UK Amb. at Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva
UK Amb. at Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva INN: Merkaz HaRav

The United Kingdom's Ambassador to Israel, Mr. David Quarrey, paid a visit to the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem on Wednesday. The ambassador met with the Yeshiva's dean, Rabbi Yaakov Shapira and several of the rabbinic staff, including the venerable Rabbi Chaim Shteiner, Rabbi Yehoshua Magnes, Rabbi Avraham Sylvetsky and Rabbi Pinchas Mondshein for an hour-long closed discussion.

The meeting was followed by a tour of the yeshiva during which the ambassador, accompanied by his interpreter, talked to some of the students and visited the library where eight of the yeshiva''s students were massacred in 2008 by an Arab terrorist as they leaned over their holy books, engrossed in study. He stood silently at the memorial wall with their names and the glass door shattered with bullet holes located near the library entrance.

Mr. Quarrey said at the meeting that he had asked to visit the yeshiva and talk to its key figures because he understood that Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva, founded by Israel's first Chief Rabbi, the late Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, is the central yeshiva of Religious Zionism whose graduates are to be found in every sphere of activity in the Jewish State.

The ambassador, appointed to his post in 2015, added that he had noticed, in the time he has spent in Israel, that Religious Zionists play significant roles in the country's activities, decision making and in forming its policies. That, he explained, made him want to learn more about the Religious Zionist sector's credo and principles, best done by visiting a central place where these ideas are studied and developed,

Rabbi Kook, Torah luminary and leader, as well as poet and philosopher, is considered the founder of Religious Zionism and was appointed to his position during the period of the British Mandate. He was instrumental in the publishing of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which recognized the right of the Jewish people to a homeland in Mandatory Palestine. The yeshiva asked the ambassador to help them in obtaining copies of the rabbi's correspondence with the British government during those years.