Finance Minister Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, published a request for forgiveness on his Facebook page on Friday, the eve of Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement. However, Judaism teaches that one can receive divine atonement for sins against others only after obtaining their forgiveness. For this reason, many have the custom of apologizing on the eve of the holy day in case they may have committed wrongs without realizing.
“Less than half a year ago I was appointed Finance Minister, and I discovered the horrifying scope of the overdraft that was hidden from us,” he said, referring to the national debt.
The financial cutbacks he instituted were necessary, he insisted, “They are still painful, but it was the only way to save the Israeli middle class… It was an emergency situation.”
Lapid went on to explain what he is sorry for: poverty, and the continued observance of some Jewish customs at the state level.
“I have things to ask forgiveness for, Lord of the Universe. Not for the mistakes we made, but for what we have not yet changed. As long as there is a single child in Israel without money for food, or schoolbooks, we have what to change.
“As long as there is a single Holocaust survivor without a Sabbath table to sit at, we have something to change… As long as there is no civil marriage or public transportation on the Sabbath because of people who think they speak in your name, we have something to change,” he continued.
“As long as the peace process has not changed reality… as long as the tycoons keep dividing the country between themselves without fearing that they will need to give a reckoning, we have something to change,” Lapid declared.