Petirah of Rav Yehuda Amital


rabbi-yehudah-amitalThe head of the Har Etzion hesder yeshiva and founder of the Meimad movement, Rabbi Yehuda Amital, passed away in his home in Yerushalayim today after battling a long illness. He was 85-years-old.

Rabbi Amital was one of the prominent leaders of the “Gushniki” stream, which is considered moderate in religious Zionism.

His levaya left from Shamgar in Yerushalayim and proceeded to the Givat Shaul bais hakevaros.

Rabbi Amital was born in Transylvania, Hungary in 1924. In 1944, with the Nazi occupation, Rabbi Amital was taken to a labor camp where he spent eight months.

He was liberated in October that year, but his parents, brothers and sister were murdered in the Holocaust. That same year, he immigrated to the land of Israel.

At the age of 16 he learned at the Chevron Yeshiva. He received semichah from Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer and later married his granddaughter.

Following his father-in-law, Rav Zvi Yehuda Meltzer, who was appointed Rechovot’s head rov, Rabbi Amital moved to the city and studied at the Southern Yeshiva, where he came up with the idea of hesder yeshivos. He then served as head of the Har Etzion yeshiva together with Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein.

Two years ago, he retired.

As part of his political activity, Rabbi Amital served as minister without portfolio for a short time from the end of 1995 to mid-1996. After retiring from politics, he resumed his work in the field of education.

Rabbi Amital is survived by his five children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

{Yair Israel} 


  1. Rav Amital was a tzadik whose life embodied yashrus. He was a compassionate honest and ethical talmid chacham who dedicated his life to am Yisrael and eretz Yisrael.

  2. Rav Amital zt”l was a gadol and a tzadik who believed that being a compassionate, honest and ethical person is the core value of Yiddishkeit. Hoepfully his teachings and memory will inspire us.

  3. Its beautiful to see the spreach the achdus of yiddin. Hopefull this sort of ahavas yisroel will be demonstrated by Rav Amital’s talmidim, too.

  4. Rav Amital zt’l was a walking Kiddush HaShem. There was not a better example of Torat haShem Temimah Meshivat Nefesh. His learning will continue in the walls of Har Etzion; his imspirational tefilat mussaf on YK will long be remembered. He once remarked that he was zocheh, like Rabi Akiva, to have students who leave the BM, fight for Am Yisroel, and return to the BM. he has now also returned to the BM shel Maalah. YZB

  5. At the age of 16 he learned at the Chevron Yeshiva. He received semichah from Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer and later married his granddaughter.

    At 16 he was still in Europe no?

  6. As someone already noted, Rav Amital didn’t get to E’Y’ until 1945, when he was 20. That’s when he joined the Chevron Yeshiva.

    Also, he didn’t learn in Yeshivat Hadarom – he as a Ra”m there. It’s a Bnei Akiva high school. Rav Shach zt”l also taught there, at the same time as Rav Amital.