Meir David Loewenstein
|Meir David Loewenstein|
|Date of birth||1904|
|Place of birth||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Year of aliyah||1934|
|Date of death||15 August 1995|
|Place of death||Bnei Brak, Israel|
|Faction represented in Knesset|
|1949–1951||United Religious Front|
Meir David Loewenstein (Hebrew: מאיר-דוד לוונשטיין, also spelt Levenstein or Levinstein, 1904 – 15 August 1995) was an Israeli politician and one of the signatories of the Israeli declaration of independence.
Born in Copenhagen in Denmark in 1904, Loewenstein studied at a business school in Switzerland and a rabbinical seminary in Amsterdam, Netherlands. During his youth he became involved in the European Agudat Yisrael youth movement, of which he later became chair.
After immigrating to Mandatory Palestine in 1934, he remained active in Agudat Yisrael. As a prominent member of the organisation, Loewenstein became a member of Moetzet HaAm (later the Provisional State Council), and signed Israel's declaration of independence in 1948. However, he later claimed:
- It ignored our sole right to Eretz Israel, which is based on the covenant of the Lord with Abraham, our father, and repeated promises in the Tanach. It ignored the aliya of the Ramban and the students of the Vilna Gaon and the Ba'al Shem Tov, and the [rights of] Jews who lived in the 'Old Yishuv'.
He was elected to the Knesset in the country's first elections in 1949 as a member of the United Religious Front, an alliance of the four major religious parties. However, he lost his seat in the 1951 elections.
Loewenstein rejected the idea of a constitution for Israel, stating that:
- "if it contradicts the Torah of Israel, it is a revolt against the Almighty; if it is identical with the Torah, it is superfluous. A constitution will lead to an uncompromising fight... a Kulturkampf."
In 1972, Loewenstein became chairman of the Committee for Spiritual Salvation. He died in 1995.
- Wallish and the Declaration of Independence Jerusalem Post, 1998 (republished on Eretz Israel Forever)
- Perpetual Dilemma: Jewish Religion in the Jewish State S. Zalman Abramov, pp 139
- Meir David Loewenstein on the Knesset website