Dateline November 12th 2000 / 14 Heshvan 5761
Just five years since her husband’s assassination, we mourn again, as Leah Rabin dies of lung cancer, aged 72.
Born Leah Schlossberg, in Germany in 1928, she came on aliyah with her family in 1933, and grew up in Tel Aviv. She was a youth leader in the Yishuv when she met the young Yitzhak Rabin, then a member of the Palmach, in 1944. After a four year romance, they were married on 28 August 1948. In 1949, their daughter Dalia was born, and in 1956, their son Yuval followed.
After Yitzhak Rabin left his position as IDF Chief of Staff and took up his diplomatic appointment in Washington, he went on to a political career. Whereas many wives of political figures have remained in the background, Leah always accompanied her husband if possible when he entered politics.
Her children have talked about her stabilising influence at home for the entire family during times of war and political upheaval. Leah Rabin is considered to have exerted a great influence on her husband’s political advancement and policies.
Following the assassination of her husband in November 1995, Leah was outspoken in her criticism of those who remained silent while he had been under verbal attack. It may be understood in many ways that the assassination did not break her spirit, but broke her heart and her health.
Leah Rabin battled lung cancer, and intermittently continued with her public commitments. Until the last few weeks, she remained active, a strong supporter of her late husband's policies, and critical of his opponents.