What Rabbi Lau told Itamar Orphan Ro’ee Fogel

What Rabbi Lau told Itamar Orphan Ro’ee Fogel

In this photo: Yisrael Meir Lau (8 years old) in the arms of a fellow Buchenwald survivor upon their arrival at Haifa on 15 July 1945.

I heard such a beautiful story this week from my teacher HaRabbanit Yemima Mizrachi. Harabbanit Yemima said that when the former chief rabbi and Holocaust survivor Yisrael Meir Lau entered the Fogel family shiva, the very first person he wanted to speak with was the Fogel’s 8-year-old son, Ro’ee.

Rabbi Lau told Ro’ee Fogel: “Listen to me, Ro’ee. You are an 8-year-old orphan. At your age, at the age of 8, I arrived in Israel after being freed from Buchenwald. I didn’t have a mother. I didn’t have a father. I didn’t know the language. I didn’t know anybody in this new country. I had no idea what was happening. I had no idea where I was going.”

“Look at me today. I grew up to become the Chief Rabbi of Israel. And you, Ro’ee, are going to become the Chief Rabbi of Israel too.”

And little Ro’ee Fogel, with tears on his face, smiled a huge smile.


  1. Thats beautiful, and i am sure he will never forget those words and the people that came to pay respects.

  2. What a bracha!

  3. what a lovely man may Hashem protect this little boy and his family and bless Rabbi Lau

  4. mi k’amcha yisrael, goy echad b’aretz……b’emet.

  5. I too, have tears in my eyes and a smile on my face…
    A truly beautiful moment. He absolutely deserved to shoulder the mantle of Israel… A true light to our own nation.

  6. BS”D

    Ashrenu ajot, ashrenu… eize givor iesh lanu beAm HaKadosh shelanu, ve eize givor gadel lifne einaim shelanu!!!
    Toda Chana, toda…

  7. Deena Leiman

    Thank you for sharing. Made me cry.

  8. Thank you for sharing.
    i’ve read Rabbi Lau’s biography and, yes, i’m another mom out there with tears streaming down my face…

  9. Hadassah Aber

    What tremendous chizuk and a true way of Nosay B’ol im Chavero, (helping a fellow bear his burden.)

  10. Why would Rabbi Lau promise the boy to become Rabbi Lau?

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