Israeli writer, essayist and cultural arbiter Adam Baruch, 63, died after a long battle with diabetes.
He was considered one of Israel’s most influential print journalists and worked at most of the country’s top media outlets.
According to his obituary on Ynetnews he was born Baruch Rosenblum to a religious family in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood in 1945, spent his childhood in Ramat Gan and his later adolescence at the Noam Yeshiva High School in Pardes Hannah. He later went on to study law at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University:
He adopted the nom de plume “Adam Baruch” during his military service, seeking to circumvent army regulations forbidding servicemen from publishing articles in civilian media.
Baruch’s unique rhetoric was epitomized in his personal column for Ma’ariv’s weekend edition; language that combined archaic Jewish legal decrees with modern Israeli issues. Baruch was also considered one of leading authorities in the field of art.
He served as curator for exhibits in Israel and abroad, and even put together a solo exhibit in 2003 at the Tel Aviv Museum which dealt with images created by the TV medium.
His books dealt with Jewish law as a way of bridging the religious Jewish culture with the secular Israeli experience.
Dorin Frankfurt, a leading fashion designer and one of Baruch’s closest friends said of him on Saturday: “Adam invented much of what we call true Israeli culture. It stemmed from his background, his roots. His hand was in everything: Art, writing… he had a profound understanding of whatever it is he was dealing with…He turned us into a cultural microcosm. Speaking of him in past tense is unbearable.”
In 2002, Baruch was given the AVI CHAI Fellowship award for his achievements in the field of culture. In explaining its selection, the award committee said Baruch “is an exceptional cultural mediator in the Israeli scene. In his extensive writing over the years he has been working on building an authentic, original bridge between the traditional Jewish language and the current Israeli dialect.”