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Neriah (Menkin), Moshe Ẓevi


NERIAH (Menkin), MOSHE ẒEVI (1913–1995), Israeli rabbi and rosh yeshivah. Neriah was born in Lodz, Poland. His father, R. Petahiah Menkin, later served as rabbi in various towns in Belorussia. At the age of 13, Neriah studied at the clandestine yeshivah in Minsk, and later in Shklov. In 1930 he immigrated to Ereẓ Israel to study in the Merkaz Ha-Rav Yeshivah established by Rabbi A.I. Kook, and while still there took a prominent part in the *Bnei Akiva movement, formulating its educational program and editing its monthly Zera'im. He received semikhah from Rabbi J.M. *Ḥarlap. Neriah was a youth delegate to the 20th and 21st Zionist Congresses. In 1940, he founded the Bnei Akiva Yeshivah in Kefar ha-Ro'eh, where he introduced many original educational principles which opened a new chapter in Torah education in Israel, including youth camps attached to the yeshivah. From this yeshivah there developed a network of some 20 Bnei Akiva yeshivot.

Neriah was particularly active in spreading Torah education, conducting study courses in Talmud over the radio, and lecturing extensively. A prolific writer, he devoted himself to halakhic problems connected with the emergence of the State, contributing articles to Dat u-Medinah and publishing inter alia Milḥemet Shabbat on the right to wage war on the Sabbath; Kehal Gerim on conversion; Mishmeret Yiḥudenu on the "Who is a Jew?" question; and Ki Sheshet Yamim Asah Ha-Shem on the theological aspects of the Six-Day War. Following the reorganization of the educational system, he was elected to the Seventh Knesset in 1969, where he devoted himself particularly to questions of education, but was not a candidate for the Eighth Knesset.

In 1973 he published his Massekhet Nazir, a biography presenting the system of thought of R. David *Cohen, and was awarded the Tel Aviv Municipality Prize for education.

Rabbi Neriah received the Israel Prize for special contribution to Israeli society in 1978.

[Itzhak Goldshlag]

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