Tens of Thousands Attend Funeral of Top Israeli Rabbi

Rabbi Steinman was respected by most Orthodox Jews and by much of secular Israeli society, too

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Possibly as many as 100,000 people on Tuesday attended the funeral of Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman, one of Israel's most respected religious figures.

Since 2012, Steinman served as the governing legal authority of Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox Jewry in Israel, though he was venerated by most Jewish sects in the country.

While respected, many in the Orthodox community also criticized Steinman for being too "conciliatory" toward secular society and the Israeli government. For instance, Steinman was rumored to have quietly approved of young religious Jews joining the IDF and entering the Israeli workforce.

Following Steinman's passing at the age of 104, Israel President Reuven Rivlin said:

"Our teacher, the brilliant Rabbi Steiman, was a leader who bore the entire weight of the Jewish people’s existence on his shoulders.

"A Torah giant and a teacher who gave thousands and tens of thousands of people direction in their lives in their lives. Despite his firm positions, he knew how to convey his ideas gently, in a pleasant manner, and with a great love of the Jewish people.

"The rabbi was a tremendously dedicated learner, a genius of Torah, kindhearted and generous, rich with the experiences of long life. He was a man whose wisdom was exceeded only by his humility."

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