'Amona evacuees living in shocking conditions'

Chief Rabbi discusses his visit with former residents of Amona, says the overcrowding is 'unimaginable.'

Hezki Baruch ,

Rabbi David Lau meets a young evacuee from Amona
Rabbi David Lau meets a young evacuee from Amona
Hezki Baruch

The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, opened the 17th annual conference of the Israel Bar Association in Eilat Sunday.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Rabbi Lau spoke about the connection between the rabbinate and lawyers in Israel, the place of lawyers and judges in Jewish law, and his visit to Ofra, where he met with the families who were expelled from their homes in Amona.

Rabbi Lau said that the rabbinate has a close and cordial relationship with the Israeli Bar Association. "I come here every year, and it's important and meaningful, because we are dealing with the systems of the State of Israel and it is good that there is synchronization [between the rabbinate and the judicial system.]"

"The law of the state is the binding law, and we are all citizens of the State of Israel," Rabbi Lau added.

To what extent is Hebrew law part of the rulings and arguments in the legal system?

"This is not a simple issue," he said, adding that "we should increase our knowledge in Jewish law so that it will be part of the laws of the State of Israel."

Last Saturday night, the rabbi visited the former residents of Amona. "I came to the Ofra seminary and saw the unimaginable overcrowding of the settlers of Amona ... There is a commitment from the Israeli government [to build a new community for them] and I hope it will be implemented ... In a room that is supposed to be for teenagers, there are children and parents. There is no privacy. The people should have the ability to live a family and community life."

Rabbi David Lau concluded with a message to US President Donald Trump ahead of his arrival in Israel tomorrow. "I hope that his very arrival will be another expression of the friendship between the US and Israel - and certainly friendship between nations is something we all aspire to."