Many residents of Gush Etzion gathered on Thursday evening for the official ceremony appointing Rabbi Zvi Rimon as the Chief Rabbi of the Gush Etzion Regional Council. The ceremony took place in the presence of the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, the Head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Shlomo Ne'eman, Chairman of the Gush Etzion Religious Council, Rabbi Rafi Ostroff, and other local rabbis.
Chief Rabbi David Lau congratulated Rabbi Rimon and said, “It is the responsibility of the council’s rabbi to reach all residents and assist them with all of their needs. It was the correct decision to appoint Rabbi Rimon as chief rabbi of the council, who is a pearl amongst you. This position is a prominent role amongst the rabbis of Israel, and he will increase the sanctification of Hashem.”
President Isaac Herzog sent congratulatory greetings by video, saying, “Gush Etzion holds a special place in my heart and in the heart of my family. My grandfather, the late Rabbi Yitzhak Isaac Halevi Herzog, who served as Israel’s first chief Ashkenazi rabbi, loved the pioneers from this area of the country. In fact the Gush community of ‘Mesuot Yitzhak’ was named after him. It’s very moving for me when I visit Gush Etzion.”
He added, “Rabbi Rimon is at the forefront of understanding Halakha – Jewish law in history and in practice and shares this knowledge in a clear and present manner, which embraces, and draws the people of Israel together.”
Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman congratulated Rabbi Rimon and said, “Gush Etzion is a mosaic of 22 communities, synagogues, Torah centers, educational institutions, who carry out acts of kindness beautifully. With all of our diversity, we were searching for someone to unify us as one big community with a common message and spirit. We believe that Rabbi Rimon will serve as that unifying presence through Torah, for all residents of Gush Etzion.”
Rabbi Rimon was moved by the ceremony and said, “I am privileged to be the rabbi of Gush Etzion. To continue the dream. The dream of King David, Isaiah and Hoshea who achieved so much in Gush Etzion. The dream of the Maccabees, Rabbi Akiva who supported Bar Kochba in battles which took place here, and the dream of Gush Etzion pioneers before The State, the fighters of Kfar Etzion, Mesuot Yitzchak, Ein Tzurim and Revadim.”
He added, "Gush Etzion is, thank G-d, flourishing today. My goal is to help Gush Etzion fulfill the dream. To continue to flourish and continue to see the light that drives everything. The light of G-d that surrounds and leads everything. To continue the enterprise of Gush Etzion's acts of kindness and Torah. To lead the children to even higher places – areas of Torah, Halacha and good deeds."