Tekuma: The cult of Orit Struck?

Tekuma’s vote to remain on the Bayit Yehudi list, instead of defecting to Eli Yishai’s Yahad Ha’am Itanu party, showed that, contrary to its reputation, the party does not put its rabbis’ word before all else.

The “hardal” or religious-Zionist- leaning-toward-haredi party seeks guidance from several like-minded rabbis, the most high-profile of which is Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior, who strongly supported running with Yishai. However, Tekuma went against his ruling and Lior is looking for a new political partner.

What comes ahead of the rabbis for Tekuma’s central committee? Foremost, it seems, staying in a position of influence in a party that will surely pass the electoral threshold and for Construction Minister Uri Ariel, the party’s leader, to have a good shot at remaining a minister – though Ariel’s relationship with Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett had soured to the point that he was apparently willing to give both of those up to take part in Yishai’s experiment.

But something else was more important to Tekuma’s central committee than the rabbis’ word: The role of women in the party – or, more specifically, the role of one woman. If Tekuma had chosen to run with Yahad Ha’am Itanu, it would not have been able to have a woman on its list, as Yishai’s Rabbi Meir Mazuz says that would be problematic.

And if no woman can run on Tekuma’s list, that means Struck would be out of the picture. Continue reading

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