IRF Mourns Loss of Rabbi Professor Gerald Blidtsein zt"l
September 10, 2020
The IRF expresses its deep sadness on the death of Rabbi Professor Gerald (Yaakov) Blidstein zt"l, one of the world's leading academic scholars of Jewish thought, Jewish law, and the history of Halakha.
Prof. Blidstein was a close student of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik from whom he received ordination and whose writings he has written about in numerous essays. After receiving his doctorate from Yeshiva University in Rabbinics in 1968 he soon made aliyah and became a faculty member, and eventually rising to full professor at Ben Gurion University in Be'er Sheva, making his home in that city itself.
In his distinguished career he served in many capacities including as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University. Prof. Blidtsein embodied a rare combination of vast and deep Torah learning and profound religious commitment together with wide ranging academic training, knowledge, insight and a rigorous search for truth.
Many of his essays and books have become classics in the field of Jewish political thought, history of halakha and Jewish thought. Prof. Blidstein was awarded the Israel Prize in 2006 and was a member of many distinguished academic associations.
May his family be comforted by the Almighty among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.