Near-Gridlock in Jerusalem in Wake of Funeral
The funeral for former Chief Rabbi and Shas leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is set to begin at 6 PM Monday, but already hours before the event itself, much of Jerusalem was already either closed off to traffic, or choked with vehicles seeking to get into town.
Hundreds of thousands are expected to attended the funeral, promising to make Monday memorable not only for the fact of Rabbi Yosef's passing, but for the monumental traffic jams that are expected.
Beginning at 3PM, many of the streets in northern Jerusalem were closed. The funeral will leave from the Porat Yosef Yeshiva in the Geula neighborhood, where eulogies will be given by rabbinical leaders and family members. The funeral procession will then wind its way through the streets of northern Jerusalem, on its way to the cemetery in the Sanhedria neighborhood.
Extra police will be on duty to keep order, and rescue teams from Magen David Adom and Hatzalah will be out in full force. Hatzalah officials urged those attending the funeral to avoid dangerous activities, such as climbing on weak scaffolding or wobbly walls in order to get a better look at the procession. Magen David Adom officials said Monday afternoon that they had already treated numerous cases of individuals who had fainted when they heard about Rabbi Yosef's passing.
Police asked all those planning to attend the funeral to use public transportation, with the Egged bus company saying that it would significantly increase bus service into the city to accommodate all those who wanted to attend the funeral.