(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Former Jerusalem deputy mayor Yehoshua Pollack is to fill the Knesset seat left vacant by the death earlier this week of United Torah Judaism MK Rabbi Avraham Ravitz.
Pollack, who had held the city's planning and construction portfolio and who is currently the treasurer of Betar Illit, will serve for about four weeks, until the 18th Knesset is convened on February 24.
During that period, the plenum is not likely to be convened, nor is he likely to be summoned to any meetings of those Knesset committees that are still active.
Pollack will earn NIS 33,259 for the month he serves as an MK, but he will not be entitled to a car, an office outside the Knesset or the right to hire parliamentary assistants, nor will he accrue any retirement benefits.
Pollack noted Wednesday that the tiny taste of national politics he will experience during the coming weeks won't improve his chances of getting into the next Knesset.
"I am a Degel HaTorah member and I am active in it for many years, but my slot on the [United Torah Judaism] list is not realistic enough to enter the next Knesset," he said. Pollack is 11th on the party's list.
Pollack said he would hardly have time to process the fact that he is an MK and doubted he would be able to do anything to advance haredi issues during his short stint.
"But I am not new to this world and I have advanced issues such as housing solutions for young couples, in Jerusalem in the past and now in Betar Illit. The Knesset is not the only place where you can make a difference," he said.
Pollack praised his friend Ravitz, saying his death was a great loss to the haredi sector.
"He was an inspiring man and one of a kind," Pollack said. "He was an expert in explaining the positions of the haredi community in a way that brought people closer to his ideas.
"I think he also succeed in all the positions he fulfilled and managed to become loved by everyone," Pollak said. "It will certainly be difficult to find someone so pleasant and intelligent, who had both feet on the ground and endless talent."