Rabbi Druckman
Rabbi DruckmanScreenshot

Religious Zionist venerable spiritual leader Rabbi Haim Druckman accused hareidi spokesmen of hypocrisy Sunday, over their charges that they are being boycotted by the new governing coalition.

"I am very sorry about the rift," Rabbi Druckman told Arutz Sheva in an exclusive interview. "When I listen – especially to the hareidi radio stations and journalists – they do not increase ahavat yisrael [brotherly love within the Jewish world]. I say this as an understatement. It pains me, this entire reality, but unfortunately, when I think about it – who is boycotting whom for  years?

"Where are the works on Torah by the [religious Zionist] Torah luminaries, in the hareidi yeshivas? Where are they located? In what yeshiva have I seen a holy book by Rabbi [Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen] Kook? I mean, this is a total boycott, all the time."

"Every small-time hareidi politician who is elected into the Knesset immediately receives the title of rabbi, while our true sages {i.e., from the religious Zionist stream, ed) who are mentioned in the hareidi press are referred to simply by their names (sans titles, ed.)," said Rabbi Druckman. "We did not demand to boycott the hareidim."

The statements were uncharacteristically harsh, for Rabbi Druckman, and can be seen against the backdrop of intense hareidi attacks on Bayit Yehudi for its decision to enter the coalition with anti-hareidi Yesh Atid.

Rabbi Druckman, revered as a Torah sage in the entire religious Zionist world, was in charge of the government's Conversion Authority before his retirement and certain hareidi rabbis attempted to oveturn some of the conversions he authorized, leading to anger in the religious Zionist community and a stormy controversy that received much exposure in the media.

Rabbi Druckman spoke as he entered an evening held in his honor as he reached his 80th birthday.