Several members of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party have submitted a bill proposing that banknotes issued by the Bank of Israel contain the phrase “In God we trust” in Hebrew.
“The Jewish people believe in one simple truth: that everything is given by the grace of the Lord, including economic prosperity. Therefore, it’s important to pay thanks to the Lord and proclaim our faith on bills minted in the State of Israel,” said the bill’s sponsor, Israel’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Moshe Abutbul.
The bill uses the word “HaShem,” Hebrew for “the Name,” in keeping with Jewish tradition against writing out the name of God.
Abutbul referred to the United States as an example of a country that uses the phrase on its currency and his proposal states that the phrase would be a “talisman for the economic success of the State of Israel.”
Avigdor Liberman, head of Yisrael Beytenu party (“Israel is Our Home”) and a former finance minister, mocked the bill, calling it “an interesting way to fight the cost of living.”
On social media, Liberman posted, “What’s next? Will they try to put a picture of Deri on every bank note?” Israel has been struggling with a high cost of living, despite its economic successes.
In December, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said in an interview with the “Mishpacha" Orthodox magazine. “If we follow the Torah, we’ll be rewarded with financial abundance and a great blessing. That will be my economic approach.”
Critics of the governing coalition accused its members of trying to create a theocracy. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that the balance between religion and state will not be violated.
It is not clear whether the banknote proposal – originally submitted on Dec. 19 – would have broad support from the coalition.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.