Rabbi sworn in as Argentine cabinet minister

Sergio Bergman, who holds environment portfolio, takes his vows on a Hebrew Bible

Sergio Bergman, a rabbi who in December 2015 was sworn in as Argentina's Environment Minister. (YouTube/JewishNewsOne)
Sergio Bergman, a rabbi who in December 2015 was sworn in as Argentina's Environment Minister. (YouTube/JewishNewsOne)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Sergio Bergman, an Argentine rabbi who was appointed his country’s minister for the environment, has been sworn into office and pledged to serve his county on a copy of the Hebrew Bible.

Bergman was the only new minister who used a Hebrew Bible during Thursday’s ceremony, in which appointed ministers are usually sworn in on the Christian Bible. In keeping with a Jewish tradition to avoid swearing in recognition of God’s ultimate control over man’s actions and circumstances, Bergman also said that he “promised” to serve his country instead of the usual pledge featuring the words “I swear.”

“To God and the homeland, under the Tanakh, the holy Hebrew bible, yes I do promise,” Bergman said while placing his right hand over the copy provided to him. He was answering a question posed by President Mauricio Macri, who proceeded to hug the rabbi.

He is thought to be the only rabbi serving as a cabinet minister outside of Israel.

Bergman’s nomination last week drew praise from the Jewish community of his own country, and from that of neighboring Brazil.

CONIB, the umbrella group of Brazilian Jewish communities, on December 7 published a statement which said: “We are confident that you will be able to apply the Jewish values that characterize your performance, inside and outside the community.”

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.