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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Uri Orbach’

A Personal Reflection on MK Uri Orbach z’l

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Despite the title above, I never met Uri Orbach personally. I read his many books, read his children books to my children and laughed with my kids at his clever poems, rhymes, stories and wit, while we smiled at the outstanding illustrations from Shay Charka (who partnered with Orbach on many books). His books and newspaper articles for adults were witty, funny, introspective and always brought out a smile.

So how did I know him so well – in addition to his books and articles, he co-hosted “The Last Word” daily radio show on IDF radio. Uri was the right-leaning, kippa-wearing host and opposite him was the left-leaning, secular Irit Linor. Their cheerful daily banter on politics and religion was a breath of fresh air in Israel’s strident media – showing that 2 sides of the spectrum could intelligently disagree on issues of major importance with humor and respect. If you wanted to see how Israel’s diverse mosaic of citizens could get along with each other, Uri was a great representative for religious Zionism. He could get his message across without yelling, without insulting, without making someone feel uncomfortable – yet with a kindness and humor that was infectious and left you wanting to hear more.

I looked through my blog for tidbits about Uri from over the years and it brought a smile to my face (nor did it surprise me at all) that he was on the jury for deciding the great Efrat Cholent competition in 2011.

Uri entered politics and represented the “Bayit Yehudi” party and his background was a living example of the party; raised and educated with the values of religious Zionism, he attended the Nechalim religious high school and then the hesder Yeshiva in Kiryat Shmona (a 5 year program of yeshiva studies and IDF combat service).

Uri brought a unique value to the Knesset of togetherness that rarely exists in Israel’s spectrum. Orbach had no “bitter political enemies” in the Knesset, and while he had his direction, ideology and opinions, Orbach was a rare common denominator that all could agree upon – he was a mentsch, a leader, and a friend. Uri was a cabinet member in the current government responsible for senior citizen services and you can still hear his influence in the gently comical ads on the radio, advertising improved services for the elderly.

It is hard to succinctly summarize the life of someone who wrote so much, communicated via radio, TV, internet, newspapers, social media, and touched the lives of so many in Israel during his short lifetime of 54 years. I hope we can continue his legacy of finding some common ground between us to continue the dream of building the State of Israel, together.

May his memory be a blessing.

Jameel@Muqata

Netanyahu Eulogizes Orbach

Monday, February 16th, 2015

“I mourn the passing of Minister Uri Orbach, a writer, a journalist, a spiritual man and a Jewish patriot,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday afternoon following the death of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) minister and Knesset Member.

Netanyahu added, “Uri won over all who listened to him with his charm, knowledge and deep wisdom which stemmed from the depths of his soul. He had a deep sensitivity for every human being, a sensitivity that he brought with him as Senior Citizens Minister and to all his endeavors. Despite his exceptional qualities, there was no malice in him.

“I never met anyone who knew him and did not love him. Last night, alongside members of his family, I said goodbye to him at the hospital with a profound sense of grief and loss.

“Uri will be sorely missed by his dear family, his Cabinet colleagues and the State of Israel.”

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Update: Bayit Yehudi Knesset Member Uri Orbach Dies

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Ori Orbach , Knesset Member and minister of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, died around noon Monday. He will be buried at 4:30 p.m. in his home city of Modi’in, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

He was 54, married with four children and was a resident of Ofra, in Samaria. Orbach was a former journalist and founded a children’s magazine.

Orbach wrote for secular and religious newspapers and also had a regular broadcast on Kol Yisrael (Israel Radio).

He was known for a gentle sense of humor, and he helped make the image national religious movement respectable even to those who oppose a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

Orbach served as Minister for Pensioners in the past Knesset and was a candidate for re-election.

Israel Radio, part of the anti-right-wing media establishment, lavished praise on Orbach after his death, citing his pleasant manner and character that was the opposite of the typical politician.

He was credited for helping Naftali Bennett build a strong Bayit Yehudi party.

Bennett said after his death, “My big brother has passed away. Uri was a man who was full of humor and was serious, wise and honest, with courage and a vision… Uri had a personal magic that never stopped. He knew how to make children happy with stories, to make their parents laugh with his wisdom and to bring respect to the elderly.

“He helped grow a generation of youth in the media and show them that their dreams are possible. Generations of religious and secular Jews learned from him to connect the two worlds.

“Orbach loved the Land of Israel and every person without limits. He loved the People of Israel, and the People of Israel loved him.

“There was no one in the cold and cynical world someone who was so loved as Uri.

I have lost today a dear friend.”

