Observant Jews all over the world should feel pride that Israel has its first observant Prime Minister, regardless of worries about the political makeup of the coalition, believes Rabbi David Stav.
In an exclusive interview with Arutz Sheva, Stav, the head of Tzohar rabbinical organization, said that Jews have waited thousands of years to have an Israeli leader who is associated with Jewish tradition and heritage.
“Our dreams were implemented with (Naftali Bennett)," he explained, adding that “For the first time since the establishment of the State of Israel 73 years ago to have a prime minister who wears a kippah and puts on tefillin every day and observes Shabbat is something that should (make observant Jews all over the world) feel pride, without any connection to his political views and to the political approach of this government.”
Is Stav worried that the coalition focuses too much on left wing parties and that the Haredi and religious national party are not included?
He looks at the situation from a different angle.
“For many Israelis, the fact that the right wing was in power for the last 12 years and the left wing didn’t feel that they are a part of the government caused a lot of damage to Israeli society,” he said, noting that he wants to see a cohesive society where everyone from all walks of life feels included in government decisions.
He noted that most Israelis on the left serve in the military, pay taxes and “carry their share of the economy and society” just like Israelis on the right.
“If we don’t want to push them away overseas, they deserve to be part of this government,” he said. “I would like to see all components of society a part of the government. I don’t want to see anybody left behind to feel they are not welcome.”
While he has “mixed feeling” about the political situation today, which he calls complicated, nonetheless Stav reiterated that “for the future of the State of Israel, we need all the tribes that Israeli society consists of to feel that they take part in the responsibility of governing (the country).”
When asked whether he is optimistic that unity will be long-lasting, he said raising expectations is not a good idea, especially with such a shaky coalition in place due to the wide ideological differences between parties.
He paints himself as a realist when it comes to the current political state of affairs.
“I don’t want to raise expectations. I’m not optimistic in the sense that we know that it is not sustainable,” he said. “We cannot focus on what will happen tomorrow. Every day the government could fall apart.”
On the other hand, Stav is optimistic that Israeli society is strong enough to survive whatever happens in the political arena.
“We can survive as a society having a different government. The sun will rise and there will be a sunset and the Israeli society can flourish and develop even with a different government,” he said.