They say over 700,000 people came to Rav Ovadiah’s funeral today. That’s over 10% of the population of Israel. In UK proportions it’s the equivalent of six cities the size of Birmingham. Obviously, the city came to a standstill. People are stuck all over the country because they can’t get back or leave Jerusalem.
I sat all day trying to fathom the magnitude of the vacuum that has been left by one individual. What an individual! They said that he remembered manuscripts of sefarim in Cairo which don’t exist anymore. In purely terms of p’sikat halacha the work he did is probably equivalent to the whole spectrum of Nobel Prizes several times over.
The fact that President Peres was so moved today shows the breadth of influence that Rav Ovadiah wielded.
Today we lost the last of the giants. Let us not forget that we have the privilege of riding on their shoulders, and make full use of the view.