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      Pebble in Shoe, New MK Prepares for Ceremony

      Rabbi Shai Piron, about to be sworn in with the rest of the 19th Knesset, placed pebbles in his shoes, for a reason.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 2/5/2013, 11:16 AM

      Rabbi Shai Piron
      Rabbi Shai Piron
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      The 19th Knesset will be sworn in Tuesday, and a large number of the MKs – 48 to be exact – are new faces in the parliament.

      One of these rookies is MK-elect Rabbi Shai Piron of Yesh Atid.

      Rabbi Piron placed pebbles in his shoes and explained that "in hassidic thought, there is an interesting tradition that says that whoever rises to greatness must place a pebble in his shoe. A pebble, that will remind him of where he came from. A pebble that will hurt him so that he does not forget that many people are in pain and require help. So I also put a pebble in my shoe. It is small but it hurts. To make this a meaningful day, which will be an inspiration for the rest of the journey."

      Another new face in the Knesset is Major General (res.) Elazar Stern, of Hatnua.

      He wrote Tuesday morning on his Facebook page that there was special meaning this morning in the part of the "shmoneh esreh" prayer that says, "G-d, keep my tongue from wickedness and my lips from speaking deceit. To those who curse me, my soul will be silent, and my spirit shall be like dust before all."

      Stern said that he consulted two people before entering politics – President Shimon Peres and Prof. Elie Wiesel. "President Peres recommended it warmly, and Prof. Wiesel said that to the best of his judgment, my influence outside the political arena is greater."

      "I hope that G-d will give me wisdom, understanding and knowledge, so that President Peres will turn out to be right. But by the same token, I pray that He will give me the ability to discern when Elie Wiesel is right. When I complete this mission, I hope that I will be able to say the King David's words, 'G-d, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.'"