Amram Blau


Amram Blau

Rabbi Amram Blau (1894–1974) was an Haredi Rabbi from the Hungarian community of Jerusalem. He was one of the founders of the fiercely Anti-Zionist Neturei Karta.

Blau grew up in the Meah Shearim neighbourhood of Jerusalem as a proponent of Torah observant Judaism. Like his brother Rabbi Moshe Blau who was a leader in the Aguda, he was also active in the Aguda during the British Mandate era and was the editor of its organ "Kol Israel" (Voice of Israel). [Uriel Zimmer [http://www.nkusa.org/Books/Publications/guardians.cfm The Guardians of the Citry] (Neturei Karta International) Accessed: January 22, 2007.] But when the Aguda began to lean towards a modus vivendi with the Zionist leaders he with Rabbi Aaron Katzenellenbogen claimed that the Aguda had sold out to the Zionist movement and in 1937 broke away and founded Neturei Karta.cite news |url=http://www.guiltandpleasure.com/index.php?site=rebootgp&page=gp_article&id=17 |first=Micha |last=Odenheimer |title=We Do Not Believe We Will Not Follow |work=Guilt and Pleasure |number=2 |date=Spring 2006]

In the 1940s he authored what became the anthem of Neturei Karta:

cquote|G-d is our King,
Him do we serve
The Torah is our Law
And in it we believe.
And we do not believe in the government of the heretics.
And we do not care about its laws.
We will go in the ways of the Torah
In fire and water.
We will go in the ways of the Torah
We will sanctify the Name of Heaven [ [http://www.nkusa.org/aboutus/anthem.cfm Anthem of the Neturei Karta] (Neturei Karta International) Accessed: January 22, 2007.]

After the establishment of the State of Israel, Neturei Karta continued its staunch opposition to a Jewish state, in agreement with the Satmarer Rebbe, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, author of the anti-Zionist "Vayoel Moshe" which advocated non-recognition of the State of Israel on theological grounds. Prior to the Six-Day War he even went so far as to propose moving to Jordanian controlled East Jerusalem to avoid the secular temptations of modern Israel. [ [http://www.forward.com/articles/september-22-2006-1/ Fifty Years Ago in the Forward] ("The Forward") September 22, 2006 Accessed: January 22, 2007.]

He refused to use Israeli currency, and instead issued his own private currency to use for charity and barter, in the form of coupons redeemable for specified goods. These coupons were numbered on the back, and stated that they were redeemable every Monday and Thursday between 4 and 6 p.m. at the Kehal Yere'im Chassidim study hall.

Blau's first wife, Hinda, died in 1963. Because of an injury he sustained, either from shrapnel during the siege of Jerusalem in 1948 or at the hands of Israeli police at a Shabbat demonstration in the 1950s, he could not remarry a woman who had been born Jewish. [Deuteronomy 23:2; "Shulchan Aruch" EH 5] In 1965 he married Ruth Ben-David, a convert. Born Madeleine Ferraille to a Catholic family in Calais, and educated at the Sorbonne, she had been a member of a French Resistance during WWII. After the war she went into the textile business and invested in real estate, but was cheated by a partner, lost her fortune, and spent a year in prison on charges related to French laws on foreign currency transactions. With the founding of Israel in 1948 she became interested in Zionism and then in Orthodox Judaism; within a few years she divorced her husband and converted to Judaism, but eventually abandoned her Zionist views in favour of the anti-Zionist views of Satmar. [cite news |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20010119125400/www02.jpost.com/Editions/2000/03/05/Features/Features.3576.html |title=No stranger to controversy |first=Greer Fay |last=Cashman |date=3 March 2000] The match was opposed by Blau's two adult sons and by the Rabbinical Court of the Edah HaChareidis, so the couple had to move to Bnei Brak, [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,834305-1,00.html The Lost Leader] (Time Magazine) September 10, 1965 Accessed: January 22, 2007.] but a year later they returned to Meah Shearim.

Blau died in 1974. Ruth Blau continued to act as an independent wing of Neturei Karta; after the Iranian revolution she cultivated a relationship with the Ayatollah Khomeini.

As of 2008, the relationship between the Edah HaChareidis and those who follow in the footsteps of Rabbi Amram Blau has become much better. On his yahrtzeit, which in 2008 fell on the 18th of July on the Georgian calendar, a commemorative gathering was held in the main beis medrash of the Mishkenos HoRoim Hasidic group, which is one of the smaller Hasidic groups in the Edah HaChareidis. Rabbi Amram Blau used to pray in their beis medrash regularly. Their yeshiva is called "Mesivasa DeRav Amrom", after him. Among those scheduled to attend are the Chief Rabbi of the Edah HaChareidis, Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss; Rabbi Yaakov Mendel Yurovitch, member of the great rabbinical court of the Edah; the Admor/Rebbe of Mishkenos HoRoim; and Neturei Karta leaders Rabbi Uri Blau and Rabbi Yeshayeh Blau.

ee also

* Neturei Karta
* Anti-Zionism
* Moshe Hirsch

External links

* [http://www.nkusa.org Website of Neturei Karta International]
* [http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/zionism/unitednations/un18Jul1949.cfm Petition to the United Nations]
* [http://www.nkusa.org/Historical_Documents/blau_letter.cfm Letter from Rabbi Amram Blau]
* [http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/archives5763/KSV63features2.htm Where is Yossele?] Ruth Ben-David before meeting Rabbi Blau

References

Persondata
NAME=Blau, Amram
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Haredi Rabbi from the Hungarian community of Jerusalem, co-founder of the Anti-Zionist Neturei Karta
DATE OF BIRTH=1900
PLACE OF BIRTH=Palestine
DATE OF DEATH=1974
PLACE OF DEATH=Israel


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