As every single Israeli and Jewish news outlet has reported, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s funeral saw 800,000 attendees in Jerusalem – the largest Jewish funeral ever. A man who is mourned by so many is clearly someone who had an intense effect on the State of Israel. Some quotes about the holy Rabbi:

• “Rav Ovadia was a giant in Torah and Halacha and a spiritual leader for tens of thousands. He worked hard to enhance Jewish heritage, and at the same time his rulings took into consideration the times and the realities of renewed life in the State of Israel. He was imbued with a love of Torah and his people. I very much appreciated his warm personality and his direct manner.” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

• “His rulings on conversion reflected first and foremost the importance of building the nation in an era of ingathering the exiles.” Natan Sharansky

• “The religious-Zionist public and the entire Jewish nation mourns the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. He blazed trails with wisdom and sensitivity and united people with one another and Israel with the Creator. The rabbi was one of the greatest spiritual leaders of our people this past generation.” Naftali Bennett

• “[Yosef was] one of the molders of the Chief Rabbinate in Israel and one of the great religious adjudicators…his absence leaves a great hole in the world of Torah.” Yair Lapid

• “Yosef was often called the outstanding rabbinical authority of the century for the community of Sephardic — or Mizrahi — Jews, those of Middle Eastern ancestry.” ABC

• “Even among people who might not be ultra-Orthodox or Sephardic ultra-Orthodox, he was a person who commanded a tremendous respect and reverence.” Rabbi Woolf

• Ovadia was “one of the Torah giants that have arisen among the Jewish people in recent generations.” Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach

• “The passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef today sparked an outpouring of appreciation for a man who combined an unparalleled knowledge of Jewish law with a care for the common man, becoming one of Israel’s most influential spiritual leaders.” Christian Science Monitor

• “What Rav Ovadia did – his mission, from the 1950s on – was to bring back the heritage of the rabbinic heritage of that community, to restore its pride.” Rabbi Jeffrey Woolf

• “He was really the most important halakhic [expert] in the Sephardic world in the second half of 20th century.” Rabbi Lau May the family be comforted among the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.

Ronn Torossian