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Litzman Under Fire Over Barzilai Delays

The fact that Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman persuaded the cabinet to vote in favor of his alternate plan for the new fortified emergency room of Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon appears to be a classic case of winning the battle but possibly losing the war.

Prominent members of the medical and political communities are coming out publicly against Litzman, placing enormous pressure on cabinet ministers, leading to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu halting the start of the project and ordering the formation of a high-level fact-finding committee that will report directly to him, hoping to find a solution.


While one cannot turn one’s head from the ruling of Posek HaDor Maran HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv Shlita, there are those who explain the gadol hador’s ruling was based on partial information given to him by Litzman – explaining the deputy minister painted a picture that would result in the ruling that he was seeking.


Many a medical expert from leading medical facilities around the country insist Litzman may be well-intentioned, but he is simply “over his head” and ruling on matters in which he lacks the professional understanding, proving their point by the resignation of the ministry’s director-general, who announced he cannot continue in light of the decision to move the planned structure to a new venue, in line with Litzman’s position.

A number of trauma experts have already spoken out and warn that the clock is ticking and while politicians argue amongst themselves, the hospital’s fortified wing is not being construction, but the Kassam rockets are once again flying again in southern Israel.


Some even argue that Litzman is aware of the fact that “one can say with 99.9% certainty” that the bones at the proposed hospital building site are non-Jews, based on data obtained a long time ago, but they feel Litzman is concerned with the precedent of moving bones, fearing such a move would lead to moving Jewish bones in the future. Israel Antiquities Authority officials insist the items found in the graves accompanied by other data points to non-Jewish bones; including the fact the materials used for the kvura are simply not in line with ancient Jewish burial customs.

Other experts add that there are many symbols used in the burial area; symbols which none of the experts have been able to decipher to date, but all are in agreement that are not synonymous with Jewish burial. Opponents to Litzman’s plan add the fact that Israel’s chief rabbis already ruled the bones may be moved.


Medical community officials add that money aside, and that is not an easy statement since the price tag of Litzman’s plan is considerably higher, but their main point is that the new plan will result in a total of 50 emergency room beds as opposed to the original plan, calling for 250 beds, with 200 being underground.


Supporters of the Litzman plan are quick to brush aside the money issue, pointing out that on Highway 443 for example, the Jerusalem – Modi’in Highway, NIS hundreds of millions were spent to create bypass roads and junctions for Arab motorists to keep them off the vehicular route, and now, the Supreme Court ruled they must be permitted on the highway, rendering all the side roads and junctions unnecessary, yet no one mentions the money wasted. They point out this is the case in many areas throughout Yehuda and Shomron.


On Wednesday, March 24th, the Knesset will hold a special plenum session to discuss the matter of the Barzilai fortified emergency room. This is the result of MKs of the Kadima opposition party obtaining the necessary number of signatures to compel a special session. Kadima officials are unwilling to accept the cabinet ruling, vowing to continue fighting towards approval of the original plan for the new hospital.


In addition, the State Audit Committee will convene on Wednesday as well to address the matter, responding to mounting public pressure against the Litzman plan.


The battle against Litzman is not just in Knesset, but at Barzilai too. Doctors and administrators vow to literally bock bulldozers if they attempt to break ground on the new Litzman planned unit. Many Ashkelon residents side with the Litzman opponents, and they came out on Monday to stand aside hospital staff in a protest to launch their formal opposition to the Litzman plan, which they insist will not be actualized.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

8 Responses

  1. Funny how neither Litzman nor the UTJ uttered one word of protest about moving the graves in Gush Katif. Not one word,, yet those were 100% Jewish graves. Here, where the graves are probably not Jewish, Litzman and the UTJ are screaming from the rooftops. What a shanda!

  2. This article does not belong on a “yeshiva” website.No one disputes what Rav Elyashiv said.The minute we allow everyone who does not like a psak of the godol hador to claim that he was misled, we are in effect rejecting chas vsholom the entire concept of daas torah.The writer even brings proof from the fact that the secular doctors and politicians disagree.I am extremely disappointed with yeshiva World for printing this.

  3. #1 TRUTH BE TOLD.

    Kevarim have been moved frequently from Europe to Israel and in other situations. Why can’t these maybe ??? Jewish bones be reburied somewhere else? As usual, there must be more to this story then what meets the eyes.

  4. Interesting how in this case, the article notes that the Psak of Rav Elyashiv, Shlita, may have been obtained based on incomplete information, or information presented in “a certain way”. Why is this psak more open to such spectulation than other Piskei Halacha of the Rav? If we believe in Da’as Torah, don’t we have to accept what they say regardless?

    an Israeli Yid

  5. What is this? Is Rabbi Litzman about to be thrown under the bus?

    “there are those who explain the gadol hador’s ruling was based on partial information given to him” is a statement that has been made about many of Rav Elyashiv’s rulings by people who oppose them or want an excuse not to follow them. Why is such now being given credence now?

  6. This is why tshuvos need to be written down and not given orally. When they are written, everybody can see the way the godol presents the facts, and whether they are accurate, or if he was misled. In addition, everybody can see his reasoning and mekoros.

    Oral rulings always seem to cause a big tumult.

  7. Pashuteh Yid 2.0:
    100% maskim! I consider any maamar bshem any Gadol in Eretz Yisroel as hearsay, or fabrication. If there’s no voice recording or printed Teshuvah in the Ksav Yad of the Gadol with Mekoros I consider it as Baloney. Either way I have a competent Rav who I ask my Shailos to.

  8. #6 – that’s an excellent point. In Igros Moshe, the question, with the relevant facts, is presented with the answer given, so that all can see what the facts that led to the conclusion were.

    an Israeli Yid

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