Respect for the law


October 2, 2014 15:30
3 minute read.
Ovadia Yosef


ON THE 20th anniversary in 2012 of the death of Israel’s first right- wing prime minister, Menachem Begin, the Israel State Archives released selected documents that helped clarify Begin’s character and views. His famous statement “There are judges in Jerusalem,” was in response to the 1978 Supreme Court decision to accept the state’s position on the expropriation of land for the Beit El settlement.

The sixth prime minister of Israel, Begin was the first to have formal legal qualifications, having studied law at the University of Warsaw.

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Although he never practiced law, he had an abiding respect for it and made certain that all his public activities were within the limits of the law and conformed with the decisions of the judicial system. During his first months as prime minister, Begin also served as justice minister.

Though a believer in the Greater Israel movement, Begin also believed in full equality for all of Israel’s Arab citizens, and it was this that prompted his support for the appointment of an Arab judge to the Supreme Court.

What Begin did not say was that there are also women judges in Jerusalem. The late Miriam Ben-Porat, the first female appointed to the Supreme Court, was a longtime resident of Jerusalem, arriving in the city from Lithuania in 1936 and residing in the capital until her death in 2012. She was also the first and so far only woman to serve as state comptroller.

Dorit Beinisch , the first female president of the Supreme Court, though born in Tel Aviv, has spent the majority of her life in Jerusalem.

Supreme Court deputy president Miriam Naor , who will become president in January with the retirement of current president Asher D.

Grunis , was born in Jerusalem, and will be the first native of the city and the third Sabra to serve as president. All eight presidents prior to Beinisch were born abroad.

TRUST, THE women’s interfaith organization headed by Elana Rozenman , will host a Women’s Walk with Anna Halprin , the renowned American avant-garde pioneer of postmodern dance. On Monday, October 27, Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druse women will walk together slowly and silently along the Goldman Promenade in Armon Hanatziv, with every step dedicated to peace. The walk will conclude at the amphitheater, where Halprin will lead participants in dance and movement. Aside from the unique opportunity to experience the serenity and expansive beauty of the promenade, this is also a chance to gain a better understanding of the outlooks of women of different faiths who are interested in bringing peace to the region.

Halprin’s husband, Lawrence, who died five years ago, was an influential, award-winning American landscape architect, designer and teacher, and a co-designer of the Haas and Goldman Promenades.

The walk is as much in his memory as it is a united quest for peace.

Halprin and his wife collaborated in exploring common areas between choreography and the manner in which public space is used by people who take advantage of it.

The meeting place for the start of the walk is the Haas Promenade parking lot at 3 p.m. sharp.

THE ARENA was this week the venue for a major event to mark the end of the mourning period for late Shas spiritual leader, Sephardi chief rabbi and much admired scholar Ovadia Yosef . Later this month, the Arena will host its first international gala when it becomes the new venue for the Christian Embassy’s annual Feast of Tabernacles.

It appears that everyone is abandoning the Jerusalem International Convention Center in favor of the Arena, although the convention center is more easily accessible and better positioned for entry into and exit from Jerusalem. It’s also within easy walking distance of some half-dozen hotels.

When Yosef was alive, Shas used to have its major national rallies at the Ramat Gan Stadium, and when it wasn’t aiming for a mega attendance, opted for the convention center. However, this week the center was hosting Machon Meir, which was celebrating its 40th anniversary on the same day that admirers and disciples of Ovadia Yosef were honoring his memory at the Arena.

International Christian Embassy Jerusalem media director David Parsons noted that for the past 33 years the ICEJ hosted its Feast gathering in the convention center, with thousands of Christians from many countries attending. Parsons credited Mayor Nir Barkat with being “particularly encouraging about moving the Feast of Tabernacles to the new Arena, offering the Christian Embassy the privilege of hosting the first major international gathering in the new facility.”

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