Remembering the liberator of Jerusalem and Gush Etzion

Friends, family of Rabbi Hanan Porat mark six years since his decease, promise to preserve his legacy, build in Judea, Samaria.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Rabbi Hanan Porat
Rabbi Hanan Porat
Flash 90

In a moving event in Peace Forest just prior to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), close friends of Rabbi Hanan Porat marked six years since his death by speaking about his life and how they carry on his legacy.

The event included musical accompaniment, and speeches and stories from those who knew Rabbi Porat and continue his legacy.

Leading the evening was Haim Falk, who was a student of Rabbi Porat. Falk spoke about Porat's vision to build Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, and the fulfillment of that dream.

Rabbi Porat was among the leaders of the Jewish return to Gush Etzion after the Six Day War. He was among the founders of Gush Emunim, which led Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria after the Yom Kippur War.

"Hanan's secret magic was his ability to be a dreamer, yet see 50 years ahead and turn his dreams into reality," Falk said.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) praised Rabbi Porat for his the exemplary fashion in which he worked tirelessly and uncompromisingly towards his goals - even when it came at a cost to himself.

"I thank Hanan's family for giving him to us, for the sake of the Torah, the Jewish people, and the land of Israel," Ariel said.

Former Deputy Education Minister Moshe Peled spoke about the liberation of Jerusalem and how he fought together with Rabbi Porat.

"We walked down to the Western Wall, from Mughrabi Bridge," Peled recounted. "I remember how Rabbi Kook and the 'Nazir Rabbi' walked into the plaza. It was Hanan who lit the bonfire there. It was electric! We saw them coming, and Hanan lit a bonfire of happiness, of excitement. We blew the shofar, we prayed with tears in our eyes. It was all Hanan."

Rafi Kaplan, who edited the video shown during the event, told personal stories of his friendship with Rabbi Porat, of Porat's integrity, and of his love for Jerusalem.

Orot Movement CEO Nahi Eyal said RabbiPorat's legacy must be passed to the next generation.

"We need to be like Breslov hasidim when it comes to Hanan," he said. "We need to do everything we can to live his teachings, and to ensure they are passed to everyone and do not remain the heritage of just one man. As his students, we must continue his path and the kindness he showed. We must continue the settlements, build neighborhoods after him, and create more Torah 'seed groups.' Most of all, we must build a place of goodness and light, a center which will teach others how to live the Torah, how to live like Hanan."

Former MK Yinon Magal spoke about Rabbi Porat's last TV interview, in which he said he "wanted to be good."

"I wanted to get to the truth of the story, and I saw that Hanan was on a very high spiritual level," Magal said. "I knew that this was going to be a summary, that it would tell the life story of a person who was in so many critical and complex positions. Hanan provided me with simple and powerful answers to many difficult questions. [This interview] was the most important thing I ever did. I'm happy it touched so many people, and that it left so many of us with a piece of him."

Rabbi Porat's daughter Tzvia read a short story from a book she wrote so her children would know their grandfather.

At the conclusion of the event, each participant received a Tehillim (Psalms) with Rabbi Porat's commentary.

Participants at the event honoring Rabbi Hanan Porat
Orot Movement