web analytics
August 28, 2015 / 13 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last

Salsman-071814-Dog

Like Avraham Avinu, Yuli (Yoel) Edelstein, the current Speaker of the Knesset and a Likud MK, has a father who sells another religion. Like Yosef HaTzaddik, he spent time in jail on trumped up charges and then rose to great power in the government, second only to the Prime Minister. Like Moshe Rabbeinu, he is a teacher, modest and approachable, and like Yeshoshua bin Nun, he advocates for his people as they make aliyah and settle in Israel. And like HaRav Abraham Isaac Kook, he loves Israel and every creature in it.

The Speaker of the Knesset is the second most powerful position in Israel, and Edelstein takes this responsibility and his position seriously, recently refusing a nomination to the position of President tendered by Bibi Netanyahu himself. “This is a challenging position,” he says “and my word is my word.” He was determined to finish his term despite the flattering offer of the presidency. “We don’t leave a job unfinished to go after something we think might be better.”

Edelstein has integrity and he’s a nice guy; a politician about whom no one can say a bad word. And the Israeli Knesset isn’t a place where people politely refrain from offering criticism. Edelstein was warned early in his career that being a nice guy wouldn’t get him far. But the warnings proved baseless and he has climbed the echelons of power without having to raise his voice or sling mud.

“There is another way,” he says quoting an old ad slogan. “You can do things differently.” He’s been in six governments, first founding the Israel B’Aliyah party together with former co-dissident Natan Sharansky and then later merging their party with Likud.

As Speaker of the Knesset, Edelstein appears at many venues, from schools to television, and chairs the Bible Quiz on Yom Ha’atzmaut which marks the anniversary of his release from prison.

Today, Edelstein, 55, lives in picturesque Neve Etzion, a settlement town in Gush Etzion where he unwinds on Shabbat from a grueling schedule of politics and PR, advocating for Israel on the one hand and trying to change it for the better on the other.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post last year, the Knesset speaker recounted how he and his wife Tatiana (Tanya) became observant as underground Hebrew teachers in the USSR.Saltsman-071814-Edelstein

“People would come from abroad and not eat in our house,” he said. “At first, my wife and I started keeping a kosher house because we said people endangered their lives to bring us books and recordings of Hebrew lessons, so how can we not serve them food?”  Both he and his wife were Hebrew teachers, having met when Tanya took his class.

Edelstein had started learning Hebrew when his maternal grandfather died, carrying the torch of Yiddishkeit aloft amid the dangerous winds of Communist Russia.

After spending three years in prison while his wife advocated for him, slipping him matzah on Pesach and saving him from Siberia by threatening to go on a hunger strike, the couple made aliyah in 1987 and Yuli has been in the Knesset since 1997.

Today Edelstein is a fully observant Jew, a dignitary and diplomat honored at functions in Israel and abroad. Having studied languages in university, he is fluent in Hebrew, English and of course Mother Russian. And everywhere he goes in Israel and without, he is charming yet uncompromising in articulating his beliefs of Israel’s right to its land.

Yuli Edelstein has been on numerous committees championing the rights of everyone from Holocaust survivors to Knesset members. He has always supported the underdog, once even quite literally, legislating a law that prohibits the abandonment of pets. Edelstein himself has a dog and a cat (both from the street, survivors like him). “The common denominator of any pet I’ve ever had,” he said, “is that they’re mutts.” His current pets are a 5-year-old female dog named Kaza (because he found her at Kav Aza – Gaza) and an all-black 13-year-old cat named Typex (white-out).

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Nice Guys Don’t Finish Last”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
State Department Spokesperson John Kirby. Aug. 27, 2015.
State Dept Spox: No Worries, Parchin has No Nuclear Dimensions
Latest Indepth Stories
PA Chairman Abbas proudly celebrating with released terrorists.

The convicted murderer was released from Israeli prison with more than two dozen other sociopaths

New Israel Fund

JCF is a donor/supporter of The New Israel Fund which supports BDS & wants IDF soldiers prosecuted

Moshe Feiglin

The ‘Peace Industry’ promotes its adherents; weak leaders, both military & political, is the result

Labour Party Head of Israel

The conundrum for US Labor Zionists: Lobbying for Iran deal while Israel’s Left lobby’s against it.

What does the Torah want from our small nation described as “they who struggle with God & with men”?

Mr. Nadler’s support for the deal is a naked political gift to a president who has defied logic in his quest to reinvent international affairs according to his ideological inclinations.

In practical terms, the proclamation surely makes a compelling argument:

BDS activists are not shy about discriminating against Israelis simply because they are Israelis –

A Federal Ct Judge ordered the PA to post JUST $10 million due to interfering letter from State Dept

Osakwe, like many other students at the CAMERA conference, described an extremely hostile campus environment when it comes to the issue of Israel.

Many people view a letter or manuscript by a chassidic rebbe or the Chofetz Chaim as intrinsically holy.

Key Iran Lobby figures had been major donors to both Biden and Kerry when they were in the Senate,

Abbas’ resignation has now sparked speculation about who will fill his place if and ‎when he leaves

If you listen to the mullahs in Tehran, Americans and Israelis are the targets.

More Articles from Rosally Saltsman
Saltsman-073115

“Isn’t it enough that the whole world hates us? WHy do we have to hate each other?”

Lessons-in-Emunah-new

Nissim Menashe 50, a resident of Petach Tikvah, celebrated last Israel Independence Day like most of the country, he had a barbecue with his family. It was a memorable event. He was standing close to the grill as a relative went to light it but because of the wind, the flame ignited the bottle of lighting […]

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

For those who doubt or entirely disbelieve the phenomenon, this book will change your mind.

Today’s smiles are in the merit of my friend and I made a conscious effort to smile throughout the day.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

“My mother raised us to independence, all of us,” Rivka says, which certainly plays itself out in the fact that all three children have taken a different path.

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/nice-guys-dont-finish-last/2014/07/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: