MK Distal-Atbaryan Discusses Embracing Shabbos Observance

By Aryeh Stern

(Gitty Golds)

MK Galit Distal-Atbaryan (Likud) spoke in a radio interview last week about the recent process of chizuk she has undergone.

In the interview, she was asked if she has become a full baalas teshuvah, to which she replied: “I will not say yes or no to that question.”

According to her, she has started observing Shabbos fully.

“For several weeks, I have been observing Shabbat fully. I have also begun to recite brachot before eating, but I still do not want to adhere to these definitions [of baal teshuvah]. It’s a personal matter between a person and their Creator,” she said.

She added, “I have learned the philosophy of all types of religions, and when I was exposed to Yahadut, I asked why they didn’t expose me to this amazing material!”

During last week’s discussion in the Knesset Education Committee on teaching students in schools during wartime, concerns were raised about the blurring of Zionist values, heritage, and identity in the education system. Following the committee meeting, MK Distal delivered a speech that later sparked discussions on social media.

“After my speech, many secular individuals wrote to me, ‘You have made me curious.’ It depends on how it is marketed. My step will not be limited to lectures alone. I hope to succeed in introducing more Yahadut into the school curriculum,” she said.

She sharply criticized the state education system, claiming it robbed her of her identity: “What is happening now is a thousand times worse. If I graduated, after 12 years of school, completely confused about who I am, where I came from, where I am going, why am I at all – and today the situation is a thousand times worse.

“I read the data according to which the majority of teachers in Israel claim there is not enough teaching of Yahadut or Jewish identity in schools, and the majority of parents in Israel claim the same. Yahadut is a metaphysical, spiritual, logical dynamite. In South Korea, they introduced the study of Gemara – the Talmud is a gym for logic – why was it denied to me? Why did I not know until my late age that Yahadut tells us that we are not physical beings undergoing a spiritual experience but spiritual beings undergoing a momentary physical experience? It has philosophy, spirituality, and science. Yahadut preceded science! Today science is approaching Yahadut, even to the concept of the atomic particle. We are talking about a treasure of knowledge. People don’t know what’s there. Generation after generation are growing up ignorant.

“They cut off our roots from under our feet,” Distal lamented.

“I was so thirsty for knowledge, after 12 years of studying fundamentals. Metaphysical philosophy, philosophy of religion, Eastern philosophy – nothing, emptiness, dust, compared to the diamond we sit on and bury! Our children don’t know what it means to be Jewish; they have no idea. Today, I study and say, ‘If only I had known this at a younger age.’ It’s identity, it’s our roots. It’s the power to fight.

“Israel needs to reboot the education system. Yahadut is the eternal truth. We are sitting on an eternal truth, on a diamond. The time has come to make this diamond, this knowledge, this spirituality that contains humanism, that has the universal foundation today – we brought it. And people don’t know. Israelis are growing up thinking that their identity is that they love pizza.”

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