Page 66 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 21

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THE SPIRITUAL AND LITERARY HERITAGE OF
RABBI JUDAH LEIB MAIMON
1875-1962
By
S
o l o m o n
K
e r s t e i n
F
or
m o re
than sixty-five years of religious, cultural and com-
munal activity, Harav Yehudah Leib Hacohen Maimon was
the personification of scholarly endeavor and literary creativity.
This distinguished sage enriched and illumined Jewish life in
general, and Torah Judaism in particular, as author of more
than forty original works, as editor of numerous volumes and
periodicals, and as dynamic leader of religious Zionism (he was
a founder and builder of the Mizrachi movement). He wore
with dignity and honor, yet not without humility, several crowns
which became him well and enhanced his stature: the crown
of Torah, the crown of religious fidelity, the crown of idealism,
and the crown of the pragmatic achiever. Many sunned them-
selves in the light of his consummate learning; many warmed
their hopes and aspirations at the flame of his exhilarating
dynamism.
Having linked his life with the Yishuv in Eretz Yisrael for
almost six decades, Rabbi Maimon was regarded as one of its
notable figures. Together with his personal friend David Ben-
Gurion, he was among the signatories of Israel’s Declaration of
Independence; Maimon’s signature is prefixed with the Hebrew
abbreviation
B’Ezrat Ha-Shem.
It was his distinction to be the
first Minister of Religions of the State of Israel, with Ben-Gurion
as its first Prime Minister. There are some who tenant the world
of the spirit, and there are some who are at home in the world
of the practical. It was no small measure of Rabbi Maimon’s
genius that he lived simultaneously and constructively in both
worlds. The great man creates the great achievement, in what-
ever arena he labors. Rabbi Maimon’s abundant life bore testi-
mony to this truth.
Rabbi Maimon was a rare combination of writer and editor,
outstanding for personal piety, erudition and political acumen.
He toiled indefatigably in promoting the instruction and the
precepts of Judaism, and in the upbuilding of the new State. He
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