Ruth Gavison
Ruth GavisonFlash 90

Israel Prize laureate for legal research Professor Ruth Gavison, who served for many years as a professor of law at the Hebrew University, passed away on Saturday at 75.

She is survived by a son.

Prof. Gavison served as a member of the Winograd Commission, which explored Israel's failures during the Second Lebanon War, and was a candidate for the Supreme Court. Her outspoken stand against judicial activism difffered from then Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak's opinion that "everything is justiciable.".

A resident of Jerusalem, Prof. Gavison was one of the founders of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and won the Avichai Prize together with Rabbi Yaaqov Medan for the drafting the "Gavison-Medan Covenant," an agreement for regulating issues of religion and state among Jews in Israel. She also won the Cheshin Award for legal research.

The Hebrew University responded to her death, stating that "Gavison was an entire world, a fascinating wealth of ideas and activities. She had a mix of analytical and sociological philosophy, of complete awareness of the complexity of life and the many facets of the issues which occupy us, while at the same time rejecting the option of not deciding, of remaining in the position of critic. She did not hesitate to take a stance on the various issues, and to roll up her sleeves, and work in the social-public arena."

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin responded: "Professor Ruth Gavison was a brilliant jurist. Her acute and complex thinking, crystal clear and bright, could not be pigeonholed. In word and deed she put the 'and' between Jewish and democratic, democratic and Jewish."

"Our society and our country will deeply miss her voice."

Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White) said: "Upon taking office, I merited to receive some advice from this brilliant woman. She was as sharp as ever." He added that "her standing for citizens' rights and her willingness to handle all parts of being Israeli will remain with us. May her memory be blessed."