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YWN Mailbag: ‘The Prime Minister is Out of Touch’

YWN BoxAs we sat at home in freezing cold, our prime minister sat there looking all smug and amused…

Hello there, Mr. Prime Minister. I am writing this column on my cell phone because it’s the only device I can operate at the moment. Let me tell you briefly what I’m going through so that you’ll understand how inappropriate it was for you to joke about the situation on Saturday evening.

I live in the Har Shmuel neighborhood in Givat Ze’ev. A one-minute drive from Jerusalem. A beautiful, rare neighborhood. Last Thursday, in the middle of the snow storm and in the middle of the night, the electricity suddenly went out. Since then I, my wife and our four children have been in a house without heating and without water.

In the State of Israel in 2013, a family goes to sleep in one bed on Friday night in order to warm up when it’s minus several degrees outside. We didn’t eat the Shabbos Challah bread because the oven didn’t work, and we couldn’t even take a hot shower before Shabbos because the water froze in the pipe system and there’s no water.

Mr. Prime Minister, at the end of Shabbos we took advantage of a one-hour intermission, when the power which dedicated technicians tried to fix across the country suddenly returned, to charge the device and receive updates on whether the situation was similar in other places. I was astonished to see a patronizing and arrogant, insensitive and detached prime minister. Even the electricity is not as disconnected as you are, prime minister. My children are trembling with cold, so am I, the last two bottles of water barely made it to the next morning. A hot shower has been out of the question since Thursday.

Mr. Prime Minister, I don’t blame you for the weather and I’m not asking you to come here and try to fix the power or take care of some products we are missing. But instead of sitting there looking all smug and amused, think about the women about to give birth in their homes without anyone to evacuate them, about the drivers who got stuck in their cars throughout a freezing night, about the children trembling with fear in the dark, about the ambulance drivers and brave volunteers drenched in snow in order to remove elderly and poor people from their leaky houses, about children with a high temperature and about people suffering from freezing cold. Instead of joking around, simply think about your people.

Take the situation seriously because there are thousands of families like mine. Without water. Without electricity. Without heating. Without enough food and a way to get out of the house, and the last thing they want to see is a haughty and amused prime minister.

In the house downstairs, a family is celebrating a circumcision ceremony today. Just imagine, Bibi, a six-day-old baby in freezing cold in an unheated house. That’s the situation right now. You’re welcome to come and see for yourself. In the house next door there is a 70-year-old man who asked me for an egg last night so that he could make himself an omelet because he ran out of food. The Har Shmuel neighborhood in Givat Ze’ev looks like a third world country, and you’re talking about a successful management of an event?

And yes, Bibi, without any demagogy. My house is about to run out of candles and I recall that you have a lot of candles in your home. I don’t care if they’re scented, I just need something to warm up my bedroom a bit.

My daughter is covered with seven layers and is still complaining about being cold. I promised her that everything is being done in order to bring back the power supply. What should I tell her?

Written by: Yerach Toker who is a media advisor in the ultra-Orthodox sector

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


9 Responses

  1. In the house downstairs, a family is celebrating a circumcision ceremony today. Just imagine, Bibi, a six-day-old baby in freezing cold in an unheated house.

    Just wondering who circumcises their babies on the “6th” day?

  2. I would assume the author means that since the electricity has been off for two days, then it was already freezing when the baby was six days old.

    But is that all you guys can comment on in such a situation?

  3. I understand that you were very worried and uncomfortable when you wrote this, but surely you know, at some level, that this storm and the resulting damage was not the handiwork of the Prime Minister. You found a good excuse -his being “out of touch” – to throw all your frustrations onto the Prime Minister, but seriously your litany of complaints were nothing he could have done anything about. There are two who were responsible for your situation being what it was – HKB”H and YOU.

    Take this experience as a hard wake-up call (the softer ones had all gone unheeded). Stop thinking it’s someone else’s responsibility to take care of you and your family. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking things will always be nice and comfortable and business as usual. Sure, the weather has never been like this in our lifetimes, but we are under constant threat of war. Did you never imagine that public services could be disrupted by a full-scale war? Did you never imagine that Iran might explode an EMP weapon over our heads and send us back to the stone age?

    This is perhaps your last warning to take responsibility for your own and your family’s welfare and prepare for the worst that could happen. Be prepared to live in this land as our forefathers did for the past 4,000 years before the modern era. This was their daily norm!

    Having accustomed ourselves to so much ease and comfort, it will be difficult, but Hashem will see us through.

  4. In all honesty what would you like him to do ?
    He has his problems too, believe me.
    You are not the only one in this situation and BH you live in Israel and people care in case of emergency you are safe,imagine living in the Philipines……come on you are not in danger!!

  5. Remember the zionist propaganda; everything is in our hands; yea; if you can’t get electricity up and running and can’t get the roads clean in 1 day what is really in your hands. Remember TORAH AND MITZVOS are in our hands

  6. #1 and #2:
    You are so cold hearted and insensitive. So the writer made a mistake. So would I in the freezing cold after a few days.
    I think that it isn’t the prime ministers issue as much as its the mayors. That’s why mayors are elected for. One thing we know for sure is that Israel has a ton a ton of salt available. When the tractor (that one tractor) went around on thursday night to clean the roads he wasn’t spilling any salt just nicely paving the snow down. I understand that salt eats up roads but so be it. there are people that died cus the roads werent cleared properly. No question in my mind that the mayor knows that salt would’ve done it but still thought it was rather worth for him to leave the roads snowy, lose business, school etc… cus that would still be cheaper than redoing roads.

  7. It’s obvious the 6 day is a misprint (not easy to write on a cell phone!) and is meant to be a 8.
    I know Yerach Tucker personally. I don’t know about today, but yesterday he and his brother who lives in the same area were still without electricity

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