How Israel's Disgraced Former Ministers Will Spend Their Time in Jail

The lives of prisoners Abraham Hirchson and Shlomo Benizri will change unrecognizably in the coming days.

The lives of prisoners Abraham Hirchson and Shlomo Benizri will change unrecognizably in the coming days. Former finance minister Hirchson was assigned to a relatively comfortable cell at Hermon Prison, with one cellmate. But former labor and social affairs minister Benizri will be sharing his cell with six prisoners who sleep in old-fashioned bunk beds. He received one of the lower bunks.

The inmates in the religiously observant wing of Ma'asiyahu Prison gave Benizri a warm welcome. "He was received with a great deal of respect; the prisoners hold him in very high esteem," a source in the Prison Service said.

Hirchson and Benizri will have to get used to a strict daily schedule: Every morning between 5:30 A.M. and 6:30 A.M., they will be counted. At 7 A.M., they will report for breakfast and then get on with their daily routine. Hirchson will be a teacher's assistant due to his advanced age and poor health. Benizri will spend his mornings teaching Torah.

At 11:30 A.M., the two will again report for roll call, and then they will have lunch. After lunch, at around 2 P.M., they will take part in enrichment activities: classes, library, lectures and other educational activities. At 5 P.M. they have supper, with evening roll call at 7 P.M.

By 10 P.M. they have to be in their cells, which are locked until roll call the next morning.