The Figure We All Followed

The Fellowship  |  October 25, 2019

Meir Shamgar
Meir Shamgar

Many of the Israelis we think you should know have served the Jewish state for decades, often since she won her independence or before. And thus, many of these heroes of the Holy Land can be called “founding fathers.” One such founding father — of Israeli law — has passed away at the age of 94. The Times of Israel tells us more about Meir Shamgar, who not only served on the Jewish state’s highest court for decades, but helped create the country’s sound legal system:

Israel’s leaders hailed him as one of the country’s most important and respected jurists. “He was the figure we all followed,” said Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit.

Shamgar joined Israel’s top court in 1975 and eight years later took over as chief justice, a position he held for 12 years until 1995…

He served in the pre-state Palmach and then the Irgun paramilitaries — and was arrested for anti-British activity and sent to a detention center in Eritrea — and then in the Israel Defense Forces during the 1948 War of Independence.

He was granted the Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement and Special Contribution to Society in 1996.

“I espouse that it is not only the right of the court to intervene, but is rather its duty to be the center of gravity for the creation of norms for the public,” he once said…

May his memory be a blessing.