Baruch Dayan Emet: Rav Hanan Porat z”l

Hanan Porat in the Knesset

Hanan Porat z"l (on the left) in the Knesset, 1988

We sadly learned of the death of Rav Hanan Porat z”l today. He had been ill with cancer for a while and had been hospitalized on Erev Rosh Hashana. He was only 68.

Porat served as a Knesset member for Tehiya, the National Religious Party, Tkuma, and the National Union during two time periods: from 1981 to 1984 and 1988 to 1999.

“Hanan Porat dedicated his life to building Eretz Yisrael, and to educating generations of national religious students toward the love of the land of Israel, and the people of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu pointed out that as a son of Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, a Kibbutz that was destroyed during the War of Independence, Porat “led the return to Gush Etzion after it was liberated” following the Six Day War.

“His contribution to building and settling the land, to education and to Zionist leadership was an example for Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu said. “I first met him almost 40 years ago, and was immediately impressed by his Zionist fervor and his deep dedication to returning the Jewish people to its land. That fervor never waned for an instant, and accompanied him to his final day. Much will still be told of his contribution to institutions, individuals, and the education of a younger generation.”

Arutz Sheva has more:

Rav Porat was among the leaders of the Jewish return to Gush Etzion after the Six Day War. He was among the founders of Gush Emunim, which led Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria after the Yom Kippur War.

At the same time, he taught in several yeshivas, including Yeshivat Har Etzion, Yeshivat Hakibbutz Hadati in Ein Tzurim, and the Beit Orot yeshiva in Jeursalem

He established the Techiya Knesset faction along with Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, Geula Cohen and Elyakim Haetzni, and served in the tenth Knesset. He later joined the National Religious Party (Mafdal) and was elected through that party to serve in subsequent Knessets, in which he held a variety of roles, including head of the Knesset’s Constitution and Law Committee.

Earlier this year Rav Porat gave an interview in which he spoke about his wartime experiences, his ideology, and his illness. He told interviewer Yinon Magal, “I don’t believe that life ends with death. It undergoes a change.”

In August Rav Porat received an award for Jewish Creativity for his books and poetry.

The video accompanying the Arutz Sheva article is heartbreaking because of how Rav Porat looks and speaks. He is almost a shadow of his former self, although the old fire remains.

Hanan Porat on supporters' shoulders

Hanan Porat on supporters' shoulders, Gush Emunim rally, 1975

And from Ynet:

Porat’s father changed the family name from Shpitzer to Porat – his code name in the Hagana. Porat, who studied in a yeshiva and was ordained as a rabbi, served in the IDF as a paratrooper and took part in the battle of Jerusalem in the Six Day War. He also fought in the Yom Kippur War and sustained serious injuries in the Suez Canal.

I remember Rav Porat as an outstanding teacher when I used to attend his weekly shiur (back in my old single days) on the teachings of the Maharal, which he used to give in the Bet Bnei Akiva in the Old City of Jerusalem.

May his life works and his teachings be a fine memorial to his name and may his memory be for a blessing.

יהי זכרו ברוך.

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2 Responses to Baruch Dayan Emet: Rav Hanan Porat z”l

  1. reality says:

    Amen . What a loss. May the family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion. יהי זכרו ברוך

  2. anneinpt says:

    Yaacov Lozowick has a beautifully moving eulogy on his blog. Kedai to read.

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