Rabbi Haim Druckman mourned as supporter of Hebron

The Jewish community remembers Rabbi Druckman and a pioneer who helped Hebron in the post-Six Day War era.

25.12.22, 23:32
(Photo: Rabbi Haim Druckman with Jewish Community of Hebron spokesman Dr. Noam Arnon.)

The Jewish community of Hebron mourns the loss of Rabbi Haim Druckman, long-time religious leader and advocate for Judea and Samaria. He passed away Sunday at the age of 90.

Rabbi Druckman led the dramatic Passover seder in Hebron in 1968 which was the spark for the repatriation of Judea and Samaria. He was a life-long study partner with Hebron pioneer Rabbi Eliezer Waldman.
Dr. Noam Arnon, long-time spokesperson for the Jewish community of Hebron wrote:
"The world without Rabbi Druckman is not the same. He was the central part of the menorah, from which all the other candlesticks branched out in all directions, illuminating the entire space. I was not his student in an official setting, but I received his enlightenment and good advice many times. I remember the phone call I received from him when my mother passed away, a conversation full of emotion, depth and comfort. I still cannot summarize, but only express the feeling of loss, similar to the loss of a father, the father of a large public. Rest in peace Rabbi Haim, the life and the light you gave us will continue to shine and bear fruit."
President Isaac Herzog stated: "Rabbi Druckman was a public emissary and spiritual leader who led in vision and action some of the most important Torah, Zionism and revival enterprises of our generation."
Incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: A great light of love for Israel went out today... the State of Israel lost a great spiritual leader, and I lost a personal friend whom I respected very much. As someone who personally experienced the horrors of the Holocaust as a child, Rabbi Druckman devoted himself to the building of the nation.

Rabbi Druckman was born in Kitov (Kuty) Poland which is today part of Ukraine. After the Nazi occupation he hid with his parents in a hideout dug under his uncle's house in the non-Jewish part of the town. Later he escaped with his parents to Romania and from there immigrated to the Land of Israel. He served in the Israeli army and attended Merkaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem.

He was a Member of Knesset from 1977 – 1988 and again from 1999 – 2003.

Rabbi Druckman survived a terrorist shooting in 1993 while driving to Hebron / Kiryat Arba which took the life of his assistant Ephraim Ayubi. Rabbi Druckman suffered bullet wounds in the arm and shoulder in the attack. 

He was well-known for his work in helping people convert to Judaism, having served as Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs and heading the conversion department at the Prime Minister’s Office. He also served as head of a conversion court in the southern district and over the years signed tens of thousands of certificate declaring people officially Jewish after a formal conversation process was completed.

Rabbi Druckman authored at least 14 books on religious subjects including a two-volume set answering question from youth about religion, and a book about vegetarianism from the perspective of Rabbi Kook.

In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement and many other awards during his lengthy public service.

He is survived by Dr. Sarah Druckman, daughter of Prof. Jacob Nahum Epstein, his wife of 65 years, nine children, one of whom was adopted, and close to two hundred grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
United States contact info:
1760 Ocean Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11230
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(Photo below: Rabbi Haim Druckman with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, July 23, 1984. Credit: Nati Harnik, Government Press Office)
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