Journalist and author Naphtali Lavie dies at 88

His funeral will take place on Sunday, December 7, at 3:30 p.m.

By
December 7, 2014 01:27
2 minute read.
Naphtali Lavie

Naphtali Lavie served the State of Israel ever since surviving the Holocaust, from Hagana fighter to spokesman for Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Shamir.. (photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Journalist author, diplomat, and international community leader and activist Naphtali Lau-Lavie died on Saturday. He was 88.

According to Jewish tradition, only the righteous die on Sabbaths and Jewish holidays, and Lau-Lavie, a Holocaust survivor, certainly qualified as a righteous man. Within a few months of his arrival in the Land of Israel after being liberated from Buchenwald, he joined the Hagana and spent almost all of the rest of his life in service to the state and the Jewish people.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


He was among those who welcomed a shipload of illegal immigrants on the Herzliya beach; he was a Mossad operator; and he went to Europe to recruit fighters for the War of Independence, in which he served himself. After the war he worked for several newspapers, most notably for Haaretz, where he was military correspondent and later head of the news desk. He served as a spokesman for Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir.

In 1981 he was appointed consul- general in New York and after his return home, he headed the Israel Office of the United Jewish Appeal.

He was also vice chairman of the World Jewish Restitution Organization, working tirelessly to learn what happened to Jewish properties that had been confiscated first by the Nazis and then by the communists and conducting negotiations with local and state governments, mostly in Eastern Europe.

On the 71st anniversary of his bar mitzva, Lau-Lavie, together with members of his immediate family, returned to his hometown of Piotrkov in Poland, to once again be called up to the Torah. He prayed in the town where his father, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau, a renowned scholar of generations of rabbis, had been rabbi and where Lau had spent so many Sabbaths of his childhood.

The synagogue is now a public library, but former residents of Piotrkov had come from Israel, the United States, and England for a reunion and joined the Lau-Lavie family at Friday night dinner and at synagogue services. Lau-Lavie who had been in ill health in recent years, was already ailing at the time, but was determined to retrace his own and his father’s footsteps with his wife, Joan, and their children.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


One of his greatest joys was seeing his brother, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who had been entrusted into his care by their mother during the war, follow in their father’s footsteps and become a chief rabbi of Israel. They were the only two members of their family to survive.

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau’s son, David, is now chief rabbi of Israel, so the tradition has continued. One of Lau-Lavie’s sons, Rabbi Benny Lau, is a well known broadcaster, educator and writer.

Lau-Lavie’s funeral will take place on Sunday, December 7, at 3:30 p.m.

at Beit Hahesped at Har Hamenuhot, Jerusalem.

He is survived by his wife, Joan, three sons, a daughter, and many grandchildren.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

September 23, 2018
Hamas halts cease-fire talks, blames Abbas

By HAGAY HACOHEN