Britain's ambassador to Israel puts up mezuzah

Matthew Gould watches as the mezuzah is afixed

Matthew Gould watches as the mezuzah is afixed

A mezuzah has been fixed on to the door of the British ambassador’s residence in Israel for the first time in history.

Matthew Gould, Britain’s first Jewish ambassador to Israel, was joined by Israel’s Chief Rabbi Meir Lau and Rabbi Isaac Shapira for the short ceremony at the home in the Ramat Gan suburb of Tel Aviv.

Mr Gould and his wife Celia bought the mezuzot cases in Jerusalem and placed inside scrolls hand-written by Rabbi Lau.

Mr Gould said: “There are a number of things give me a great deal of pride. One of them is being Jewish and being here.

Matthew and Celia Gould with Rabbi Lau and Rabbi Shapira

Matthew and Celia Gould with Rabbi Lau and Rabbi Shapira

He said he was honoured to have the two rabbis join them to put the mezuzot up and added that he was proud “to be joined by people from our Embassy family – Jewish and non-Jewish.

“I am very clear that my Jewish identity should not lead people to feel excluded, but rather should lead people to feel invited in.

“As they walk past the mezuzah…I’d like them to feel brought in to our house, to our family and to our Jewish identity and feel a part of that and to share in that.”

Rabbi Shapira added: “I wish you and your wife that by fulfilling the commandment of the mezuzah that you should be blessed with long life here in Israel and wherever you are in the future.

“Obviously I’d like you to be here forever.”

    Last updated: 12:31pm, October 26 2010