Moshe Smoira

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Moshe Smoira
Moshe Smoira.JPG
President of the Supreme Court of Israel
In office
Appointed by David Ben-Gurion
Preceded by William James Fitzgerald (as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Mandatory Palestine)
Succeeded by Yitzhak Olshan
Personal details
Born (1888-10-25)25 October 1888
Königsberg, Prussia
Died 8 October 1961(1961-10-08) (aged 72)
Jerusalem, Israel
Nationality Israel
Alma mater University of Giessen
Religion Judaism
Military service
Allegiance German Empire
Service/branch Imperial German Army
Battles/wars World War I

Moshe Smoira (Hebrew: משה זמורה‎‎, born 25 October 1888, died 8 October 1961) was an Israeli jurist and the first President of the Supreme Court of Israel.


Smoira was born in 1888 in Königsberg, in the German Empire[1] to Leiser and Perel, Hasidic immigrants from Russia.[2][3] He studied Hebrew and became a Zionist. His future wife, Esther Horovitz from Minsk, was a relative of Zalman Shazar.[1]

He studied law at Heidelberg University, but his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War, during which he joined the German Army and was later wounded in action. After the war, he organized Hebrew courses in Berlin and later received his doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Giessen[1] as well as an M.A. in Semitic languages.[2]

In 1921 he emigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine and opened a practice in Jerusalem. He was a partner of Pinchas Rosen, who later became the Israeli Justice Minister, and was associated with Mapai.[4] He was invited by the Mandate authorities to teach at the Jerusalem Law School and became a lecturer there.[5] He was the lawyer for the Histadrut. He specialized in Labor law and was one of the initiators and drafters of the Mandatory Law of compensation to dismissed workers.[1]

In the 1930s he was appointed President of the Court of Honor of the World Zionist Organization and President of the Association of Jewish Lawyers in Eretz Israel. After the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948 he was appointed President of the Supreme Court.[1] He did not consider the Declaration of Independence a legally binding document.[6]

In 1954 he retired due to a terminal illness and was succeeded by Yitzhak Olshan.[5] He died in 1961 in Jerusalem.[2] In 1989, Israel issued a stamp in his honour. His daughter, Michal, married Supreme Court judge Haim Cohn.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Moshe Smoira". Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  2. ^ a b c "Smoira, Moshe". (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2008-10-19.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. ^ "Moshe Smoira". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  4. ^ Rubinstein, Elyakim. "Judges of the Land". (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  5. ^ a b "Moshe Smoira". Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  6. ^ "The Declaration of the Establishment of the State". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2002-09-29. Retrieved 2008-10-19.