Sisterhood Blog

Haredi Wives to Sara Netanyahu: 'Be Our Esther'

By Frimet Goldberger

  • Print
  • Share Share

Mazal Tov! Sara Netanyahu has been crowned Queen Esther of Israel.

Eighteen wives of Haredi Members of Knesset penned a letter to Mrs. Netanyahu urging her to use her powers as Queen of the Israeli empire to influence her husband, Benjamin Netanyahu, Emperor of all Israelis. According to Israel National News, the women pleaded with Mrs. Netanyahu to appeal to her husband to strike down a pending law being drafted by a Knesset committee. This law is set to criminalize Haredi non-enlistment in the IDF, further exacerbating the tension between Haredim and the general public.

“Please, we are crying out to you,” they wrote. “Fulfill your responsibility to the nation, and use your great influence with your husband the Prime Minister to prevent this mortal blow to such a large segment of Israel’s population.”

The women invoked the Biblical story of the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim. Mrs. Netanyahu, they explained, can be the modern-day Queen Esther — a Jewish heroine in this battle of perceived Torah annihilation.

“Your actions could go down in Jewish history; you could be remembered as the one who prevented the creation of a terrible rift in the nation and a death blow to Torah scholars and yeshiva students,” they pleaded.

Mrs. Netanyahu has a tough act to follow with Queen Esther — a Jewish girl who enchanted the Persian King Ahasuerus and influenced him to overturn a decree set by his prime minister, Haman, to exterminate the Jews.

But Sara Netanyahu is not a queen; she is not at odds with her husband about annihilating the Jews; she has children who are enlisted in the Israeli Defense Forces, and cannot be expected to identify with a request for exemption for other’s children.

The entire premise of this letter indicates a sad disconnect from reality from both sides of the aisle — Haredi and non-religious.

Did the MK wives think that the drama and tears from one sister to another will effectively explain why Haredim should be enrolled in yeshivas and not the army? Pleas that hearken back to Biblical heroines will not sway a queen, or her king, of a democratic country to give special treatment to a subgroup. And it shouldn’t.

Photo credit Getty Images


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Queen Esther, enlistment, Purim, Jewish, Israel, IDF, Haredi

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.