Zalman Shazar

[shah-zahr, sha-]
Zalman Shazar (זלמן שז"ר, born Shneur Zalman Rubashov on 24 November 1889, died October 5, 1974) was an Israeli politician, author and poet, and served as the third President of Israel from 1963 to 1973.

Born to a Hasidic family of the Chabad-Lubavitch stream in Mir, near Minsk, he received a religious education as a youth. In his teenage years he became involved in the Poale Zion Movement. Shazar immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1924, and became a member of the secretariat of the Histadrut.

Shazar also served as the editor-in-chief of the Israeli newspaper Davar from 1944 to 1949. He was elected to the first Knesset in 1949 as a member of Mapai, and was appointed Minister of Education in David Ben-Gurion's first government. He was not a member of Ben-Gurion's second cabinet, but retained his seat in the 1951 and 1955 elections. He also became a member of the Jewish Agency Executive in 1952. He resigned from the Knesset in 1956, and from 1956 to 1960 was acting chairman of the Jewish Agency's Jerusalem Executive.

He was elected president by the Knesset in 1963, and was re-elected in 1968. In 1973 he was succeeded by Ephraim Katzir.

His portrait is printed on the 200 NIS bills.

In 1969, Shazar sent one of 73 Apollo 11 Goodwill Messages to NASA for the historic first lunar landing. The message still rests on the lunar surface today. It states, "From the President of Israel in Jerusalem with hope for 'abundance of peace so long as the Moon endureth' (Psalms 72,7)."


  • Shazar, Zalman. Morning Stars. The Jewish Publication Society of America: Philadelphia, 5727/1967. Translated from the Hebrew original, KOCHVEI BOKER (Tel Aviv: Am Oved Publishers, 1950; Seventh edition, 1966) by Sulamith Schwartz Nardi. Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 66-17828.

External links

Book References

  • Rahman, Tahir (2007). We Came in Peace for all Mankind- the Untold Story of the Apollo 11 Silicon Disc. Leathers Publishing. ISBN 978-1585974412.

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