Aug 3, 2022

Lapid/Netanyahu are NOT religious

Two minor moles in the news today were turned into mountains.

The first is that PM Yair Lapid is going to be taking a vacation up north this weekend.

The second is that MK Benjamin Netanyahu got a haircut.

Neither sounds all that interesting or titillating, does it?

Well, let's look one by one.

The Likud and then the Haredi media made a big deal about Lapid going on vacation from Thursday to Sunday, including Tisha B'Av. They said his is "post-Jewish", it is a chutzpa to go on vacation on Tisha B'Av, disconnected form the people, disconnected from Judaism, etc.

Lapid responded by saying he will cut his vacation short. I guess it is ok to vacation and drive home on Shabbos, but not ok to sit in a tzimmer on Tisha B'Av.

Some Haredi reporters and others on Twitter responded ot the Haredi media attacks pointing out that many rabbonim and Admorim are vacationing in European resort towns and will be there on Tisha B'Av as well. Surely they will be mourning the destruction of the mikdash in their vacation suites, but it does nto change the fact that they are on vacation. One even said he hopes Lapid doesnt retaliate by sending the Mossad around the EUropean resort towns to collect pictures of the Admorim vacationing abroad on Tisha B'Av.

What's the difference if Lapid doesn't commemorate Tisha B'av and the destruction of the mikdash from his home in Tel Aviv or from his home in Jerusalem or from a tzimmer up north?

The second item is more titillating, in my opinion, because it is staged.

Bibi's haircut.

Yinon Magal posted a picture online, which he later deleted once Bibi started to get attacked but you can't really delete things from the Internet, of Bibi getting a haircut today while working in his office.

The picture raised a ruckus, by the people rather than the media. It is the "Nine Days" leading up to Tisha B'Av and haircuts are forbidden, at least for Ashkenazim which Netanyahu is. Magal deleted the post and picture, but what's done is done.

First, look at it. He couldnt stop working for a few minutes to get the haircut? he gets his hair cut while sitting in an office chair wearing a suit, and does not take his glasses off to get a full trim? he doesn't even move his cup of coffee or tea away from the haircutting area? Some think this is obviously staged to look busy, to look multitasking, to look important.

I am not going to look for a hetter to justify Netanyahu's haircut. There is no shortage of possibilities, but the main thing is that Netanyahu is NOT RELIGIOUS! I hope I didn't shock anyone with that statement and revelation. Netanyahu is not religious. He does not keep halacha. Netanyahu eats all forms of treif food. he doesn't keep Shabbos. He doesn't put on tefillin (he supposedly always refuses all Chabad attempts), he cheated on his first wife (supposedly), and he does not keep most of Jewish law. I do not think that getting a haircut in the Nine Days is his most serious violation that this is what we have to call him out on. He probably violates more serious halachot on a daily basis.

That being said, one joke is warranted, I think. Because Dr Avishai Ben Chaim says Netanyahu is "Second Israel", or at least its representative, so even though he is actually Ashkenazi but as part of Second Israel he can follow the minhag of Sefardim and allow himself the haircut this week as there is no "week of" Tisha B'Av.

All that being said, I do not like it when people call out our secular politicians for not keeping specific halachos. Most don't keep any at all and most of the ones that do keep some keep them very minimally.

Get this. Neither Netanyahu nor Lapid are religious. The Nine Days don't mean much to either of them. If they do anything religious it is most likely to keep their religious and Haredi political partners (or potential partners) happy and to sway some [potential] voters. There is no need to act surprised and shocked every time they do something against halacha or minhag.

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  1. Reminds me of a story, that when Golda Meir became Prime Minister, some of R. Soloveichik's talmidim asked him if that was allowed by halakha, since she is a woman, and a woman is not allowed to be given a position of serarah. To which he replied, "If an apikorus like Ben Gurion can be prime minister, so can Golda Meir."

    1. In a Purim issue of one of YU's papers, the story was retold as follows:

      Rav Soloveitchik: "And Ben-Gurion was OK?"

      Talmid, stammering: "Well, Ben-Gurion is a male."

      Rav Soloveitchik, rolling his eyes: "So he claims. But perhaps he's really a trout?"

    2. Nahum: my version was more pointed.

  2. After a year of having, and endlessly attacking, an actual religious prime minister as "not being really religious," they're basically forced to turn Netanyahu into one of the world's great tzadikim so they don't look like hypocrites.

  3. I really didn't understand the attacks on Lapid for being on vacation - he wasn't going to Disney Land. There is no law to be at home on Tisha b'Av.

  4. In these special days of retrospect when we can try to analyze the reasons for the destruction of the Temple (guess what - it is sinat chinam), have any of our leaders actually mentioned the sinat chinam in our day, and how it is postponing the building of the next Temple. Only one has attempted to do so - Ayelet Shaked, but of course she is also not a rebbetzin, so she doesn't count apparently.

  5. bibi's second wife was not jewish

  6. Part of tacit aspect of the status quo agreement going back prior to the state [even more with the zionistic oriented religious] which gave the provisional government the ability to broadcast themselves as nearly wall to wall Jewish representative to the outside world was for leading governmental figures to operate with some of the form of traditional Judaism eg relevance to Chagim, in the Public Square. While weakened in the beginning of the seventies it was reinvigorated by the end of the decade.
    All the more since Sephardim gained more political clout

    1. Mizrachi was also involved amidst the continuous discussion and back and forth correspondence as was the more zionistic inclined post- Moshe Blau Aguda


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