Rabbi David Lau
Rabbi David Lau Gershon Elinson

Responding after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was given the nod to form a coalition government, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau on Wednesday night called on Netanyahu to form a government that will "unify the people and honor the tradition."

A long phone call took place between the rabbi and Netanyahu after the latter was named to form a government by President Reuven Rivlin, and during the call Rabbi Lau congratulated Netanyahu on being re-elected to his post.

The rabbi expressed his hope that the new government that will be formed will have respect and appreciation for Judaism and the tradition, and will be more attentive to the rabbinate in trying to unify the religious and secular segments of the Jewish people.

"In the last two years they tried to harm the Chief Rabbinate and its authority, and this is the time to found a government that is attentive and cares more about the future of Judaism in the land of Israel, the connection of the people to its tradition, to act for unity and to prevent polarization and rifts between parts of the public," Rabbi Lau said.

Last December the rabbi similarly criticized the outgoing coalition of harming Judaism in Israel.

"In the last two years since the government was established a process has been held which mainly included legislation that tried to harm the Jewish values in general, and the Chief Rabbinate and its authority in particular," said Rabbi Lau at the time. "Unfortunately this was so for every matter of holiness, starting from the field of Kashrut, conversion, marriage, Shabbat and every holy thing."

His comments refer to a slew of controversial legislature passed by members of the last coalition including marriage lawsconversion laws the rabbi warned would invalidate conversions, a law to make there be only one chief rabbi instead of two, a law giving a tax break to same sex couples, and even bills to undermine Shabbat observance and institute same sex marriage.

"We hope that the next government will change this reality and the path in which it is acting, and work with full cooperation with the Chief Rabbinate on all issues of Judaism and the state," he stated.