Not a great start

You may have heard that we have just had elections for the posts of Chief Rabbi – one Ashkenazi, and one Sephardi. Rabbi David Lau won the Ashkenazi, ahem, race. Judging by this report, he is not off to a good start.

Incoming Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, elected to the post just last week, is already embroiled in his first scandal: A controversial recording of a remark he made on Monday about basketball players surfaced Tuesday, sparking angry responses.

Trying to convince young haredi men to refrain from the increasingly common practice of watching basketball games at neighborhood convenience stores (most haredim do not have television sets at home), the new chief rabbi asked, “Who cares if a bunch of paid ‘Cushim’ [a colloquial term for black people] in Tel Aviv beat a bunch of paid ‘Cushim’ in Greece?”

Oh dear. Whatever respect might be due to the man for his religious knowledge, he deserves no respect for this racist rubbish. In a short space of time, he has already demonstrated why many people justifiably have such a low regard for the post and the personage. I hope those who selected him are screaming at him now to deliver a fast and fulsome apology, and to bite his tongue in the future. Of course, it would be better if he wasn’t trapped in a dead end philosophy, but that’s another huge issue for a later time.

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