One of modern Orthodoxy’s leading figures, Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, has been buried in Jerusalem. The former president of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, who was an expert in Jewish law, died in New York at the age of 98.
Ordained at Yeshiva University in New York and later a chaplain to the US armed forces, Rabbi Rackman advocated the more creative application of Jewish law Jewish law in books such as Modern Halacha for Our Time.
In his latter years, he became embroiled in controversy for his involvement in efforts to free agunot – women denied a religious divorce by their husbands.
Historian Deborah Lipstadt, speaking at a funeral service at New York’s Fifth Avenue Synagogue, hailed a man who was “willing to go out on limb and stand virtually alone when he felt that halachah [Jewish law] was not being allowed to rise to the challenges it faced”.