Israel’s new Prime Minister is Naftali Bennett and I sincerely wish him well. I will daven for his success and hope that HaShem will help him do good things for Israel and world Jewry. Yes, I would have preferred that the elections turned out differently… but it didn’t… and I’m ok with that. When you enter a game, you try everything possible to win, but you must also be prepared to lose. If you’re not ready to lose, don’t play the game.
Remember hide and seek? “Ready or not, here I come!” Well, ready or not, here comes Prime Minister Bennett and I am urging everyone I know… to be ready! I abhorred the heckling by various politicians in the Knesset during Bennett’s speech. You lost, brothers, get over it! I have no problem working hard to change the government in 4 years’ time… but give the guy a fighting chance! How disgusting were the words of Netanyahu who said – on Bennett’s first day in office – “We will topple this government”. Seriously? The guy hasn’t unpacked his boxes yet!
A good friend of mine told me, “But Shmuel, that’s what the left did all these years. They bashed Bibi from day #1 – so shouldn’t we do the same?” – and my answer was “Absolutely not! We should not do the same! They were wrong… so now you want to be wrong?” Lately, the one word that has driven politics – in both Israel and the USA – has been the word hate, which is not a healthy way to live. We all know that 90% of the Americans who voted Biden did it because they hated Trump and this “hate ideology” spread to Israel as well. Close to 2,000,000 Israelis voted for smaller parties because they either hated Netanyahu or hated the Haredim. However, as counter-productive as this reason was, it didn’t change the outcome and – like it or not – Naftali Bennett is the current Prime Minister of the State of Israel… so deal with it.
We’ve all heard the negative. Hundreds of articles have been written about how terrible things will be, but for the next few minutes, allow me to show you the good in all this. Since the day I arrived on Aliyah back in 1990, people have said that there will never be a religious Prime Minister, yet Naftali Bennett is indeed that. He wears a kippah, puts on Tefillin and davens 3 times a day. He eats only Kosher food and is extremely proud of his religious beliefs. Say what you want about the size of his kippah or make fun of his secular wife but you won’t hear or read those things from me. I choose to focus on the fact that he has “broken the ice” which makes it much easier for future, religious politicians.
Do I agree with the arrangement he made with the Arab party? I disagree 100%! Do I like the fact that the Meretz party is in the government? No, I do not, but should I remind you how Rav Ovadiah Yosef once gave the green light to Shas to join a government together with Meretz? Things could have – and should have - turned out much differently… but they did not. We can argue that point for many days, but I prefer dealing with something called “reality”. The reality is clear; Naftali Bennett is Prime Minister of Israel for the next 2 years. We can either ignore it and make believe it was all a bad dream or we can ask our Father in Heaven – who orchestrated this complicated plan – to make it work for the Jewish nation.
Prime Minister Bennett was born in Haifa in 1972, to American olim. His parents made Aliyah from San Francisco a month after the Six-Day War. This is the reason why he is so pro-Aliyah and I am hoping that he will make major improvements with the Aliyah issue. He has talked about reducing the bureaucracy and making it much easier to make Aliyah. Is this the reason why HaShem chose him to lead the Jewish nation? To bring tens of thousands of Jews home? I have no idea, but I beg all of you to give the guy a chance. Believe me, I will be the first to protest and fight against him if he does the wrong thing but let’s wait and see. Let him start to work and let’s daven that he succeeds. “Avinu Sheba’shamayim, Rock and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, which marks the dawn of our deliverance…. Send Your light and truth to its leaders… and direct them with Your good counsel…”
Good luck, Prime Minister Bennett! We wish you well!