'A Painful Day for Israel'
The funeral of Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira, who was murdered in Be'er Sheva on Thursday night, began Friday at 11 a.m. The procession began in Be'er Sheva, and proceeded to the Porat Yosef yeshiva in Jerusalem before the rabbi's burial on the Mount of Olives (Har Hazeitim).
Many thousands gathered at the yeshiva to pay their last respects.
Rabbi Abuhatzeira will be buried next to his father.
Leading rabbis expressed their sorrow at his passing on Friday. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef broke down in tears upon hearing of the killing, according to the hareidi news outlet Kikar Shabbat.
The Shas movement released a statement, saying, “Shas mourns along with the people of Israel over the great loss of the holy, righteous kabbalist, Rabbi Elazar of the Abuhatzeira family. This is a painful and difficult day for all of Israel.”
Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger said of the murder, “I think a horrific crime like this has never happened before. We have to ask ourselves how we reached this point.”
Rabbi Abuhatzeira was murdered by a man who came to his office seeking advice. Police have arrested the man, identified as Asher Dahan of Elad. Dahan reportedly planned the murder in advance, and was motivated by his dissatisfaction with Rabbi Abuhatzeira's past advice.
In Moscow, a Jewish couple decided to name their newborn son Hanan Elazar on Friday morning, in honor of the rabbi.