Amram Blau

Amram Blau

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Amram Blau was a Haredi
Haredi Judaism
Haredi or Charedi/Chareidi Judaism is the most conservative form of Orthodox Judaism, often referred to as ultra-Orthodox. A follower of Haredi Judaism is called a Haredi ....

 rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 from the Hungarian community of Jerusalem. He was one of the founders of the fiercely Anti-Zionist
Anti-Zionism
Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionistic views or opposition to the state of Israel. The term is used to describe various religious, moral and political points of view in opposition to these, but their diversity of motivation and expression is sufficiently different that "anti-Zionism" cannot be...

 Neturei Karta
Neturei Karta
Neturei Karta is a Haredi Jewish group formally created in Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine, in 1938, splitting off from Agudas Yisroel...

.

Blau was born in Jerusalem, and grew up in the Meah Shearim neighbourhood. Like his brother Rabbi Moshe Blau who was a leader in the Agudat Israel
Agudat Israel
Agudat Yisrael began as the original political party representing the ultra-Orthodox population of Israel. It was the umbrella party for almost all ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, and before that in the British Mandate of Palestine...

 movement, he was also active in the Aguda during the British Mandate era and was the editor of its newspaper, Kol Israel (Voice of Israel). But when the Aguda began to lean towards a modus vivendi with the Zionist leaders
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

, Blau claimed that the Aguda had sold out to the Zionist movement and in 1937 broke away and founded Neturei Karta.

Anti-Zionism


After the establishment of the State of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Neturei Karta continued its staunch opposition to a Jewish state, in agreement with the Satmar
Satmar (Hasidic dynasty)
Satmar is a Hasidic movement comprising mostly Hungarian and Romanian Hasidic Jewish Holocaust survivors and their descendants. It was founded and led by the late Hungarian-born Grand Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum , who was the rabbi of Szatmárnémeti, Hungary...

 Rebbe
Rebbe
Rebbe , which means master, teacher, or mentor, is a Yiddish word derived from the Hebrew word Rabbi. It often refers to the leader of a Hasidic Jewish movement...

, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum
Joel Teitelbaum
Joel Teitelbaum, known as Reb Yoelish or the Satmar Rav , was a prominent Hungarian Hasidic rebbe and Talmudic scholar. He was probably the best known Haredi opponent of all forms of modern political Zionism...

, author of the anti-Zionist Vayoel Moshe
Vayoel Moshe
Vayoel Moshe is a Hebrew book written by Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, leader of the Satmar Hasidic movement, in the year 1961. It made his case that Judaism is against Zionism....

which advocated non-recognition of the State of Israel on theological grounds. Prior to the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, Blau even went so far as to propose moving to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

ian controlled East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

 to avoid the secular temptations of modern Israel.

He was imprisoned many times for demonstrating against public violations of Shabbat
Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

, the conscription of religious women, the opening of a mixed-sex swimming pool, and other government policies. Most of his sentences were served at the Russian Compound, but he also did a five-month stint at Ramla
Ramla
Ramla , is a city in central Israel. The city is predominantly Jewish with a significant Arab minority. Ramla was founded circa 705–715 AD by the Umayyad Caliph Suleiman ibn Abed al-Malik after the Arab conquest of the region...

 prison. On two occasions he went out in public wearing sackcloth as a sign of protest.

Controversy on his second marriage


Blau's first wife, Hinda (nee Weber), died in 1963. Because of an injury he sustained from shrapnel during the siege of Jerusalem in 1948 he could not remarry a woman who had been born Jewish . In 1965 he married Ruth Ben-David, a convert. Born Madeleine Ferraille to a Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 family in Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

, and educated at the Sorbonne
Sorbonne
The Sorbonne is an edifice of the Latin Quarter, in Paris, France, which has been the historical house of the former University of Paris...

, she had been a member of a French Resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 during World War II. With the founding of Israel in 1948 she became interested in Zionism and then in Orthodox Judaism; within a few years she divorced her husband and converted to Judaism, but eventually abandoned her Zionist views in favor of the anti-Zionist views of Satmar. The match was opposed by Blau's two adult sons and by the rabbinical court
Beth din
A beth din, bet din, beit din or beis din is a rabbinical court of Judaism. In ancient times, it was the building block of the legal system in the Biblical Land of Israel...

 of the Edah HaChareidis, so the couple had to move to Bnei Brak, but a year later they returned to Meah Shearim .

Blau died in 1974. He was interred at Har HaMenuchot
Har HaMenuchot
Har HaMenuchot is the largest cemetery in Jerusalem, Israel. It is located at the western edge of the city adjacent to the neighborhood of Givat Shaul, with commanding views of Mevaseret Zion to the north, Motza to the west, and Har Nof to the south.-History:...

. Ruth Blau continued to act as an independent wing of Neturei Karta; after the Iranian revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 she cultivated a relationship with the Ayatollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

.