‘Jewish people will always be proud of her’: Israel mourns Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Tributes to first Jewish woman to serve on US Supreme Court


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin have joined a chorus of tributes to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

“I join the American people in mourning the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the great judicial leaders of our time,” Mr Netanyahu tweeted Sunday. 

“She was proud of her Jewish heritage and the Jewish people will always be proud of her,” he said, writing in English.

Mr Rivlin described her as a “passionate champion of justice, democracy and equality under the law” and said she was inspired by the Torah’s urging: “Justice, Justice you shall pursue.”

Ms Ginsburg died aged 87 on the eve of Rosh Hashanah from complications due to metastatic pancreatic cancer. 

She was mourned around the world and remembered as a pioneer for women’s rights and the first Jewish woman to serve on the US’s highest court. Hundreds gathered outside the Supreme Court after news of her death on Friday, with some mourners reciting the Kaddish.

Ms Ginsburg was born in 1933 to a Jewish working class family based in Brooklyn. 

Her father emigrated to America with his family from Odessa, then part of the Russian empire, and her mother was born in the US to parents from Poland.

In her later years, she grew into an unlikely cultural icon and earned the affectionate nickname “the notorious RBG” in a nod to the American rapper “the notorious BIG.” She maintained pride in her Jewish heritage and kept a large silver mezuzah outside her chambers. She reportedly advocated for the court to stop hearing on Yom Kippur.

She travelled to Israel in 2018 to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Genesis Prize Foundation. 

In one of her last public statements before she died, she warned of the “daunting distance” yet to travel before gender equality can be achieved. 

But in the essay published by Moment Magazine earlier this month she added that she was “optimistic about a future in which daughters and sons alike will be free from artificial barriers.”

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