The contributions of former High Court Judge Menachem Elon to Israeli jurisprudence were “immeasurable,” Hebrew University Law Research Institute Director, Professor Eliav Shochetman told Arutz Sheva in an interview. “I knew Judge Elon for nearly 50 years and was one of his first students. It is because of him I find myself today in the world of Israeli jurisprudence,” Shochetman said.
Considered the foremost expert on extending and integrating ancient Jewish law with modern Israeli law, Elon issued many precedent-setting rulings that stressed the connection between modern interpretations of law with Jewish law, emphasizing that the role of a judge was to integrate the essence of G-d's will in the modern “vessel” of Israeli law.
“During his 17 years on the High Court he did much to instill the importance of Jewish law on Israeli jurisprudence in numerous areas,” Shochetman said. “It's actually difficult to think of an area in which he did not have a major impact – a long-lasting impact that has become a part of the legal tradition in Israel and has embedded itself in many laws.”
Besides his legal acumen and genius, Shochetman said, “Elon was a very sensitive person. He was wonderful to be around, and we would always hear things of great intelligence from him.”
In 1973 Elon published a book on Jewish Civil Law (Mishpat Ivri) which is still considered one of the key works in the field. This work, Shochetman added, was at least as important a contribution as his work as a judge. “It is a wonder for the generations.”