Menachem Porush

Menachem Porush

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Menachem Porush was an Israel politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Agudat Yisrael and its alliances between 1959 and 1975, and again from 1977 until 1994.

Biography


Porush, a seventh-generation Jerusalemite, was born in Jerusalem in 1916 to Rabbi Moshe Glickman-Porush, and studied at the Etz Chaim Yeshiva
Etz Chaim Yeshiva
Etz Chaim Yeshiva is an orthodox yeshiva located on Jaffa Road close to the Mahane Yehuda Market in downtown Jerusalem.-History:Etz Chaim Yeshiva was originally a Talmud Torah which was established in 1841 by the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Shmuel Salant. For the first two years classes were held in...

. In 1932 he was expelled from Etz Chaim for unseemly conduct at a Purim
Purim
Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from destruction in the wake of a plot by Haman, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther .Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th...

 party, where he allegedly slighted chief rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook
Abraham Isaac Kook
Abraham Isaac Kook was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav, Jewish thinker, Halachist, Kabbalist and a renowned Torah scholar...

. After that he went abroad to work as a correspondent for Orthodox Jewish publications, returning in 1938. By 1949, he had become assistant editor of the newspaper Kol Yisrael. In 1954 he became a member of the Agudat Yisrael Center in Israel, and a member of the Executive of the World Agudath Israel
World Agudath Israel
World Agudath Israel , usually known as the Aguda, was established in the early twentieth century as the political arm of Ashkenazi Torah Judaism, in succession to Agudas Shlumei Emunei Yisroel...

. In 1955, he was appointed chairman of the Agudat Yisrael Center in Israel. During this time, Porush also founded Children's Town to promote Jewish education and combat missionary influence.

In 1959, he was elected for the first time to the Knesset on the Religious Torah Front
Religious Torah Front
The Religious Torah Front was a political alliance in Israel composed of Agudat Yisrael and Poalei Agudat Yisrael.-History:The Religious Torah Front was formed when the Ultra-orthodox parties Agudat Yisrael and Poalei Agudat Yisrael decided to fight the 1955 elections on a joint list.In the...

 list, an alliance of Agudat Yisrael and Poalei Agudat Yisrael. He was re-elected in 1961
Israeli legislative election, 1961
Elections for the fifth Knesset were held in Israel on 15 August 1961. Voter turnout was 81.6%.-Results:¹ Eight MKs broke away from Mapai to establish Rafi² Herut and the Liberal Party merged to form Gahal...

, 1965
Israeli legislative election, 1965
Elections for the sixth Knesset were held in Israel on 1 November 1965. Voter turnout was 85.9%.-Background:Prior to the elections, two major alliances were formed; Mapai and Ahdut HaAvoda united to form the Alignment, whilst Herut and the Liberal Party had formed the Gahal alliance towards the end...

 and 1969
Israeli legislative election, 1969
Elections for the seventh Knesset were held in Israel on 28 October 1969. Voter turnout was 81.7%.-Results:¹ Meir Avizohar defected from the National List to the Alignment² Avner Shaki left the National Religious Party and remained a single MK...

. Between 1969 and 1974 also served as deputy head of Jerusalem city council, and in 1973 he established Kiryat HaYeled – an educational center for ultra-orthodox
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 ....

 children.

Although he retained his seat in the 1973 elections
Israeli legislative election, 1973
The Elections for the eighth Knesset were held on 31 December 1973. Voter turnout was 78.6%.-Results:1 Aryeh Eliav left the Alignment and merged with Ratz to form Ya'ad - Civil Rights Movement...

, he resigned from the Knesset on 23 November 1975, and was replaced by Shlomo-Ya'akov Gross
Shlomo-Ya'akov Gross
Shlomo-Ya'akov Gross was an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Agudat Yisrael and the Religious Torah Front in several spells between 1959 and 1981.-Biography:...

. He returned to the Knesset following the 1977 elections
Israeli legislative election, 1977
The Elections for the ninth Knesset were held on 17 May 1977. For the first time in Israeli political history, the right-wing, led by Likud, won the election, ending almost 30 years of rule by the left-wing Alignment and its predecessor, Mapai...

, and was re-elected in 1981
Israeli legislative election, 1981
Elections for the tenth Knesset were held in Israel on 30 June 1981. Despite last minute polls suggesting a victory for Shimon Peres's Alignment, Menachem Begin's Likud won by just one seat...

 and 1984
Israeli legislative election, 1984
Elections for the eleventh Knesset were held in Israel on 23 July 1984. Voter turnout was 78.8%. The results saw the Alignment return to being the largest party in the Knesset, a status it had lost in 1977...

. The same year, Porush defied the Gerrer Rebbe and Council of Torah Sages, who demanded he give up his Knesset seat. In response, dozens of Gerrer Hasidim stormed into his hotel, beat him up and destroyed the place. He commented that the event reminded him of the 1929 riots
1929 Palestine riots
The 1929 Palestine riots, also known as the Western Wall Uprising, the 1929 Massacres, , or the Buraq Uprising , refers to a series of demonstrations and riots in late August 1929 when a long-running dispute between Muslims and Jews over access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem escalated into violence...

.

On 29 September 1984 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, a post he held until 2 December the following year. After re-election in 1988
Israeli legislative election, 1988
Elections for the twelfth Knesset were held in Israel on 1 November 1988. Voter turnout was 79.7%.-Results:1 Five members of the Likud left to form the Party for the Advancement of the Zionist Idea; after two returned, the party was renamed the New Liberal Party...

, he was re-appointed to the post on 19 November 1990. He retained his seat in the 1992 elections
Israeli legislative election, 1992
Elections for the thirteenth Knesset were held in Israel on 23 June 1992. The result was a victory for the left, led by Yitzhak Rabin's Labor Party, though their win was at least partially due to several small right-wing parties narrowly failing to cross the electoral threshold and thus effectively...

, but resigned from the Knesset for a second and final time on 28 June 1994, and was replaced by Avraham Verdiger
Avraham Verdiger
Avraham Verdiger is a former Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for several ultra-Orthodox parties between 1965 and 1996.-Biography:Born in Łódź in Poland, Verdiger made aliyah as a Zionist returnee to Mandate Palestine in 1947...

.

He was a member of the Knesset Education and Culture Committee from the Fourth to Ninth Knessets, and of the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee from the Fifth to Eighth Knessets. In the Ninth and Tenth Knessets he served as chairman of the Labor and Welfare Committee, and in the Twelfth Knesset as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee and the Interior and Environment Committee.

His son, Meir Porush, followed him into politics as a member of the Jerusalem City Council and the Knesset for United Torah Judaism
United Torah Judaism
United Torah Judaism is an alliance of Degel HaTorah and Agudat Israel, two small Israeli Haredi political parties in the Knesset. It was first formed in 1992.The two parties have not always agreed with each other about policy matters...

.

Porush was a longtime op-ed columnist for the Brooklyn-based Jewish Press weekly newspaper.

External links