Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman has aroused the scorn of the haredi community by posting a satirical Purim video where he dresses up as a haredi rabbi and permits two policies fiercely opposed by the haredi establishment, and bans a controversial practice of the Chief Rabbinate.
In his sixteen-second video, the former defense minister dons fake peot, side-locks, a bad imitation of a haredi fedora, fake glasses, and declares himself to be the “great, righteous rabbi of Kishinev,” where he was born.
“I rule that public transport on Shabbat is permitted, civil marriage is permitted, and DNA tests are prohibited. Amen,” intones “Rabbi” Liberman.
The haredi political parties United Torah Judaism and Shas have long opposed public transport on Shabbat, as well as civil marriage which they say will give state endorsement to Jewish intermarriage and create severe Jewish-law personal status problems for numerous citizens.
Liberman’s comments about DNA refer to the recent revelations that the state rabbinical courts sometimes use DNA testing to help prove Jewish status, and have even required citizens to do the test if they wanted to get married in Israel.
UTJ MK Yaakov Asher called on the public “to pray for the man who is in a mandates crisis,” a reference to Yisrael Beytenu’s dire situation in election opinion polls which have put him on the cusp of falling below the electoral threshold and dropping out of the Knesset.
Shas MK Michael Malchieli said that Liberman’s video proved the Talmudic aphorism that “when wine goes in, truth comes out.”
Said Malchieli “Liberman has the Jewish spark and he wants to return to his roots and desires to become a rabbi. It’s just hard for him to admit it.”
Senior UTJ MK Moshe Gafni said that there was “no chance that through idiotic jokes he will go above the electoral threshold.”
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