Chief Rabbi Lau meets with Ethiopian rabbis

Chief Rabbi Lau met with Ethiopian rabbis in the wake of racial slurs cast against members of the Ethiopian community,

Yoel Domb,

Meeting with Rabbi Lau
Meeting with Rabbi Lau

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau met Thursday with Ethiopian rabbis from all over the country.

The rabbis came to the Chief Rabbinate in the wake of racial slurs cast recently against the Ethiopian community, including a Mohel(ritual circumciser) who cast aspersions on members of the community.

In the course of the meeting the rabbis painfully described to the Chief Rabbi the numerous expressions of racism which they frequently encounter and the difficulty the matter creates for members of the community.

The Chief Rabbi stated that "especially we as children of the Jewish nation who are commanded to show mutual responsibility should conduct ourselves with honor towards one another." The Chief Rabbi specified the steps being taken to prevent improper conduct towards the Ethiopian community including the decision to appoint 15 marriage registrars whose only task would be to assist members of the Ethiopian community registering for marriage.

The Chief Rabbi added that he "treated with great severity the crude racial slurs heard recently" and said that they must be denounced. "Everything must be done to uproot racism from its source, both towards Ethiopian immigrants and Russian immigrants."

Rabbi Lau declared that in his opinion people should stop using the term "Ethiopians" and instead say "Jews of Ethiopian descent" since "beyond our origins we are first and foremost brothers, children of the Jewish nation."