And so, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has gone to meet his maker. Let him be judged there.
Meantime, back on Planet Earth, two quick points:
First, the reach of his influence was wide ranging and diverse. Check out this from the Times of Israel:
An ultra-Orthodox teacher with a brood of students; a laborer with paint-spattered boots; a mother with an unsettled infant; an elderly woman cradling a notebook in which she had scrawled a prayer; Shas party loyalists; an IDF captain rhythmically blowing a shofar; and a hollow-cheeked beggar threading through the crush of people, wordlessly rattling the change in his palm — these were but a small slice of the crowd that congregated on the eighth floor of the Hadassah Medical Center on Monday to pray for the health, and then mourn the passing, of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the most important Sephardi rabbi of the last several generations, the unifier of Sephardi Jewry.
Second, on the assumption he’s not coming back, who will ascend to his throne? For those of us likely to be caught up in the change of political winds, that’s a more important question than his legacy. Who will stand on his shoulders? Will anyone? Or will this signal the end of Shas, at least in its present form?