Former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited the home of HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein on Friday and spent about 20 minutes with the Rosh Yeshivah.
UTJ chairman Moshe Gafni also took part in the meeting. Both sides agreed that no photos of the meeting would be published.
During the meeting, Gafni told the Rosh Yeshivah that the Education Ministry had canceled Tanach studies in secular schools. The Rosh Yeshivah expressed great concern about the matter and Netanyahu promised that he would change this if he returns to power. “All these years, I guarded the Torah world and then Matan Kahana comes and tries to damage the religious status quo and Torah,” Netanyahu told the Rosh Yeshivah.
During the meeting, HaRav Edelstein recommended that Netanyahu learn Gemara. Netanyahu responded that in the past he learned with a chavrusa for a number of years. Netanyahu also proudly spoke about his family’s Tanach studies, mentioning his son Avner, who won the national Tanch contest in 2010, when he was 15.
Netanyahu told the Rosh Yeshivah that Tanach studies are a permanent fixture in his home and not just for election purposes. “It’s rooted in our family,” he said.
Although the visit was arranged without coordinating with the media, there was some unpleasantness when Netanyahu arrived at the home of the Rosh Yeshivah, with a group of extremists calling him derogatory names such as “rasha” and “apikorsus” as he walked out of the car and even singing ‘וכל קרני רשעים אגדע – תרוממנה קרנות צדיק.’
Netanyahu and Gafni made a joint video statement after they left the Rosh Yeshivah’s home.
The official reason for Netanyahu’s visit to the Rosh Yeshivah was to receive a bracha ahead of Rosh Hashanah but the real reason was that Netanyahu wanted to bury the possibility of the Chareidi parties joining a government led by Benny Gantz after the election.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)