At a ceremony inaugurating construction of a new dormitory at the Sha'alavim Yeshiva (Torah academy), Housing Minister Uri Ariel said that as long as he and the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party were in the government, they would ensure that Jewish communities continued to grow throughout the Land of Israel.
Ariel described the site's history to visitors, which was a British military facility in the past. Ariel demonstrate good historical knowledge of the site, and described the way the windows were set up in the original yeshiva building.
“The border ran very close to the yeshiva's dormitory building, you could see the border from the dorm's windows,” he said.
“Now we are building a dormitory that will never look upon a window,” he continued. “Israel's border will be the Jordan River. All territory west of the Jordan will be under Israeli sovereignty.”
Sha'alavim is located near Modi'in, and was close to the 1948 armistice line. The first building of the yeshiva was constructed about 50 years ago.
Speaking at the event, Avi Warzman, deputy Education Minister, said that the Sha'alavim Yeshiva was “one of the most prestigious among Hesder yeshivas." Hesder yeshivas combine intensive Torah study with army service.
Ariel also addressed the current threats of drastic cuts to yeshiva budgets.
"Currently the yeshiva, like others, is facing a period of major budget cuts. I, and others in the Bayit Yehudi party, are working to ensure that the damage to the yeshivas does not come to pass.”