Jailed Former PM Olmert Putting On Tefillin, Getting Closer to Yiddishkeit


Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is getting in closer touch with his Yiddishkeit while in jail, Walla reported.

According to an inmate at the minimum-security Maasiyahu Prison, where Olmert has been incarcerated since early February — and where he is to serve a 19-month term after being convicted of bribery and obstruction of justice — he has begun donning tefillin, participating in Minchah and Maariv minyanim and studying Torah and halacha. This, said the inmate, the former premier, Yerushalayim mayor, government minister and Knesset member has been doing with real estate developer Meir Rabin, who is a serving a five-year sentence for his part in the same affair, surrounding the Holyland apartment complex in Yerushalayim.

A lawyer by profession, Olmert never made a secret of his secularism, though he – like most Israeli politicians – always professed respect for religious Jews.

Sources close to a number of inmates at Maasiyahu told Walla that Olmert resides in a wing of the prison with 10 other inmates, which makes up a minyan.

One of these sources said, “They still have trouble conducting Shacharis as a minyan, because each has his own activities in the morning, other than on Shabbos. But during Minchah and Maariv, Olmert takes part with the others.”

According to these sources, Olmert is sharing a cell with former Bank Hapoalim Chairman of the Board Danny Dankner and former Jerusalem city engineer Uri Shitrit. Rabin, who became friendly with Olmert, shares a cell with former Yerushalayim deputy mayor Eli Simhayoff. “Each one has a job in the wing,” one source told Walla. “Dankner, for example, is the cook.”

(c) 2016 The Algemeiner Journal

{Matzav.com Israel}