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Flouting rules, thousands attend Jerusalem funeral for US Rabbi Dovid Feinstein

2 arrested amid clashes with police, vehicle damaged as crowds congregate in violation of health rules; thousands also gathered in New York City to pay tribute to Orthodox leader

  • Israeli police officers try to contain a crowd of yeshiva students during the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020, in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Israeli police officers try to contain a crowd of yeshiva students during the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020, in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Israeli police officers try to contain a crowd of yeshiva students during the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020 in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Israeli police officers try to contain a crowd of yeshiva students during the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020 in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • A crowd of yeshiva students attend the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020 in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 )
    A crowd of yeshiva students attend the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020 in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 )
  • A crowd of yeshiva students attend the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020 in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    A crowd of yeshiva students attend the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020 in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Israeli police officers try to contain a crowd of yeshiva students during the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020 in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Israeli police officers try to contain a crowd of yeshiva students during the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020 in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Several thousand people in Jerusalem on Monday joined a funeral procession for prominent American Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, in violation of restrictions meant to contain the coronavirus.

Police said two people were arrested for scuffling with officers and damaging a police car during clashes at the funeral.

There were no reports of injuries.

Police knew in advance the funeral would be held but initially took no effort to disperse it, according to the Walla news site. When it was well underway, police unsuccessfully tried to block mourners, some of whom called the officers “Nazis,” the report said.

The crowd was primarily composed of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, many of them Americans, according to the Kikar Hashabat website.

Funerals are currently limited to 20 people under government-mandated lockdown measures.

Feinstein, 91, died Friday in New York and was brought to Jerusalem for burial at the Givat Shaul cemetery.

Israeli police officers try to contain a crowd of Yeshiva students during the funeral of late Rabbi David Feinstein on November 9, 2020 in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The eldest son of the late prominent US Orthodox leader Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was the head of the Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem yeshiva in New York City since his father’s death in 1986.

Thousands also showed up to the Lower East Side on Sunday to pay their respects to Feinstein, ahead of his remains being flown to Jerusalem for burial.

Since the start of the pandemic, police have dispersed several mass funerals for rabbis that drew thousands of mourners in violation of the government’s social distancing orders.

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