Education Minister Naftali Bennett
Education Minister Naftali Bennett PR photo

Education Minister Naftali Bennett said on Monday evening that “studying Judaism and excelling in it” is important to him than studying math and science.

Speaking at an event marking the 40th anniversary of the TALI (Hebrew acronym for “enriched Jewish Studies”) network of schools, Bennett said, “You wish to renew all the days of yore because you know that Judaism belongs to everybody. No sector has a monopoly on it. This huge corpus belongs to all the people of Israel equally. And if the famous verse from Isaiah ensuring that in the future we will know no more war is written on the building of the United Nations, and if the greatest civilizations in the world learned from us to believe in one God, take care of the orphan, the stranger and the widow, and adopted the Sabbath as a concept, we cannot afford to know less".

“Because it's ours. All of ours. Studying Judaism and excelling in it is more important to me than learning math or science, because even as a high-tech superpower which exports knowledge and innovation to the world, we should also be a spiritual superpower and export spiritual ideas to the world, as we have done in the past. This is the next chapter of our Zionist dream. This is how we will return to being a light unto the nations,” he continued.

Bennett added, "Now that our Judaism is once again the Judaism of the Land of Israel - take a copy of the Tanakh and go with your kids to the field. Tell them about the shepherds of Tekoa, about the work of the flock. This is our land, these are its fruits, and the words that describe them are written in a new-old Hebrew. Renew their days as in the past.”

Minister Bennett’s office later issued a statement regarding the speech and stated, "There is no need to expand about the dramatic turnaround Minister Bennett is carrying out in science, mathematics and English. But without consolidating the Jewish-Zionist spirit of the people of Israel, the state would have no existence."