Rabbi Gershon Edelstein
Rabbi Gershon Edelstein Shlomi Cohen/Flash90

MK Benjamin Netanyahu, who heads the Likud party and the Knesset's opposition, on Friday morning arrived at the home of Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, a top Lithuanian-haredi rabbi and the head of the prestigious Ponevezh Yeshiva.

In recent weeks, it was reported that Netanyahu and his staff have made efforts to schedule a meeting with Rabbi Edelstein, but each time the requests were refused.

Officially, the meeting was scheduled so that Netanyahu could receive Rabbi Edelstein's blessing for a good year, ahead of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), but in reality Netanyahu wished to bury the discussion regarding the possibility that the haredi parties would join a government led by the center-left following the elections.

A haredi source noted that those close to Netanyahu are trying to dim the criticism of him by the Lithuanian-haredi Rabbi Bonim Schreiber, who earlier this week slammed the haredi parties' loyalty to the Likud bloc. Among other things, Rabbi Schreiber said that, "Netanyahu is a destroyer of Israel, one of those who has done the most to make the public sin."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who heads the National Unity party, met earlier this week with members of the Shas Council of Torah Sages, and was received extremely warmly. Footage received by Kan News showed Rabbi Reuven Elbaz, a member of the Council, calling Gantz, "honorable Prime Minister."

Shas chief Aryeh Deri responded to the news, telling Kan, "He really is prime minister now that [Prime Minister Yair] Lapid is abroad. Rabbi Elbaz is a righteous Jew who brings people closer. Many military officers and Israelis come to Rabbi Elbaz. There's no connection. I don't admire anyone. Netanyahu is the most appropriate person. He will not harm Judaism. Benny Gantz - I don't have a bad word to say about him. He brings 10-12 Knesset seats. He cannot be prime minister now. I am convinced there will not be a rotation."