Vegetarianism: A Shared Ideal for Humanity - Interview with Chief Rabbi David Rosen (In Hebrew)   
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Rabbi Rosen(m): Vegetarianism is clearly the biblical ideal and therefore every person for whom the Bible is a sacred text, that should mean every Jew and Christian should be a vegetarian.

HOST: Today, on the first of a 2-part feature, we will explore the ancient wisdoms of the Jewish faith, and how the 30-century-old teachings are very much applicable to the issues and ways of living in our contemporary time - for Jews and humanity as a whole.

Narrator: Ever since the Torah was handed down to them, the Jewish people have been guided by sacred words… words that nourish an enduring faith, one that has survived intact despite unimaginable odds throughout history.

Narrator: Judaism teaches reverence for God, respect for life, the maintenance of personal health, and a code of conduct based on compassion and justice. It also provides specific directions on how to be responsible custodians of the world in which we live.

HOST: We are honored to invite the much respected Rabbi David Rosen for an interview in the Holy Land of Israel. Rabbi Rosen is the International Director of Interreligious Affairs of the American Jewish Committee, Honorary President of the International Council of Christian and Jews, and former Chief Rabbi of Ireland. In 2010, Rabbi Rosen was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. He is also an advocate for the compassionate and plant-based lifestyle.

Rabbi Rosen(m): I was born in England, but I came here to Jerusalem after high school and I studied here. I have my rabbinic ordination from the ultraorthodox world, but I, even though I didn't come from that background, I didn't stay in that world. I met my wife here, though she also comes from England but we met here in Israel. And I was then rabbi in South Africa in Cape Town until 1979, from '73 to '79.

And then I was Chief Rabbi of Ireland from `79 to `85. We came back in 1985 to Jerusalem, so we've have been back in Jerusalem for more than 25 years. When I came back, being involved in interfaith realizations in Israel was obviously very important to me because it relates to the very fabric of Israeli society.

Any society's wellbeing and health depends upon the condition of its minorities, or the minorities within its society are a reflection of itself. So it's very important for me to be involved interfaith relations here.

HOST: Rabbi Rosen has traveled extensively throughout the world to share messages of interfaith and peace building. He has met His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on numerous occasions, and has spoken alongside religious and world leaders including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Rabbi Rosen(m): And then because of my profile as Chief Rabbi of Ireland, people knew of me, organizations knew of me, and started coming and asking me to represent them. And then as a result, I had a more of an international profile. And similarly, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs wanted my involvement in areas that related to interfaith relations, especially when contacts with the Vatican started.

And I was asked to be part of the team that negotiated, they agreed, an establishment of diplomatic relations. And eventually then, the American Jewish Committee, which is the oldest of the American Jewish advocacy agencies and has a global outreach, asked me to be in charge of its interfaith work. And in addition to being responsible for all its interfaith relations around the world, I'm also the advisor to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel on interfaith relations and therefore have responsibility for most of its interfaith work.

To find out more about Rabbi David Rosen, please visit

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