Mordechai Nurock (Hebrew: מרדכי נורוק, 7 November 1879 – 8 November 1962) was a Latvian-born Israeli who served in both the parliaments of Latvia and Israel. He was also Israel's first Minister of Postal Services, though he only held the post for less than two months.

Mordechai Nurock
Mordechai Nurol, 1951.jpg
Date of birth7 November 1879
Place of birthTukums, Russian Empire
Year of aliyah1947
Date of death8 November 1962(1962-11-08) (aged 83)
Knessets1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Faction represented in Knesset
1949–1951United Religious Front
1951–1955Mizrachi
1955–1962National Religious Party
Ministerial roles
1952Minister of Postal Services

BiographyEdit

Nurock was born Markus Nurock in Tukums in the Russian Empire (today in Latvia). His father was the rabbi of Tukums and Jelgava. Nurock studied under his father and was ordained as a rabbi. After finishing high school, he attended universities in Russia, Germany and Switzerland, gaining a PhD in philosophy. In 1913, he replaced his father as rabbi of Jelgava, 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 as a member of the Mizrachi party 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 Mandatory Palestine in 1947.

After arriving in Palestine, Nurock 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. After his death, Nurock was replaced by Shalom-Avraham Shaki.

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