Daily Israel Report

Hareidi Yeshiva Raises Flag on Independence Day

The hareidi-religious Ponevezh Yeshiva continues to raise the flag on Independence Day. “A great miracle for the Jewish people.”
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/27/2012, 1:48 PM

Israeli flag over Ponevezh Yeshiva
Israeli flag over Ponevezh Yeshiva
Flash 90

The hareidi-religious community in Israel largely abstains from Independence Day celebrations. However, this year as every year, the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, a large and respected institution, marked the day by raising the Israeli flag.

“Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, of blessed memory, who founded the yeshiva, declared that the Israeli flag would be flown over the building on every Independence Day,” explained Yaakov, a student at the yeshiva.  “Since then, the flag has been flown on Independence Day for 64 years.”

During Rabbi Kahaneman’s time, students at the yeshiva did not say the daily Tachanun prayer on Independence Day in recognition of its joyous nature, he said. However, after his passing, students resumed saying Tachanun as on other days.

“When the state was founded most hareidi yeshivas didn’t say Tachanun on Independence Day,” Yaakov told Arutz Sheva.

Rabbi Kahaneman saw the declaration of independence as a miracle, he continued. He clarified, “He saw it as a big miracle in that Jews around the world felt prouder of being Jewish and so assimilated less. He saw the declaration of the state as miraculous more than the actual establishment of the state.”

Several years ago some students at the yeshiva tried to take down the flag, but it was quickly put back up by staff. The yeshiva is often targeted on Independence Day by a handful of anti-Zionist protesters, some of whom burn Israeli flags in an attempt to provoke a riot.