Israeli leaders mourn passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Netanyahu says Israel joins the American people in mourning “one of the great judicial leaders of our time.”

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Israeli leaders on Sunday mourned the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, praising her as a champion of justice and a leader who proudly accepted the influence her Jewish faith had on her.

“I join the American people in mourning the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the great judicial leaders of our time,” tweeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “She was proud of her Jewish heritage and the Jewish people will always be proud of her.”

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin tweeted that he was “mourning the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a passionate champion of justice, democracy and equality under the law, inspired by the moral imperative: Justice, justice shall you pursue,” quoting the biblical precept from the book of Deuteronomy that deals with the appointment of judges.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz tweeted that Ginsburg “paved the way for women in the United States and around the entire world, and managed to change the reality for women through the system — with wisdom, determination, and composure.”

“The imprint and legacy for equality and liberal values will remain for many years after her death,” Gantz said.

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Opposition leader Yair Lapid said Jewish values drove Ginsburg in her work on the bench.

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg lived every day by the Jewish value that took pride of place in her Supreme Court chamber, ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue’,” Lapid tweeted, using the same biblical passage. “Her commitment to equality and pride in her Jewish identity inspired Jews all over the world. May her memory be a blessing.”

In 2018, Ginsburg flew to Israel to receive the prestigious Genesis Prize for her lifetime of contribution to law. She was praised by former Israeli Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, who attended the ceremony along with all the sitting justices of Israel’s top legal body.

“Without a doubt, she is one of the great legal minds of our time; an outstanding Jewish jurist whose fearless pursuit of human rights, equality and justice for all stems from her Jewish values,” Barak said.” It is a privilege to celebrate her here in Israel.”

In her acceptance speech Ginsburg explained how her Jewish heritage played a central role in influencing her legal career.

“I am a judge, born, raised and proud of being a Jew. The demand for justice, for peace, for enlightenment runs through the entirety of Jewish history and Jewish tradition,” she said.

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Ginsburg passed away Friday at the age of 87 following a long battle with cancer.