Natorei Karta’s Hirsch, dies in Jerusalem

Leading rabbi from ultra-Orthodox, anti-Zionist group, served as PA 'minister'.

May 3, 2010 11:37
Yasser Arafat with Rabbi Moshe Hirsch at the Mukat

Hirsch Arafat 311. (photo credit: Archive)

Moshe Hirsch, a leading rabbi from the tiny ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionist Natorei Karta group, died on Sunday in his home in the capital’s Mea She’arim neighborhood. He was 86.

The New York native, who was the son-in-law of the Natorei Karta founder Rabbi Aharon Katzenellenbogen and studied at the Lakewood Yeshiva in New Jersey before moving to Jerusalem, never became an Israeli citizen.

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Hirsch was famous for his ties with some of Israel’s enemies, most famously Yasser Arafat, who appointed the rabbi minister for Jewish affairs in the Palestinian Authority’s government.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas said he would send a representative to Hirsch’s funeral, which took place on Sunday evening at the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem. Army Radio reported that during the funeral, right-wing activists confronted the Natorei Karta people, heckling them and their deceased leader. The activists were eventually removed from the scene.

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