Finance Minister-designate Bezalel Smotrich has suggested that the laws of the Torah will dictate Israel’s economic approach once he enters office.

In an interview with the Haredi weekly magazine “Mishpacha” published Thursday, the far-right lawmaker was asked what he plans on doing differently than his predecessor the secularist Avigdor Liberman.

“They’ve tried many different economic systems, right? They tried capitalism, neo-socialism, but there’s one thing they didn’t try — an economic approach called ‘So if you faithfully obey,'” Smotrich said.

He was referring to Deuteronomy 11:14, which reads: “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today — to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul — then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.”

“If we follow the Torah,” Smotrivh continued, “we’ll be rewarded with financial abundance and a great blessing. That will be my economic approach.”

He said that as finance minister he would examine “the macro and the micro, go into data and use the most professional language there is,” but stressed that above all else, “we’re religious Jews.”

“You can’t wear a kippa, go to synagogue and then behave as if you’re secular,” he continued.

“If we believe in God, then we believe. We believe that Israel needs to promote more Torah and Judaism, and more of the commandment to settle the land, and more acts of lovingkindness and more solidarity.

“And then God will reward us with great abundance,” he said.

Smotrich said this rationale was what prompted him to demand, during coalition negotiations earlier this month, an increase in stipends granted to yeshiva students by the state.

“I did it because studying the Torah is important, but also because I want Israel to officially declare: ‘Studying the Torah is important to us.'”

Addressing the issue of the integration of Haredim in the job market, Smotrich said the Haredi public is “interested in integrating… but wants to do so while maintaining its way of life, its beliefs, and the government should allow that.”

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to take office in the coming days after reaching interim deals with his coalition partners following weeks of extensive negotiations.

In the agreement with Shas, reached overnight Wednesday-Thursday, Likud agreed to name the former longtime party’s chairman Aryeh Deri the interior and health minister. After roughly two years, Deri will replace Smotrich as finance minister. The Shas chairman will also be named deputy prime minister.

The coalition is expected to pass a special law enabling the Deri’s appointment as a minister despite recently receiving a suspended prison sentence for tax fraud.

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Next treasury chief Smotrich: ‘Following the Torah will lead to financial abundance’

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08.12.2022

Finance Minister-designate Bezalel Smotrich has suggested that the laws of the Torah will dictate Israel’s economic approach once he enters office.

In an interview with the Haredi weekly magazine “Mishpacha” published Thursday, the far-right lawmaker was asked what he plans on doing differently than his predecessor the secularist Avigdor Liberman.

“They’ve tried many different economic systems, right? They tried capitalism, neo-socialism, but there’s one thing they didn’t try — an economic approach called ‘So if you faithfully obey,'” Smotrich said.

He was referring to Deuteronomy 11:14, which reads: “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today — to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul — then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.”

“If we follow the Torah,” Smotrivh continued, “we’ll be rewarded with financial abundance and a great blessing. That will be my economic approach.”

He said that as finance minister he would examine “the macro and the........

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