DRAMA: Minister Litzman Resigns Over Chilul Shabbos


Health Minister Yaakov Litzman on Friday morning informed PM Netanyahu that he will officially resign after the government signed a deal for ongoing infrastructure work on rail lines to continue this Shabbos.

It is unclear if his party (UTJ) will remain the coalition. Litzman’s resignation comes following the Friday morning announcement by Minister Chaim Katz, that he had authorized the railway work to be carried out on Shabbos because failure to do so could endanger lives.

“After thorough examination, I authorized only essential work to ensure the safety of rail traffic and if it were not carried out it could endanger lives,” Katz announced. “This decision reflects full consideration for the feelings of the religious public, on the one hand, and maintaining the routine of the train passengers on Sunday.”

Litzman stated his decision was made after the Gerrer Rebbe instructed him to resign. His resignation will become official on Sunday.

There will probably be a meeting of Agudas Yisoel (the largest faction in UTJ) to discuss resigning from the coalition. Such a decision would also include the resignations of three more government positions—Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush and MKs Yisrael Eichler and Menachem Eliezer Mozes.

If Agudah decides to resign from the government, it will almost certainly spell the same fate for Degel HaTorah and possibly Shas.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Now, much will certainly be accomplished and improved in the Shmiras Shabbos areas! If the guard walks away from the hen house the hens will certainly manage in caring and protecting themselves! Brilliant move! NOT!!

    I am flabbergasted!

  2. Today is the Yahrtzeit of HaGaon Reb M.D. Weissmendel zt”l (author of min hameitzar).
    Wow! He must be doing *something* up there. (He used to criticize Agudah for participating in the government!)

  3. Good riddance. We need cabinet ministers who are knowledgeable about the subject matter of their portfolios, not political puppets who respond to narrow parochial interests–whether religious or secular. The failure of the health ministry to address critical infrastructure and service needs is of crisis proportions, especially in some of the poorer areas. Instead, he inserts himself into rail and transport issues which are also critical infrastructure needs where he has become an obstructionist . The technical experts have said repeatedly that repairs cannot be safely done while trains are operating but this hack says he knows better.

  4. This to me is a great argument for Israel to have Sundays. They have to work on the railway but the only day people aren’t using the trains to get to work is Shabbos. So of course they say they have to work on Shabbos. People say the reason for not having Sundays is because it’s not Jewish. How is it more Jewish to have chillul Shabbos every week?

  5. Minister Litzman is favored among Israelis as has been seen in recent polling data to be the most trusted minister in the entire government. He has accomplished more in the Health Ministry portfolio than most of his predecessors! He’s a good man, an honest man and has accomplished much. This issue, I think, he can handle more intelligently!
    He’s no hack, Mr. Gadolhadorah, as you seem to be! In fact, as I stated, Mr. Takes2-2tango, he’s shown to be more qualified than most of his predecessors. Check it out! Google his accomplishments!

  6. I’m shocked at how Yeshiva World News would allow such Reshoim like Yapchick and Godolhadora to comment on a Jewish site!

    If a yid stands up for Shabbos especially when told to do so by a Godol, to say good riddance is not only pure chutzpah and apikorses but it’s a huge chillul Hashem.

    Has YWN become the new platform of Lisbon Horaah and chillul Hashem?