Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Gedolim Stories in Israeli Supreme Court decisions

Sometimes you find gedolim stories in the most unlikely places. For example, someone who is researching the history of the Israeli draft exemption for religious women (and the exemption from Sherut Leumi as well) will eventually come across an Israeli supreme court decision (בג"צ 456/71 שרה ברזני נ' שר הבטחון ואח', פ"ד כו 2, 543.).

In this decision, the halachic opinion of Rav Zvi Pesach Frank Zt"l is brought as evidence of the strength of religious opposition to the drafting of women. Now, the court has to show that Rav Frank's opposition is not motivated by a basic ideological opposition to the state so it lists some biographical facts to establish Rav Frank as a moderate religious leader. Among these facts, I found the following:

בדירתו שהיתה מקודם בעיר העתיקה ואחר-כך ברחוב מלאכי בירושלים היה מחסן נשק של ההגנה, הטלפון שלו עמד לרשות ההגנה, במרתף ביתו ברחוב מלאכי היה בית- חרושת לפצצות של ההגנה ושם ערכו גם אימונים. לא נמנע מלשתף פעולה עם ההגנה בשל משרתו הציבורית בתקופת המנדט, וכן לא נמנע מהשתתפות בפעולות אחרות להקמת המדינה.

In his apartment which used to be in the old city and later on Malachi Street in Jerusalem there was storage room for the Hagana's weapons. [In his apartment,] the phone was also made available for the Hagana. In his basement of his house on Malachi Street there was a bomb factory for the Hagana and they used to hold training sessions there. He did not stop cooperating with the Hagana even during his public role [as chief rabbi of Jerusalem who was paid by the British -ed.] during the mandate period and also did not refrain from cooperating with other activities towards the establishment of the state.

Somehow, I don't think that this will make it into the Artscroll biography.