With Self-Effacing Quip, Rabbi Litzman Responds to Surging Yair Lapid

Israeli Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, of UTJ. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

At an inauguration event for a new nursing home this week, Health Minister Rabbi Yaaakov Litzman discussed, among other things, the lead Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid has taken in national polls. Unlike Lapid, he said, he was happy to serve all the people, without trying to “divide and conquer.”

In a self-effacing quip, Rabbi Litzman said that he would be the first to admit that “I may know nothing about health, but it’s not so bad. Far worse is a finance minister who knows nothing about the economy.” Considering the differences between himself and Lapid – whose university education and access to money and power were certainly quite different from his own yeshivah education –Rabbi Litzman suggests that Lapid’s epic failures as finance minister in the previous government, when housing prices shot up and the gap grew between rich and poor, were noticeable.

On the main topic, Rabbi Litzman said that he expected legislation to provide state assistance to the children who are forced to put their parents in nursing homes. “There is no choice but to institute national nursing home insurance,” he said. “I am happy to say that in a recent meeting, Bank of Israel Chairperson Karnit Flug expressed support for the idea. Since then we have made even more progress, with the prime minister appointing a panel to discuss legislation.”

The institution of national nursing home insurance is a feature of the coalition agreement UTJ signed, and “I am very proud of this,” said Rabbi Litzman.

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