For­mer Chief Rabbi Lau to Re­ceive Award at Bar Ilan’s Inge­borg Ren­nert Cen­ter

The Jewish Voice - - ISARAEL - By: TPS

For­mer Ashke­nazi Chief Rabbi Is­rael Meir Lau will re­ceive the 2018 Guardian of Zion Award from the Inge­borg Ren­nert Cen­ter for Jerusalem Stud­ies at BarIlan Univer­sity, the univer­sity an­nounced in a statement Sun­day. Lau will de­liver the an­nual Dis­tin­guished Ren­nert Lec­ture on May 22 on the topic “From Shoah to Re­vival: Re­flec­tions and Con­clu­sions Re­gard­ing Dra­matic and His­toric Events”.

“As a newly lib­er­ated pris­oner of Buchen­wald, Rabbi Lau was de­scribed as ‘a pair of liv­ing eyes look­ing out among the dead’” said Ren­nert Cen­ter Direc­tor Prof. Joshua Schwartz. “He was an eight-year-old child who said of him­self that he could nei­ther cry nor laugh. He grew up in Is­rael to be a man of many dreams, a vi­sion­ary who brought and brings the mes­sage of To­rah and the love of To­rah to Jews the world over,”

The univer­sity said that the rabbi will be the 22nd Guardian of Zion lau­re­ate, and will join a host of lead­ing per­son­al­i­ties in the Is­raeli and Jewish worlds who have re­ceived the award, in­clud­ing for­mer British Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, for­mer Is­raeli Am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions Dore Gold, au­thors Her­man Wouk and Prof. Elie Wiesel and most re­cently newly-ap­pointed US Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor John Bolton, who won the award in 2017.

Rabbi Lau was born in 1937 in Piotrków, Poland to Rabbi Moshe Chaim Lau, the Chief Rabbi of Piotrków. The el­der Lau was mur­dered by the Nazis at the Tre­blinka ex­ter­mi­na­tion camp, and his and his mother in the Ravens­brück con­cen­tra­tion camp for women. He sur­vived the war largely thanks to his older brother, Naf­tali, who pro­tected him dur­ing their time in Buchen­wald.

Fol­low­ing the war Rabbi Lau im­mi­grated to Is­rael in 1945 and stud­ied at the Kol To­rah yeshiva

in Jerusalem, Knes­set Hizkiya in Zichron Yaakov and Ponovitz yeshiva in Bnei Brak, earn­ing rab­binic or­di­na­tion 1960. He served first as a con­gre­ga­tional rabbi in Tel Aviv and was ap­pointed Chief Rabbi of Ne­tanya (1979), Chief Rabbi of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa (1988) and Chief Rabbi of the State of Is­rael (1993-2003). In 2005, he was re-ap­pointed Chief Rabbi of TelA­viv-Jaffa and re­tired from this po­si­tion in 2017.

Inge­borg Ren­nert and her hus­band, Ira Leon Ren­nert

For­mer Ashke­nazi Chief Rabbi Is­rael Meir Lau will re­ceive the 2018 Guardian of Zion Award from the Inge­borg Ren­nert Cen­ter for Jerusalem Stud­ies at Bar-Ilan Univer­sity, the univer­sity an­nounced in a statement Sun­day. Lau will de­liver the an­nual Dis­tin­guished Ren­nert Lec­ture on May 22 on the topic “From Shoah to Re­vival: Re­flec­tions and Con­clu­sions Re­gard­ing Dra­matic and His­toric Events”.

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