Habayit Hayehudi: ‘We’ve Never Had a Leadership So Attentive to the Rabbis’

Pamphlet distributed by party in response to Eli Yishai’s growing strength, written by four rabbis, calls Bennett ‘a proper leader.'

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Ayelet Shaked, left, and Nafali Bennett during an party event, December 30, 2014.
Ayelet Shaked, left, and Nafali Bennett during an party event, December 30, 2014.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

In response to the growing strength of Eli Yishai’s Yahad party in the National Religious sector, Habayit Hayehudi has started distributing a pamphlet written by four rabbis that says: “There has never been a leadership of a national religious party that has been so attentive to the rabbis.”

Rabbi Haim Druckman wrote in the introduction to the brochure that the national religious public has never had a leadership who listened so well to the rabbis. The rabbis who wrote the answers to a number of questions in the pamphlet are Yehezkel Kohfeld, Ze’ev Karov, Eli Kaplan and Shahar Kihan.

Asked whether Habayit Hayehudi listens to the rabbis and consults with them, the four repeat what Druckman wrote, and add that the party’s leader Naftali Bennett has authorized Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, a learned Torah scholar in his own right – and who studied in the Merkav Harav Yeshiva and was close to former chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu – to discuss all matters of state and religion.

As for Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, the rabbis explain that “all through the years religious Zionism has sat with nonreligious parties as part of the desire to influence the people of Israel. Nonetheless, one of the important conditions that Habayit Hayehudi set is the right of veto for all laws on state and religion.”

On the question of why the party remained in the coalition despite “so many laws against the Jewish People and the Torah,” the rabbis wrote: “There is a rumor spreading in the hallways of the [yeshivas] that over 55 laws against Judaism were passed. This statement is a total lie! Not a single law passed in the last two years against the Torah and the Jewish character of the country. The great majority were stopped due to the Habayit Hayehudi party.”

They write about Bennett that he is a proper leader and right for the job, noting that there is no meter for religiosity to check someone’s Torah quality, the size of his kippa and length of the candidate’s tziziot. “The examination is in his actions in the Knesset to preserve and strengthen the State of Israel as a Jewish nation by strengthening and nurturing its Jewish character,” the pamphlet reads.

As to whether a nonreligious Knesset member can represent this Jewish character, the rabbis respond: “Ayelet Shaked fought for the rights of the Haredim more than any other Knesset member. This woman fought for funds for yeshivot and represented the yeshiva students in the most appropriate manner in the committee for ‘sharing the burden,’ and therefore we see the great fondness for her.”

The pamphlet ends with a list of the party’s achievements in the last Knesset, including establishing the Jewish Identity Administration, adding many hours of religious studies in schools, increasing funding for programs to deepen the Jewish identity, and increased funding for yeshivot and religious schools and programs.

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