Emet Prize Laureates

Prof. Nahum Rakover

2018 Laureates of Emet Prize

In Category: Humanities
In Field: Jewish law

Nahum Rakover

Jury Statement

“The Emet Prize is awarded to Prof. Nahum Rakover for his in-depth scholarly works, which are immutable assets that have created tools for applying Jewish Law to the laws of the State of Israel, and for his part in fulfillment of the unending aspiration to connect the glorious legal past of the Jewish People to the modern Jewish State.”



Prof. Nahum Rakover was born in Jerusalem in 1932. He is a graduate of the B'nei Akiva Yeshiva at Kfar Haroeh, Mercaz Harav Kook and the Harry Fischel Institute for Talmudic Research, and was ordained for the rabbinate at age 21 by the most eminent rabbis in Israel. He studied law at the Hebrew University and in 1969 received his Ph.D. He then began his teaching career in Jewish Law and was appointed professor of Law at Bar Ilan University in 1981. He subsequently taught at the Academic Center for Law and Science. He has been guest lecturer at many universities abroad.

In 1959 he was appointed as legal counsel in Jewish Law in the Ministry of Justice, and in 1982 he was appointed to the position of Deputy Attorney General, until 1999. Since then he has been senior researcher at the Jewish Legal Heritage Society and Editor in Chief of its publications. Over the years he served on many professional committees, including a public commission to formulate laws to replace the Mecelle (the civil code of the Ottoman Empire) and public committees for the formulation of copyright laws and of laws regarding protection of privacy. He served as President of the Jewish Law Association and is a Fellow at the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) based in Rome.

He has published over thirty scholarly and reference books in the field of Jewish Law, and scores of his papers have been published in scientific journals. He also edits Chok l'Yisrael, a systematic and modernized revision of Jewish Law as a basis for legislation, which brings the approach of Jewish Law to the subject matter in each section of Israeli law. His book Otzar Hamishpat is a bibliographic project comprising three volumes that contain over 35,000 bibliographic references.

His work has earned him many awards and prizes, including the Israel Prize for Jewish Thought and literature of Jewish law, The Rav Kook Prize of the Municipality of Tel Aviv for the series Chok l'Yisrael, the Holon Prize for his book Mission and Authorization in Jewish Law, the Jerusalem Prize for his book Otzar Hamishpat, the Ze'ev Zeltner Prize for his book Protection of Human Dignity, and the Israel Society for Problems of Parliamentarism Prize for his book Jewish Law in the Debates of the Knesset.