MONSEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The man most seriously injured during the Chanukah attack at a rabbi’s home in Rockland County has died.

Josef Neumann, a father of seven, was 72 years old.

He was laid to rest this afternoon, a sad event which like so many others, was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At another time, Neumann’s funeral would have brought many hundreds of people to Viznitz Cemetery in Rockland County.

While some on the periphery practiced social distancing, dozens more clustered together near his coffin. His loss is felt deeply in the community, according to Yossie Gestetner of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council.

“It’s devastating, it’s painful, it’s deep and it brings up to the surface again the pain that was felt a couple of months ago,” Gestetner said.

Neumann was the most seriously injured victim during the Dec. 28 machete attack at the Monsey home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg.

He clung to life for two months at Westchester Medical Center before improving just enough to be moved to a nursing home, where he died Sunday.

CBS2 has learned the Rockland district attorney plans to upgrade the charges against suspect Grafton Thomas to 2nd degree murder.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will honor the victim by naming a proposed domestic terrorism measure the Josef Neumann Law.

Monday’s funeral unfolded even as the defense team considered actions to force an autopsy.

Josef Neumann was a retired retail store owner and a father of seven. In January, his daughter said the family prayed he would recover and find a world that had changed for the better.

He did not recover.

The world certainly changed.

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