Mordechai Nurock

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Mordechai Nurock
Mordechai Nurol, 1951.jpg
Date of birth 7 November 1879
Place of birth Tukums, Russian Empire
Year of aliyah 1947
Date of death 8 November 1962(1962-11-08) (aged 83)
Knessets 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Faction represented in Knesset
1949–1951 United Religious Front
1951–1955 Mizrachi
1955–1962 National Religious Party
Ministerial roles
1952 Minister of Postal Services

Rabbi Dr Mordechai Nurock (Hebrew: מרדכי נורוק‎, born Markus Nurock on 7 November 1879, died 8 November 1962) was a Latvian-born Israeli who served in both the parliament of Latvia and Israel. He was also Israel's first Minister of Postal Services (a post today known as the Minister of Communications), though he only held the post for just under two months.

Biography[edit]

Born in Tukums in the Russian Empire (today in Latvia), Nurock attended universities in Russia, Germany and Switzerland, gaining a PhD in philosophy. He was also ordained as a rabbi, and replaced his father as rabbi of Jelgava in 1913 before moving to Russia in 1915.

A Zionist, he was a delegate at the sixth Zionist Congress in 1903 and helped Jewish refugees during World War I. He also joined the All-Russian Jewish Committee and established a religious Jewish group known as "Tradition and Freedom".

In 1921 he returned to Latvia, by now an independent state. The following year he was elected to the Saeima, and became the leader of the minorities' bloc. He retained his seat until the parliament was dissolved in 1934.

Following Latvia's occupation by the Soviet Union, he was exiled to Turkmenistan due to his Zionist activities. His wife and two children were killed in the Holocaust, and Nurock made aliyah to the Mandate Palestine in 1947. He immediately became involved in politics, joining Mizrachi, and was elected to the first Knesset in 1949 on the United Religious Front list (an alliance of Mizrachi, Hapoel HaMizrachi, Agudat Yisrael and Poalei Agudat Yisrael). Re-elected in 1951, he became the first Minister of Postal Services in David Ben-Gurion's third government on 3 November 1952. In December 1952, he stood as a candidate in the presidential election, held after the death of Chaim Weizmann. However, he finished second to Mapai's Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. Later in the month the government collapsed and a new government excluding Mizrachi ministers was established on 24 December, resulting in Nurock losing his place in the cabinet.

Nurock was re-elected in 1955 (by which time Mizrachi had merged into the National Religious Party), 1959 and 1961, serving until his death on 8 November 1962. He was replaced by Shalom-Avraham Shaki.

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