• Issue: August 1978
  • Designer: Z. Narkiss
  • Stamp size: 25.7 x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 538 - 539
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

Rabbi Benzion Meir Hai Ouziel

Rabbi Benzion Meir Hai Ouziel Sephardi Chief Rabbi of the Holy Land (bearing the traditional title of The First in Zion") from 1939 to his death in 1953, was born in Jerusalem in 1880. In 1900 he was appointed teacher at the "Tiferet Yerushalayim" yeshiva and later established and directed the "Mahzikei Torah" yeshiva. In 1912 he was named Chief Rabbi of Jaffa and District, a position in which he showed great organisational talent and moral courage via-a-via the hostile Ottoman authorities in World War I.

From 1921 to 1923 he served in Salonika, propagating Jewish education and Zionist ideas. From 1923 to 1939 he served as Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv.

Rabbi Uziel was a religious and civic leader of enormous influence, liked and respected by all sectors of the population. He was a central figure in the "Mizrahi" movement, a member of the National Council of the Jews of Palestine, honorary President of many religious and welfare institutions, a delegate on behalf of the world Sephardi Union to three Zionist Congresses and a member of the Zionist executive. He appeared for the Zionist cause before the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations and the British Commission on the Wailing Wall and took part in the 1939 Round Table Conference in London. He took part in all the national demonstrations which led up to Israel's Independence and in 1945 and 1947 appeared before the Anglo-American and UN Committees of Inquiry. His learned works include treatises on the Shulkhan Arukh, on the Origins of Faith and on many other spiritual and legal subjects.

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Rabbi Abraham Isaac Ha-Cohen Kook

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Ha-Cohen Kook, born in 1865 in Latvia, was one of the most revered leaders of Jewish orthodoxy, a sage and saint whose great Biblical and Talmudic knowledge, together with his moderation, open-mindedness and human compassion, won him the love and respect of religious and non-religious Jews alike.

After holding several rabbinical posts in Czarist Russia, he was offered the post of Chief Rabbi of Jaffa, which he accepted, being convinced of the Talmudic truism that "to live in the Land of Israel outweighs all commands of the Torah".

Even before the First World War, he developed an original line in Jewish thought and studies in the Yeshiva which he had established. In 1914 he was unable to return from a European visit and stayed in Switzerland till 1916. He then went to England where he participated in the political negotiations which culminated in the Balfour Declaration. In 1919 he was called to serve as Aahkenazi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and in 1921 he was elected first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of the Holy Land. In the same year he founded the Central Yeshiva "Merkaz Ha-Ray" in Jerusalem. He was also active on behalf of the Jewish National Fund and the Mizrahi party, wrote numerous books, monographs and articles and from the height of his scholarly authority firmly rejected all attacks of the ultra-orthodox against the Zionist cause. He died in 1935.

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Historical personalities (III)