 

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Bayit Yehudi MK Uri Orbach in Serious Condition

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Uri Orbach, a leading Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Knesset Member and outgoing Pensioners’ Minister, is in the hospital for recurring  blood disease, but his condition has improved slightly and is now not considered the be life-threatening.

He was hospitalized two weeks ago, and his condition deteriorated over the weekend but improved on Monday.

Now I must devote my time to urgent and important treatment for my health,” Orbach, a former journalist, wrote on Facebook  “At present I must focus immediately on treating my condition to get back to health. Thank you for your prayers on my behalf.”

He asked people not to visit but to pray for a complete and speedy recovery for Uri Shraga ben Penina.

 

Jewish Press Staff

Update: Bayit Yehudi Finally Has the Education Ministry – and Turns it Down

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

UPDATE: In a very unexpected move, the Bayit Yehudi party has turned down the Ministry of Education portfolio, as well as the Welfare ministry. The party said it was inappropriate to take over these ministerial position for such a short period of time.


Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett is slated to take over the Education Ministry, and another party official will take over the Welfare Ministry, Yediot Acharonot reported Thursday.

Bayit Yehudi, or its predecessor, the Mafdal party, hasn’t held the Education Minister’s portfolio since 1999, when Meretz took it over. Historically, the Ministry of Education has always been considered the flagship ministry for the religious-Zionist party.

After 15 years in the desert, even 3 short months of water looks good.

Both Education and Welfare ministries were held by Yesh Atid Knesset Members, who quit after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fired their party’s leader Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, prompting new elections.

Bennett, who is Minister of Economy, has not officially responded to Netanyahu’s offer, which also includes giving the Jewish Home party the Welfare ministry. It probably will beheaded by either MK Uri Orbach or Housing Minister Uri Ariel.

Yesterday, Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) received the Ministry of Health.

Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) has been approved to receive the position of Deputy Minister of Science and Information. Hotovely is already the Deputy Minister of Transportation and Road Safety.

Ofir Akunis received responsibility for Environmental Quality as a deputy minister.

Netanyahu appointed the lawyer Ofir Nimrod to oversea the Ministry of Finance.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Jewish Home Punched Out in Losing Bid to Keep Terrorists Jailed

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

A Cabinet committee unsurprisingly defeated on Sunday a motion by the Jewish Home to propose a bill that would prevent the government from freeing heavy-duty terrorists.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted 8-5 against the proposal, with Likud, Yesh Atid and Livni’s HaTunah party minsters opposing it and Jewish Home and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers voting for it.

With Justice Minister Tzipi Livni heading the committee, the bill had no chance. Click here to understand how she wears three hats, all of them oversized.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, a senior Likud member and a close aide to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, characteristically played the role of a sore winner and told Jewish Home Minister Uri Orbach, “If you don’t like it, you can resign.” Sa’ar berated the Jewish Home for daring to propose a bill that would have gone against government policy.

Livni was even cruder with her snipe that the government does not act on the orders “of the rabbis in the West Bank.”

The party stated after the vote, “This is a sad day for the struggle against terrorism in Israel.”

For his part, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not directly mention at the Cabinet meeting Sunday morning the second step in the four-stage plan to free 104 terrorists, a program that started in July to pave the way for the resumption of talks between Israeli negotiators, headed by Livni, and the Palestinian Authority. Instead, he made an undisguised reference to the deal, stating that “promises” must be kept, as reported here in an article on mortar shelling attacks on Israel today.

No one reminded him that he once promised that he never would vote to expel Jews from their homes in Gush Katif. That was before he passed up every effort to vote against the expulsion of 9,000 Jews from Gaza until after was a done deal and his vote did not matter.

Sa’ar and Livni got in their licks, and the terrorists will be released, but the Jewish Home party is far from down and out.

Freeing terrorists, especially for talks and not even for a solider, a civilian or a dead body of one of the two, is decreasingly popular, and it is doubtful that a majority of Israelis are much more than unenthusiastic over the idea.

Every previous release of terrorists has been followed by attacks by several of the same terrorists. Every time, the government finds another reason to say it won’t happen again. Two years ago, it went through he ludicrous procedure of forcing each one to sign on the dotted line, “I will be a good boy, and will not return to terror,” before being free to kill more Israelis, more than 120 at last count.

This time, the government experts on terror says the terrorists are too old to return to terror. Time will tell how they celebrate their birthdays, but it would not wise to attend the party because the cake might blow up in your face.

With every attack by freed terrorists, the voters will remember who voted to free them and who voted to keep them in jail.

