It was to Benjamin Netanyahu’s good fortune that the date of Israel’s change of government just happened to fall on the anniversary of the passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson.
That provided Bibi with the opportunity to remind his political rivals of what the rebbe, considered by some in the Chabad movement to be the soon-coming Messiah, told him decades ago in New York.
“I am reminded of comments made to me by the rabbi of Lubavitch: ‘You will need to fight with 119 people [i.e. all other members of Knesset], but you will certainly not be impressed by this as God is on this [i.e. your] side. Blessing and success to you. God will give a blessing and success,’” Netanyahu tweeted.
ג׳ תמוז ואני נזכר בדברים שאמר לי הרבי מליובאוויטש: ״אתה תצטרך להיאבק עם 119 אנשים, בוודאי לא תתרשם מזה כיוון שהקב״ה בצד הזה. ברכה והצלחה, נתינה של הקב״ה ברכה והצלחה״. pic.twitter.com/FvhbtRjHk9
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) June 13, 2021
Naftali Bennett appeared to react to Netanyahu’s post with a tweet of his own showing the incoming prime minister draped in a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) accompanied by the priestly benediction: “May God bless you, and keep you; may God make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; may God lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”
יְבָרֶכְךָ ה’ וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
יָאֵר ה’ פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
יִשָּׂא ה’ פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם. pic.twitter.com/ISij7TgvPC
— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) June 13, 2021
Make no mistake, God and the Bible continue to play a major role in Israeli politics, even if Israeli politicians all too often invoke the Almighty to legitimize their own ambitions.