Rabbi Meir Porush
Rabbi Meir Porush Photo by Moti Milrod
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While Israelis morn the fallen in ceremonies across Israel on Israel’s Memorial Day, several ultra-Orthodox families in Jerusalem decided to hold family celebrations, among these were the Porush family, whose patriarch Rabbi Meir Porush, until recently deputy minister of education and member of the Israeli legislator, celebrated his grandson’s Bar Mitzvah.

The Bar Mitzvah boy was Nahum Yoel Eliyas, Rabbi Porush's eldest daughter’s son, who lives in the United States. The family came to celebrate in Israel modestly, guests of the celebration said.

People close to Rabbi Porush said he wasn’t involved in the planning of the celebration or with the setting of the date, and at any rate, the event was “a modest dinner, without a band or any other music and with a very limited guest list.” Despite this, several public figures; rabbis, Knesset members, and councilmen, did participate.

A friend of the family told Haaretz that Rabbi Porush “noticed that the bar mitzvah fell on Memorial Day. He didn’t notice this on time because this year Memorial Day was set a day earlier than usually. Once he noticed it, it was already too late to move reschedule the event, which wasn’t under his control anyway.”

One guest stressed that only 40 people attended the event. Another associate of Porush said that the story stemmed from an error and “wasn’t worth dealing with.”