But the Jewish Home has a lot of other reasons to be confident that it can buck the government even if it is a member of the coalition.

Every poll in the past several months has shown the party is more and more popular. It has shed the old National Religious Party’s stigma of considering a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria as the only thing that matters in the country. Unlike the NRP, Jewish Home and its chairman Naftali Bennett do not “take orders from rabbis.”

It has taken popular stands on civil marriages, leniency towards homosexuality, like it or not, and it has forged into the area of consumer rights, once a monopoly of the Meretz party.

Elections are probably a long time away, but Sa’ar and Livni may end up taking it on the chin.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

New Netanyahu Coalition Govt All Cobbled and Ready, Maybe

Monday, March 18th, 2013

On Monday evening, the Knesset will host the swearing in ceremony for Israel’s 33rd government, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term—second consecutive—as prime minister (his first term ran from June 1996 to July 1999).

Immediately after the ceremony, Netanyahu will convene a brief cabinet meeting, with a toast. Then the bunch (22 ministers and 8 deputies) will travel to the presidential residence, for the traditional group picture.

The Knesset session will open with the selection of the Speaker of the House. It will likely be Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, who will replace the former Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, who wanted very much to continue in his post but, unfortunately, had committed the ultimate sin of criticizing the Prime Minister’s anti-democratic tendencies, not the kind of slight which Netanyahu’s wife Sara easily forgives.

As usual, Netanyahu never shared with Rivlin his plan to depose him. In fact, as far back as a year ago, he assured the popular Speaker—who is also closely associated with the Settlement movement—that he’d have his support for the post of President when Shimon Peres completes his 7-year term, 2014.

Yuli Edelstein’s life’s story is fascinating: Born in the Soviet Union to Jewish parents who converted to Christianity (his father is a Russian Orthodox priest), Edelstein discovered his Jewish connection through his grandparents. He studied Hebrew back when that was considered a subversive act, for which, in 1984, he was sent to Siberia (the charges were drug related, but everybody knew it was the Hebrew thing). He made aliyah with his wife, Tanya, served in the army, and entered politics, ending up in the Knesset in 1996. He has switched between several parties, until finally landing in the Likud, and has held several ministerial portfolios. And if he doesn’t catch Sara’s ire, he could become as memorable a Speaker as Rubie Rivlin.

But the biggest losers, without a doubt, are the Haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. They were almost literally kicked out by Yair Lapid, who stated openly that, should he be seen in the government group picture with the Haredim, his voters would abandon him. Surprisingly, Naftali Bennett, his newly found brother from a different father (Yair’s father, the late MK Tommy Lapid, was a true hater of the religion), supported the dubious position that, in order to truly help the Haredi public, government had to first be cleared of Haredi partners.

Shas, a party that depends completely on patronage for its very existence, is seething with anger over Bennett’s “betrayal.” It’s hard, however, to take seriously the victimized self-pity of Shas, whose spiritual father Rav Ovadia Yosef dubbed the Jewish Home party a “Goy Home.” Altogether, it appears that, perhaps counter intuitively, the National Religious leaders as well as the rank and file, have been harboring heaps of resentment against the Haredim. The Haredi slights of several decades, including their occupation of the Ministry of Religious Services and the Chief rabbinate, doling out jobs to Haredi officials who reigned over a population that looks nothing like them—those slighted chickens have been coming back to roost.

Take for instance Rabbi Hayim Drukman, who responded to both the Haredi pols and to Netanyahu, who accused the Lapid-Bennett axis of “boycotting” the Haredi parties. Rabbi Drukman Argued that “the Haredi public are the biggest boycotters, boycotting for years the Torah of the national religious public.”

“Any Haredi apparatchik who gets elected to the Knesset, immediately becomes a rabbi, while the real rabbis of the national religious public are noted in the Haredi press by their first names (without the title ‘Rabbi’). Is this not boycotting?” Rabbi Druckman wrote in the Saturday shul paper “Olam Katan.”

Inside Shas, the short knives have already been drawn and they’re aimed at MK Aryeh Deri, the former convict who came back from the cold to lead Shas into a glorious stalemate (11 seats before, 11 after).

“We were very disappointed in Deri,” a senior Shas pol told Ma’ariv. “He did not bring the votes he promised Rav Ovadia, there was no significant change in seats, and, in fact, Deri is responsible for our failure.”

In United Torah Judaism they also seem to regret their alliance with Shas, it’s highly likely that, in a few months, they’ll opt to enter the government without Shas.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/new-netanyahu-coalition-govt-all-cobbled-and-ready-maybe/2013/03/18/

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