Blau, Amram

views updated


BLAU, AMRAM (1894–1974), rabbi, leader of the ultra-Orthodox sect *Neturei Karta. Blau was born in Jerusalem into a noted religious family. He was a leading member of the Agudat Israel youth movement in the early 1930s. Blau and some of his colleagues left the movement in 1935 and founded the extreme anti-Zionist Ḥevrat Ḥayyim, later to become Neturei Karta. His fierce opposition to Zionism and Agudat Israel, sometimes expressed violently, led on several occasions to his prosecution and imprisonment. His anti-Zionist attitude did not change with the establishment of the State of Israel (1948), which he refused to recognize. Blau and his followers rejected the State of Israel on socalled "halakhic" grounds, rejecting a state run by secular Jews. In addition, Blau continually denounced the establishment of a Jewish state before the coming of the Messiah as an act of infamy and blasphemy. In 1965, after the death of his first wife, he married a proselyte, Ruth Ben-David, despite the opposition of the ultra-Orthodox bet din and some of his followers.

[Menachem Friedman /

David Derovan (2nd ed.)]