earlier Wednesday of heart failure at age 102.

The Lithuanian-born Rabbi Elyashiv came to what is now Israel as a child. After retiring as a judge in the rabbinical courts, he dedicated his life to the study of the book of Jewish law and customs known as the Talmud.

He became the preeminent authority on Jewish law. Hundreds of people would line up for hours outside his tiny Jerusalem apartment for advice or to spend just a few moments with the rabbi.

He also led a small ultra-Orthodox party in the Israeli parliament.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country has lost an unmatched authority who left a deep mark on the Israeli people.