Sunday, July 4, 2010

Amram & Ruth Blau (Bloi)


It is quite an amazing how many national religious or secular Jews are interested in the Neturei Karta. Especially in the main figure Rabbi Amram Blau (Yiddish: Bloi) who used to be the head of the Neturei Karta in Mea Shearim (Jerusalem) until he passed away in 1974.

But not only Rabbi Amram Blau seems to be of special interest to those people: His second wife was Ruth ben David, a French convert to Judaism, who he married is also one of the main publication subjects. Before the marriage, Ruth ben David was already famous all over Israel because it was her smuggling Yossele (Schuchmacher) out of the country until the Mossad found him in the US. Fifty years ago, the Yossele case rocked the Israeli nation and later on, Rabbi Blau married the famous Ruth.

Some months ago I asked the question why Rabbi Amram Blau got a Shidduch with Ruth because this is not too common in haredi circles. The answer was that Rabbi Blau was only able to have children with his first wife but when he married Ruth, he was already unable due to health reasons. The Rambam (Maimonides) explained in his Mishna Torah that a Jew who is unable to have children cannot marry a born Jewish woman but has to marry a convert instead. And this seems to be the reason why the Shidduch was suggested.

The entire story in connection with the Neturei Karta attracts many writers which, I think, is rather strange. What are those writers up to ? Sensations, scandals ?
Last Shabbat I was in Mea Shearim and it happened by accident that I spoke to a few neighbours of Rabbi Amram and Ruth Blau (died in 2000). The result of those conversation is really an amazing, as I heard different stories from people who used to live right next to the Blau family. No doubt that Rabbi Amram was a great Zaddik in their eyes but the opinions about Ruth ben David are extremely contradictory. It must have been not to easy for the couple to come back after the exile Punishment from Bnei Brak to Jerusalem. Straight into one of the backyards in Mea Shearim.

I read in a few articles about Ruth ben David that she was a great Zaddekes and was loved and respected all over the place. Some neighbours, however, told me a totally different story and I realized once again how hard it is to write about a certain person. It depends on who you are talking to because people will tell you different stories according to their personal interests. Some people may claim that they knew Rabbi Amram personally but people who really knew him in person will tell you the complete opposite. I learned that those who claim to know the truth are those who neither really knew Ruth nor her husband Rabbi Amram. The neighbours, however, told me that many people just want to become famous through Rabbi Amram Blau and would tell you anything just in order to have their name printed and published.


  1. I met Ruth Blau. She was a true tzaddekes. She worked so hard for klal yisrael. R' Amram was alao a tzaddik. If you hold of him then you also hold of her. He knew what he was doing when he married her.

  2. B"H

    In my case it is very hard finding out the truth, as everyone is telling me something else.