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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.