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David Lau

(1966 - )

David Lau is the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel achieving a majority of the vote on July 24, 2013. He previously served as the Chief Rabbi of Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut, Israel and as the Chief Rabbi of Shoham. Lau is the son of former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau.

Lau was born January 13, 1966 in Tel Aviv to Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau. He studied at Yeshivat Yishuv HaHadash, and later at Yeshivat Beit Matityahu. He was the first rabbi of the town of Shoham. When the city of Modi'in was established, he was chosen as its Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi alongside the Sephardi Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Alharar. Along with Rabbi Alharar, he established an array of Torah classes in the city, including on the subjects of kashrut, eruvim, and Jewish weddings. Rabbi Lau is a reserve major in the Intelligence Corps.

Lau was the first rabbi in Israel to teach responsa over the internet. Since the summer of 2006, he has appeared every Friday on the show "Ask the Rabbi" on HaArutz HaRishon, a show about halakhic questions and answers. Since 1999, he broadcast the daily program "Jewish Point" on the radio station Kol Chai.

He has published articles in different journals, such as Tehumin. Similarly, he edited a book of his father's responsa titled Yichil Yisrael. He also edited and published a book in memory of his grandfather, Rabbi Yitzchak Yedidya Frankel. In 2008, he published his book Maskil LeDavid on issues of genealogy, conversion, military law, and other matters.

On June 24, 2013, he was elected Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel. At the time of his election, he was the youngest person (at 47) to be elected Chief Rabbi of Israel. The inauguration took place on 14 August 2013 at the official residence of the President of Israel.

Rabbi Lau is married to Tzipporah, daughter of Hadassah and Yitzhak Ralbag, a political activist and a member of the Chief Rabbinate and former chairman of the Jerusalem Religious Council, respectively.

Sources:Ettinger, Yair. “After tense and controversial candidacy period, Israel's chief rabbis are chosen,” Haaretz (July 24, 2013).
“New chief rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef sworn in,” Israel National News (August 14, 2013).

Photo: Yedidya lau (Yedidya lau) [CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.