Hanan Porat 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy Moskowitz Prize for Zionism)
Porat, who inspired thousands of people to settle the hilltops of Judea and
Samaria, died at his home in Kfar Etzion on Tuesday after a long battle with
cancer. He was 67.
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Porat’s funeral will take place at 11 a.m. on
Wednesday in Kfar Etzion.
Porat was among the founders of Gush Emunim, an
organization committed to building Jewish towns in the West Bank. He was
respected even by his fiercest adversaries for his Zionism, leadership skills
He served as an MK twice, first from 1981-1984 in the Tehiya
Party, which he helped found, and from 1988-1999 with the National Religious
Party. Porat later became one of the founding members of the National Union but
did not represent it in the Knesset.
He was also chairman of the Knesset
Constitution, Law and Justice Committee during the fourteenth
Porat taught at Yeshivat Har Etzion, the religious kibbutz
yeshiva in Ein Tzurim, and at the Beit Orot Yeshiva in Jerusalem, building a
reputation as one of the top educators in religious Zionism.
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Six Day War he served as a paratrooper and took part in the liberation of
Jerusalem. He also fought on the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War and was
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement
expressing “deep sorrow” at Porat’s death.
“Hanan Porat dedicated his
life to building the Land of Israel and to educating generations of national
religious students toward the love of the land of Israel and the people of
Israel,” he said.
Netanyahu pointed out that as a son of Kibbutz Kfar
Etzion, a community that was destroyed during the War of Independence, Porat
“led the return to Gush Etzion after it was liberated” following the Six Day
“His contribution to building and settling the land, to education
and to Zionist leadership was an example for Israel’s citizens,” Netanyahu said.
“I first met him almost 40 years ago and was immediately impressed by his
Zionist fervor and his deep dedication to returning the Jewish people to its
land. That fervor never waned for an instant, and accompanied him to his final day. Much
will still be told of his contribution to institutions, individuals and the
education of a younger generation.”
Netanyahu conveyed his condolences to
Porat’s wife, Rachel, to his children, grandchildren and “thousands of his
friends and students who will continue in his Zionist path.”
Speaker Reuven Rivlin said “the Knesset bows its head together with the family,
friends and students of Rabbi Hanan Porat, a fervent Zionist, an outstanding
parliamentarian and a faithful builder of the Land of Israel. Rabbi Porat was a
man of vision and of actions, and a true friend.”
The National Union
released a statement saying Porat was “a bridge and a ray of light in connecting
religious and secular Jews, and was a pioneer in settling Judea and Samaria.
Rabbi Hanan Porat worked to increase love and faith in the Jewish people and to
strengthen its hold on the land of our fathers.”
Gush Etzion Regional
Council leader Shaul Goldstein called Porat “a great teacher of settlement. He
loved the people of Israel and made sure to connect them to their land. Hanan’s
leadership, faith, honesty and firmness will be missed.”
contributed to this report.
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