JERUSALEM: Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, the spiritual leader of Israel’s non-Hassidic ultra-Orthodox Jews of European descent, has died. He was 104.
Shteinman died on Tuesday from a heart attack after falling ill weeks ago.
Shteinman was one of Israel’s most influential rabbis and a political kingmaker whose orders were strictly followed by his representatives in parliament.
Following the 2012 death of his predecessor, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, he was widely regarded as “Gadol Hador,” or “leader of the generation.” Hundreds of thousands are expected to attend his funeral in the central Israeli ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak.
Shteinman was known for his rabbinic scholarship, relatively pragmatic rulings and extremely modest lifestyle.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called him a leader who “carried on his shoulders the existential weight of the Jewish people.”