'You'll Lecture the Angels and Conquer All the Media in Heaven'

Prof. Ze'ev Segal, who died two days shy of his 64th birthday, exerted a powerful influence on both public and legal discourse in recent decades.

Prof. Ze'ev Segal, Haaretz's legal commentator and one of the most influential figures in Israeli jurisprudence, was laid to rest yesterday in Tel Aviv.

Among those attending the funeral at Kiryat Shaul Cemetery, in addition to the family, were Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, State Prosecutor Moshe Lador, Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin, sitting and retired judges, journalists and students past and present.

Segal, who died two days shy of his 64th birthday, exerted a powerful influence on both public and legal discourse in recent decades. An expert in constitutional and public law, he taught for years in the faculties of social science and public policy at Tel Aviv University.

Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein said in his eulogy that Segal continued writing his commentaries for Haaretz almost to the day of his death, "out of belief in his mission, until his sun set."

Noting that he and Segal had been friends for some four decades, Rubinstein added, "there were arguments and disagreements, but the friendship withstood the test, particularly in difficult times."

Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken said in his eulogy that in a world filled with law, as former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak once said, it is difficult to imagine Haaretz without Ze'ev Segal. Schocken said Segal was an enthusiastic journalist who ignored his illness and the difficult treatments and continued to send articles to the paper and exert an influence over it.

Segal's son Hadar said in his eulogy that his father "would continue to serve as a source of inspiration, and I believe I will always follow his path and I will see to it that the Segal heritage is preserved forever ... I promise you that in these hard times, I will know how to use the strength you instilled in me to take care of mother and myself and to continue my studies and our lives as you would have wanted."

Segal's wife Lily said in her eulogy: "This is the last time I am speaking to you, and the first time that you cannot hear me and will not answer me ... You were taken from us two days ago in the midst of flourishing activity. No pain stopped you from writing, teaching, lecturing, leading conferences and having a good time. We had made so many plans, wove so many dreams that we won't be able to make come true.

"Without reference to your illness you would say, 'I'll rest in heaven.' I'm sure it won't be like that. You'll certainly continue to lecture the angels ... You'll write books and articles, lead conferences and workshops as only you know how, and you'll conquer all the media in heaven."

Also eulogizing Segal were MK Ayoob Kara (Likud ), who was an M.A. student of Segal's in public policy at Tel Aviv University, and District Court Judge Avi Zamir, who was one of Segal's closest friends and taught with him for many years.