Rabbi Menahem Froman, the much-loved rabbi of the Tekoa settlement in the Gush
Etzion region, died at the age of 68 after a long battle with cancer. He
suffered a serious decline in health on Sunday and was unconscious and
critically ill over the past two days.
Froman, a leading figure in the
national-religious movement, was diagnosed with colon cancer more than two years
For many years, Froman would give a Torah lesson on the book of the
Zohar, a work of Jewish mysticism, every Sunday night. The same session was held
without the rabbi at his home in Tekoa this past Sunday night, attended by 200
of the Froman’s students and devotees.
Froman had been an advocate for
peace and dialogue with the Palestinians, despite also supporting the settlement
movement since its inception.
He had been strongly critical of the recent
“price tag” phenomenon in which extremist elements in the settlement movement
have carried out arson and vandalism attacks against Palestinian civilian and
After one of the first such attacks in 2010 against a
Palestinian village in the Gush Etzion region where a mosque was torched, Froman
visited the site of the attack, along with several other prominent area rabbis,
to deliver new Korans to replace those burned in the attack.
held talks with former Fatah and PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Hamas founder Ahmed
Yassin, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and many local religious leaders in the West
In addition, Froman proposed a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict whereby the Israeli settlements in the West Bank would remain intact
within a sovereign Palestinian state. The maverick rabbi also supported Abbas’s
push for recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN in 2011.
son, Yehoyashiv, told Ynet on Sunday that it seemed he was “departing from the
world at this stage.”
He added that the rabbi, before losing
consciousness, had decided to remain at his home in Tekoa to be surrounded by
MK Naftali Bennett, leader of the Bayit Yehudi party, said
that Froman was “a Jew with a gigantic heart.”
MK Uri Ariel, also of
Bayit Yehudi, said Froman’s passing was a great loss for the
“Rabbi Froman was one of its greatest warriors and lovers, who
loved peace and chesed, hated argument, loved his fellow man and brought them
closer to the Torah,” said Ariel.
Froman’s funeral will take place at
12:00 p.m. on Tuesday in Tekoa.