NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rabbi Mordechai Hager, the grand rabbi and spiritual leader of the Viznitz Hasidim in Kaser-Monsey, died Friday at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital. He was 95 years old.
Hager was the fifth rebbe, or leader, of the Vizhnitz Hasidic dynasty, which is named after a town in modern-day Ukraine where the sect began.
Born in 1922, Hager was believed to be the world’s oldest Hasidic leader. His wife, Simi Mirel Hager, died in 2005 at the age of 76. She was also sister of Grand Rebbe David Twersky of New Square.
The Rockland Fire Department issued a warning via Twitter that “tens of thousands” were expected at services for Hager, potentially creating major traffic delays. The Ramapo Police Department is urging drivers to avoid the area.
Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel said the department has implemented an extensive operational plan, with additional help from Spring Valley police helping with traffic control and road closures.