Jan 22, 2013
Chabad Votes, For More Than One

Lubavitchers are voting for more than one party in Tuesday's elections in Israel. Who did Mashpia Rabbi Zalman Gopin endorse?

By COLlive reporter
Photos by Eliyahu Levi and Raz Blizovsky

Israel registered Tuesday its largest voter turnout in years, where more than 2 million Israelis have exercised their right to vote in the general election as of 2 pm.

Among them were Lubavitchers around the country - but they were not voting for the same party.

With Chabad's policy not to shy from political endorsements and the Rebbe's instruction from the 1980s to vote for the "most haredi party," options ran wild.

Candidates and leaders of right-wing and religious parties have been campaigning in Chabad areas for the last few weeks, each claiming to fit the Rebbe's description.

At their disposal was our Hebrew affiliate, COL.org.il, who took a neutral approach and gave a platform to all parties vying for Chabad's floating votes.

The right's rising star Naftali Bennett, Chairman of The Jewish Home Party modern-orthodox party, told of how his studies in a Chabad school in Montreal has instilled in him a commitment for Judaism.

Aryeh Deri, leader of the Sephardi haredi Shas party, stated that contrary to long-held perceptions, he was not in support of the failed Oslo Accords while he served in the Yitzchak Rabin's administration.

Speaking to COL's Hertzel Kosashvilli, Deri noted how he helped the development of the Kfar Chabad village and that his party will fight against the conversions bill which the Rebbe vehemently opposed.

Michael Ben-Ari, co-founder of the Otzma LeYisrael nationalist party and a disciple of slain Rabbi Meir Kahane, stated how he will remain true to safeguarding Israel's borders.

And then there is veteran politician Rabbi Meir Porush of the Agudat Yisrael faction of United Torah Judaism frum party.

He is a regular in Chabad circles and many remember his fruitful tenure as Deputy Minister of Housing in Benjamin Netanyahu's 1996 government.

While many chassidim voiced discomfort for voting for a party that includes Litvaks, whose Yated Neeman newspaper often attacks Chabad, Porush made significant headway.

When he visited Kfar Chabad on election day, Porush was warmly greeted by the village's respected Rabbi Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi who told him, "your success is our success."

2 elder Chabad mashpiim Rabbi Chaim Sholom Deitsch and Rabbi Zalman Gopin both endorsed United Torah Judaism, stating it was indeed the "most haredi party."

But that did not stop Hillel Horowitz, a known activist from Chevron, to visit the Kfar and the Nachlas Har Chabad neighborhood in Kiryat Malachi, promising his support for anything Chabad cares for.

After all, his political future is on the line. He is placed in the uncertain spot of #13 in The Jewish Home Party.

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Opinions and Comments
our rabbi of habayit hayehudi
is not in rabbi hillel horowitz is number 13 and the party only got 12 seats
(1/22/2013 6:08:04 PM)
the rebbe made a statment to vote for gimmel or the most charadi party, it was a one time thing some time ago and regarding the igros it was to a individual for a indvidual situation.....there is no doubt shlemois haaretz was the rebbes main concern....voting gimmel or shas is awaste of time....indded voting for atzumut yosrielis waste as well....voting for bait yehudi or even likkud is the way...
(1/22/2013 8:55:36 PM)
to live in paracha shavoua
paracha bechellah perek vav כ ישראל עושים רצונו של מקום השמאל נעשית ימין
(1/23/2013 7:00:12 AM)
That people voted for Otzma L'Yisrael, after the polls were not certain of whether it would even pass the saf to enter the Knesset. Those votes would have been better put giving Bennett more seats.

I would have voted Otzma L'Yisrael...instead of Bennett...but I was incredibly doubtful of whether they even stood a chance. Now, I am glad. But it is a real chaval that Bennett didn't get 14 seats...
(1/30/2013 6:08:55 AM)
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