Rare Peace Now Approval for ‘Settler’ Rabbi
The death Monday night of Rabbi Menachem Froman, rabbi of the town of Tekoa in Gush Etzion, has brought together Israelis from the entire political spectrum.
Rabbi Froman was mourned even by the far-left group Peace Now, despite being a proud “settler” during his life. “Rabbi Froman was a symbol of peace between Jews and Arabs,” Peace Now head Yair Oppenheimer wrote Tuesday on his Facebook page.
“While most see religion as an excuse for conflict between peoples, Rabbi Froman proved that religion can be a bridge to peace and coexistence,” he continued. Rabbi Froman’s legacy will continue until the Israel-Arab conflict ends, he added.
Rabbi Froman believed that people with strong religious beliefs could more easily reach common ground than could politicians, and he met with many Muslim and Arab leaders.
MK Hilik Bar of the Labor party eulogized Rabbi Froman as well, saying he “embodied a different kind of religious leadership. In his unique way, Rabbi Froman managed to bring together different groups within the nation, based on the factors that unite, not divide.”
MK Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party said in a Facebook post Monday morning that Rabbi Froman “loved peace and pursued peace,” a reference to Perkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers), a chapter of the Mishna.
“He was a Jew with an enormous heart,” Bennett said. “May his memory be for a blessing.”
MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehudi) said he was pained to hear of Rabbi Froman’s passing. “I still remember his devotion to Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook of blessed memory, and his dedication to learning Torah, which was part of his essence.”