Israel, Religion

Israel's First Charedi President?

The pundits in Israel and New York just can’t stop talking.
Former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi HaRav R’ Yisra’el Meir Lau may be next in line to take over Moshe Katzav’s largely ceremonial office as President of Israel.
On June 6 came the Haaretz article, “No to Lau for President.”
On June 25 came the rebuttal Haaretz article, “Rabbi Lau: The Last Moral Figure.” Yediot Aharonot was not having this, and ran “Lau: An Excellent Choice”, an article praising R’ Lau despite his “shortcomings”. The Forward — after bringing up the current dispute over the title of Rabbi conspicuously left unused by Mr. Katzav — says of R’ Lau’s election ominously:

If Rabbi Lau becomes Israel’s public face at ceremonial moments — moments that matter deeply in the lives of faith communities — relations between Israel and the Diaspora will suffer a grievous wound.

The Prime Minister’s preferred candidate for nasi is R’ Lau, because, as the Forward reports:

He’s genial, graceful and popular with the Israeli public, and he could help heal some of the social rifts opened by the country’s bruising territorial debates.

Rabbanut Roshit L’mehadrin min ha’mehadrin?

6 thoughts on “Israel's First Charedi President?

  1. Agreed. I’ve met him and that’s a gross mischaracterization. He’s a good guy, Shoah survivor, and has done a lot to call attention to the plight of impoverished Shoah survivors in Israel, definitely a worthy cause. I don’t think he’s got a chance in . . ., well a chance period of being elected (by the Knesset) because of his religious role. The overwhelming number of Israelis don’t want anything like a theocracy; they want less rabbinical involvement in civil affairs, not more. But Charedi he definitely is not.

  2. Do you know his nephew? of course you do. Lau is not the same kind of neanderthal Ovadia Yosef is. BUT……….president? WHY? His brother, Naftalie Lavie is much better suited for the job.

  3. Right, I forgot that bit. Clearly if he ran on a ticket with his nephew (in her better known persona) it would address a lot of concerns, easily get him elected, and be an indisputable sign of the Moshaich.

  4. Right, and speaking of gender cross-ups, I understand that the rift over Lau is creating a space that might be filled by a (biological) woman candidate, which would be awesome. Apparantly there are several women exploring bids; if one ends up running and wins it would be a first and quite an auspicious one.

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