Rabbi Yisrael Lau 311.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons (CC))
Representatives from the National Union of Israeli Students and leaders of the
tent city protest movement met Tuesday morning with former Israel chief rabbi and
current head rabbi of Tel Aviv Yisrael Lau, where they held a discussion on the
ongoing social justice protests.
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During the meeting, held at the offices
of the Tel Aviv Rabbinate, Lau told the protest leaders that the movement they
launched was unprecedented in Israel and that “this is the first time I remember
ever having seen this many people who didn’t know each other before, coming
together – outside of a time of war. You have captured my heart.”
also vowed to contact Netanyahu personally, saying that he would tell him “to
honor the mandate of the Trajtenberg committee and to accept its
This is my contribution to the struggle. Your cries are
understandable and justified.”
He added, however, that the protest
movement would only succeed if “it remains apolitical, and doesn’t become
He also advised the protesters to be patient and have some
faith in the government committee’s ability reach solutions.
endorsement of the movement represents the most prominent support yet given by a
haredi leader in Israel to a movement that has been predominantly secular and
has tried to avoid political or religious divisions.
Lau’s nephew, Rabbi
Benny Lau, has been a supporter of the movement since early on, and gave a
speech at the mass protest on Kaplan Boulevard on August 6, where he issued a
similar call to that made by his father on Tuesday, saying “we want to found a
state based on social justice. We won’t let this struggle be about a single
sector in society or another, we all want social justice.”