On Motzei Lag BaOmer, the Rebbe of Vizhnitz made an historic personal visit to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to secure the latter’s promise to uphold the status quo in religious affairs in the state of Israel.
The Rebbe made the unpublicized trip from Chatzor Haglilit to the PM’s residence in Yerushalayim, and discussed the matter for over 45 minutes. At the conclusion, Netanyahu escorted his distinguished visitor to the door.
On Wednesday night, the Likud signed a coalition agreement with the chareidi parties that included a pledge to preserve the status quo.
It was the thought to be the first time that the Vizhnitzer Rebbe has ever crossed the threshold of the PM’s residence on Balfour Street, the reverse of the usual practice of the nation’s leaders going to pay their respects to the religious leaders. Indeed, as a gesture of recognition, the Rebbe was invited to enter, not by the regular doorway, but through the entrance normally reserved for heads of state.
At the opening of the talk, the Rebbe praised Netanyahu for his handling of the coronavirus crisis. “We see that in Eretz Yisrael we have a special siyata Dishamaya, protection from Above,” the Rebbe said, noting the small number of fatalities compared to other countries.
Netanyahu shared stories of his own family background, in particular of his grandfather Rav Nosson Melikovsky. At the conclusion, he thanked the Rebbe for making the trip from Chatzor Haglalit, where he is in voluntary quarantine.
Updated Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 3:45 pm added details