David Lau

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Rabbi David Baruch Lau
דוד ברוך לאו
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel
David Lau 1.JPG
Began 2013
Predecessor Yona Metzger
Other Chief Rabbi of Shoham
Chief Rabbi of Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut
Personal details
Birth name David Baruch Lau
Born (1966-01-13) 13 January 1966 (age 52)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Nationality Israeli
Denomination Orthodox
Residence Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut
Parents Rabbi Yisrael (Israel) Meir Lau

David Baruch Lau (Hebrew: דוד לאו‬; born 13 January 1966) is the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel. He was appointed after achieving a majority of the vote on July 24, 2013.[1] 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.


David Baruch Lau was born in Tel Aviv. He studied at Yeshivat Yishuv HaHadash, and later at Yeshivat Beit Matityahu and Ponevezh Yeshiva. 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 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 is married to Tzipporah Ralbag.

Rabbinic career[edit]

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 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.[2]

Rabbi David Lau at CHAJ centre in The Hague

In his first week in office, Lau used a biblical yet currently derogatory word for black people ("kushim") in reference to African-Americans who play basketball on Israeli teams. Ethiopian-born MK Pnina Tamanu-Shata called his comment racist and expressed concern that Lau might discriminate against Ethiopian Israelis.[3]

During his visit to the Netherlands in 2016, Rabbi Lau placed a Mezuzah at the Centrum voor Haagse Jiddisjkeit (the centre for Yiddishkeit in The Hague ) CHAJ in The Hague.[4]


Jewish titles
Preceded by
Yona Metzger
Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel