Rabbi Shimon Baadani, who was 94 years old, died on Wednesday. He was the spiritual leader of the largest ultra-Orthodox Jewish party in Israel’s ruling coalition.
Shas said in a statement that he was “shocked, pained and devastated over the ascent in a whirlwind to heaven” of Baadani.“
The rabbi was in charge of the Council of Torah Sages, which was the top group in Shas and joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s new government last month.
Netanyahu said that Netanyahu described Baadani as a “great scholar and spiritual leader”.
The right-wing prime minister got a 61-seat majority in parliament with the help of ultra-Orthodox parties. Shas gave the coalition its 11 seats.
Aryeh Deri, the head of Shas and the interior minister of Israel, said that Baadani’s death brought “darkness” to the world.
Woe is the ship that has lost its captain,” Deri wrote on Twitter.
President Isaac Herzog wrote on Twitter that the death of Baadani was a “huge loss for the world of Torah.”
Egypt's President al-Sisi called me tonight to wish the Israeli people a happy #RoshHaShanah. We discussed bilateral issues and shared national interests. I thanked President al-Sisi for his important role pursuing regional stability and peace and we agreed to stay in contact🇪🇬🇮🇱
— יצחק הרצוג Isaac Herzog (@Isaac_Herzog) September 5, 2021
Baadani had a big impact on the lives of Sephardic Jews in Israel. He lived in Bnei Brak, a very religious city near Tel Aviv.
Police shut down some roads in Bnei Brak so that thousands of people can attend his funeral later on Wednesday. Baadani was born in 1928 in a part of Palestine that was ruled by the British. When the Shas council was created in 1984, he was one of the first rabbis to be named to it.
In 2014, his 17-year-old grandson died in Jerusalem when a car was driven into him.
Shalom Cohen, the leader of the Council of Torah Sages before Baadani, died in August at the age of 91. Since then, Baadani has been in charge.
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Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.