‘Someone who looks at the idea of a democratic and Jewish state can’t ignore the fact that it is indeed a Jewish state,” says Chief Rabbi David Lau in a special interview with The Jerusalem Post for Yom Kippur. ‘
Sitting in his office on Yirmiyahu Street, Lau speaks about the specialness of the Jewish people, the challenges the Chief Rabbinate faces and the need we all have to learn how to to listen.
How do you view your purpose and objectives as chief rabbi?
First of all, there are obligations according to the law. I am responsible for kashrut, eruvin (Shabbat boundaries), marriages, mikvaot (ritual baths) and giving smicha (ordination) to rabbis. Then there are things above the law, the perceptions of others about the chief rabbi position.
As a Jewish nation, we need to give Jewish expression to the nation. I asked the prime minister and the head of the Knesset to present all laws to the rabbinate to get the Jewish outlook on them. I am not saying they have to accept my opinion. This is a democratic nation.
But they should know what Jewish law says whenever relevant, what the Jewish perspective is on key issues.