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Netanyahu Meets New Chief Rabbis

Tells newly elected rabbis: "You are, first and foremost, the rabbis of the non-religious public.”
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 7/25/2013, 7:27 PM

Netanyahu with rabbis
Netanyahu with rabbis
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Thursday with the two new chief rabbis – Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, and Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi, Rabbi David Lau.

Holding the book of Vayikra (Leviticus) in his hand, he told them: "I have chosen to give you my blessings in your new important positions, with one thing, the verse from the book of Vayikra, 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'

"You are the rabbis of the Nation of Israel – but first and foremost, you are the rabbis of the non-religious public, which needs you, your help, your patience, your knowledge, your erudition and your tolerance. Do good unto the Nation of Israel – I am sure you will.

"I want to congratulate you from the depth of my heart, with all of my heart... We all drink from the same well. Really, I think there is a great opportunity here to do somnething important for the unity of Israel and the love of Israel.”

Rabbi Lau said that their main mission is to help the downtrodden, who need them most. “The ones who are doing OK in life, perhaps they do not need us as much,” he said.

Rabbi Yosef noted that the commandments regarding the relationship between man and G-d, and the ones regarding the relations between man and his fellow man, were written on the same two tablets. Therefore, he said, it is clear that the two cannot be separated. Therefore, he said, it is clear that the rabbis must do all they can to bring the public closer to the Torah world.