Finance Minister Yair Lapid posted a confession of sorts on Facebook ahead of Yom Kippur in which he asked the Almighty to forgive him; not for making mistakes, God forbid, but rather for the things he has not yet managed to accomplish. The list drew mixed sympathies from his terrestrial followers who either praised him for taking on a difficult job or lambasted him for having failed his voters.
Last Thursday Lapid, who is a prolific Facebook user, posted a message written in the style of traditional Yom Kippur prayers that ask for forgiveness from God. Lapid listed each of the issues he said still need to be dealt with in Israeli society, ending each sentence with the phrase “there is still room for change.”
Among the items that the finance minister felt the need to ask forgiveness for were not fully implementing the draft of ultra-Orthodox soldiers, the continued need for affordable housing, and what he claimed was the practice of tycoons who divide the country up among themselves without fear that they may be called to task by the public.
By Sunday morning, the day after Yom Kippur, the post had received over 400 comments that included encouragement and criticism.
“Quite simply a pathetic status update that is beyond words,” wrote one commentator. “It is simply contempt for this holy day of the Jewish people.”
“Don’t worry about the 200 people who have just got it in for you (half of them don’t understand what they are writing themselves). There are hundreds of thousands behind you and who trust you,” a supporter wrote.
Lapid and his Yesh Atid party won 19 Knesset seats in January’s elections after a campaign that promised to lower the cost of living and improve the middle class’s quality of life. However, after being appointed finance minister, Lapid implemented a string of unpopular austerity measures that, he said, were necessary to counter a government deficit that ran into the tens of billions of shekels.