Preferred Citation: Lahav, Pnina. Judgment in Jerusalem: Chief Justice Simon Agranat and the Zionist Century. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1997 1997.



This book was in gestation for more than a decade. Harry Hirsch introduced me to the genre of judicial biography long before I embarked on this project. He and I had many discussions about the pleasure and pain of biography writing, and I benefited enormously from his insights. A 1984 fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation enabled me to spend a year in Israel doing research, conducting interviews, and otherwise launching the "Agranat project." Without that initial support, I could not have written this book.

The Boston University School of Law consistently gave me material and emotional support. Without my good friends on the faculty, our former dean, Colin Diver, and particularly our present dean, Ron Cass, I would not have been able to complete this project. Alan Feld, Tamar Frankel, Fred Lawrence, Fran Miller, Bob Seidman, and Larry Yackle taught me that one can build true and enduring friendships even without a common background and similar professional interests. By making me feel at home in the United States they helped me experience some of those things that made Simon Agranat love his native land.

To the list of friends at the Boston University School of Law I should add Kenneth Westhassel, my loyal secretary of the past sixteen years, who offered deft, judicious, and patient help through the long years of work on this book. His skills at merging and polishing text and footnotes as the various chapters matured into a book were indispensable. I am indebted to him for helping me carry on the project of writing the biography of an Israeli judge while simultaneously teaching courses in American law and occasionally publishing on matters unrelated to the biography.


I also wish to thank my research assistants—Martha Berek, Sigal Blumberg, Mike Greenberg, Brook Holland, Mike Katzenstein, Coleen Klasmeier, Orna Kornreich, Tamar Krongrad, Meredith Savitch, Mike Siller, and Miriam Wugmeister—for their valuable help. Dalia Tsuk was indispensable in double-checking the citations and reviewing the manuscript as a whole.

I owe special thanks to Gaia Bernstein, Orly Erez-Likhovski, and Assaf Likhovski for their expert and skillful research on various segments of the book and for their wise and discerning comments on the manuscript. Assaf Likhovski also assisted with the glossary and transliteration, again proving his formidable efficiency as well as his brilliant command of the budding field of Israeli legal history.

I feel immensely fortunate to have had Douglas Abrams Arava as the sponsoring editor for my book. His enthusiasm and encouragement, as well as his deft and valuable advice, were crucial in bringing this book to fruition. I also wish to thank Scott Norton and Sarah K. Myers for excellent editorial help, which improved the book enormously.

Many people kindly agreed to be interviewed, among them Arthur and Dorothy Goldberg, Ben Sackheim, Mary Satinover, Esther Schour, and Leo Wolf, Agranat's friends in Chicago before he moved to Palestine. Jacob Halevy, Itzhak Kahan, Naphtali Liphshitz, and Jacob S. Shapiro helped me reconstruct Agranat's early years in Haifa. Judges Miriam Ben-Porath, Haim Cohn, Moshe Landau, Ayala Proccacia, Moshe Ravid, and Yitzhak Shiloh, Deputy Attorney General Judith Karp, and former Minister of Justice Chaim Zadok expanded my understanding of Agranat's twenty-eight years on Israel's Supreme Court.

I am also grateful for the help and encouragement of Chief Justices Meir Shamgar and Aharon Barak.

The Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University provided warm hospitality during my years of shuttling between the United States and Israel. They treated me like one of their own, and for that I shall be forever in their debt. In particular I wish to thank Ruth Ben-Israel, Nily Cohen, Daniel Friedman, Eli Lederman, Asher Maoz, Menny Mautner, the late Ariel Rosen-Zvi, and Zeev Segal for our many conversations and for their encouragement and support. My gratitude also to Gad Barzilai, Lucian Bebchuk, Hanina Ben Menachem, Meir Dan-Cohen, Michael Keren, Motta Kremnitzer, Moshe Negby, Uriel Reichman, Yoram Shachar, Ronen Shamir, and Ilan Shiloh for insightful conversations.

Asher Maoz, Menny Mautner, Yoram Shachar, Michal Shaked, and Joe Singer read parts of the manuscript, and Yochai Benkler, Ephraim Klei-


man, Avi Soifer, and Philippa Strum read the entire manuscript. All provided useful comments, and I thank them warmly, while acknowledging, as I do for everyone else mentioned on these pages, that the responsibility for all errors and misinterpretations is mine alone.

I met Laura Kalman in 1995, when the manuscript was almost complete. She asked to see it, and I soon discovered that she is one of those scholars who not only reads and comments on one's work but is truly generous with support. My friendship with her is a cherished consequence of writing this book. She gave me constructive comments and shared with me the long and sometimes painful process of bringing the book to publication. Thank you, Laura, for being such a good friend.

The Agranat family was graciously supportive throughout the years. Many thanks to Carmel, Israel, Yael (Didi), Orit, and Ayala for their generosity of spirit and unfailing cooperation. I also wish to acknowledge the noble, scholarly spirit of their assistance; though undoubtedly curious about my interpretation, the Agranats refrained from interfering in my work or trying to affect its course.

My mother tongue is Hebrew, and, despite my efforts, the effects of English being my second language are bound to show. English, however, is the mother tongue of my daughter, Alexandra, who was born and raised in the United States. Alexandra's editorial work in the initial stages of this manuscript was wonderful, and she was generous with advice and good-will as I wrestled with a language not my own. I thank both of my children, Alexandra and Absalom, for making my life so rich, so fulfilled, so replete with fun and good humor. I also wish to thank their father, Moshe Lahav, for transcending the difficulties of divorce and shouldering the task of parenting fully and faithfully. His graciousness made life so much more livable. My warmest gratitude to my family—my mother, Ora Matalon; my aunt, Marcelle Nissan; my brothers, Yosef and Azriel; and their wives, Sarah and Shlomit—for their love and sympathy.

Mort Horwitz, my companion, patiently listened, wisely commented, advised, and heroically tolerated my swinging moods and many moments of self-doubt and frustration. It is to him that I dedicate this book, with love.



Preferred Citation: Lahav, Pnina. Judgment in Jerusalem: Chief Justice Simon Agranat and the Zionist Century. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1997 1997.