Schneider Aviel

MembersNaftali and Jacob: Both Cheated Their Way to the Top

Fraud is nothing new. It’s a common part of both the political and biblical landscapes

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Photo: Amit Shabi/POOL

Current Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is accused of fraud by many in the country. With his right-wing Yamina party, he cheated the voters because he entered into a government coalition under Yair Lapid together with left-wing and Arab parties. Before the election, he had assured his voters that under no circumstances would he do this.

Right-wing, religious and Orthodox voters and politicians in particular are now criticizing him. They simply cannot forgive him for usurping the Kingdom of Israel by deceit. "God will punish you for this, God will not forgive you," Bennett is now being told.

But cheating is nothing new. It’s a common part of both the political and biblical landscapes. This is something that religious Jews understand far better than their secular siblings. How does Jacob's deception differ from Naftali’s? Both of them cheated in similar ways. Is one allowed to cheat, the other not? Or does one accept the price because there is a higher purpose behind it?

First of all, one has to ask,...

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