Since his name was linked to the Holyland real estate investigation, former Jerusalem Mayor Rabbi Uri Lupoliansky distanced himself from the media. Even after the petira of a grandchild and being diagnosed with a malignant tumor he refused to speak to the media. Now, that has all changed and he is speaking to the media once again.
“The smile is still there” he tells Yediot Achronot, interviewing him to learn of the difficult period he endured as a result of the case. “What do I have to cry about” he is quoted as saying.
The arrest, the investigation, the petira of a grandchild and the illness for starters.
Listen, I am grateful to HKBH for each breath that I take. Perhaps today I am aware I have more to be grateful for than then”.
When asked about the allegations that he directed donor money to his Yad Sarah Building, perceived as a bribe for his cooperation towards advancing the Holyland project, he explains “Einstein once said that two things have no limit, the universe and human stupidity. I have discovered a third, there is no limit to wickedness. To refer to a donation for rehabilitation of people after suffering as stroke, those so in need. This is what troubles some.”
Lupoliansky is angered that they dragged his organization, Yad Sarah into the investigation. “The prosecution blamed the media. The media explains they received the information from the prosecution. Please, stop making me crazy. The state shot itself in the foot. Yad Sarah is the first Israeli Jewish organization to be recognized by the UN’s Economic forum.”
He continues by describing the difficult days after being diagnosed and the treatment, how it impacted him physically.
Regarding his arrest in connection with the Holyland case, he feels the entire matter was a media event and he was locked up for the media value of the action, nothing more.
Don’t you think about the concept of ‘reward and punishment?’
As a frum person who has spent his life dealing with gemilus chassed, the concept of reward and punishment is not what occupies me… In addition, I do not view politics as a career, but a vehicle for shlichus. In any event, the concept of reward and punishment doesn’t work that way.
Remembering Yair z”l:
In January 2005, his second birthday, Yair Lupoliansky that is, we decided to all get together and celebrate. He went for a dental appointment earlier in the day and it was a regular visit for a filling.
The dentist used gas to anesthetize him. She failed to monitor the child’s deteriorating situation and by the time he did, it was too late. She lost it – finally summoning an ambulance. When the crew arrived she was screaming. He arrived at Hadassah and we davened. Someone said to me ‘you are one who understands. Don’t daven for his life for even if they save him, his brain is gone.’ But we all continued saying Tehillim. He did not come back. It was 05:00, after 12 hours, he was niftar. These were the 12 most difficult hours of my life.
Contrary to what others may have done in such a situation, the Lupoliansky family did not sue the dentist. What occupied me is how to avoid this from occurring to others in the future. The doctor also made a shiva visit. She came and was afraid, standing at the entrance. She was traumatized. My daughter-in-law, who was pregnant at the time comforted her.
During the last three years since the case I have returned to volunteer at Yad Sarah.
Is the Uri of today the same as the Uri from before the investigation?
He is more sober and perhaps, less naïve.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)