Danger to Hesder yeshiva spurs emergency conference

300 residents take part in protest rally following mayor's order not to allow Hesder yeshiva to operate from synagogue it used until now.

Mordechai Sones,

Protest conference in Ramat Hasharon
Protest conference in Ramat Hasharon
צילום: יח"צ

Avi Gruber, Mayor of Ramat Hasharon, announced last week evacuation of the city's Hesder yeshiva, which has been operating for more than a decade.

In response to the Mayor's announcement, an emergency conference was held in the synagogue where the yeshiva students learn, with participation of the city's rabbis who called for an end to the hatred and harassment of the Torah core group and yeshiva students.

In a letter sent by the Custodian of Municipal Assets and hung on the door of the Bar Yochai synagogue in the city where the yeshiva's classes are held, it states: "You are hereby required to vacate the Hesder yeshiva from the synagogue within 30 days from today, and to restore use of municipal property solely to the needs of the synagogue".

The emergency conference was attended by three-hundred city residents, including two of the neighborhood's rabbis, Rabbi Yehuda Bezaleli and Rabbi Moshe Biton, as well as Chabad emissary Rabbi Yehuda Butman.

"I've been here for almost eight years; I see the dedication, everyone in Ramat Hasharon has the right to have the yeshiva here," said Rabbi Bezaleli at the conference. "Every Jew has the right to study Torah in Ramat Hasharon; synagogues all over the world are used for prayer and study, and there's no reason why in Ramat Hasharon it should be different," said Shlomo Levy, the synagogue's attendant.

The letter from the municipality demanding the yeshiva's evacuation comes after the Tel Aviv District Court decided in March 2015 to reject a petition to evacuate the Ramat Hasharon Hesder yeshiva, while Judge Oded Mudrik ruled that the yeshiva could continue to hold studies at the Bar Yochai synagogue in the city, but without providing room and board.

Dormitory accommodations have indeed been transferred by the Yeshiva since then to a different building. At the same time, the judge ruled that the municipality must arrange the matter in orderly agreement with the yeshiva, something that has not been done to this day.

The Hesder yeshiva in Ramat Hasharon said in response "For the past two years, a wild and unbridled campaign of hatred has been waged against us by a small and extremist group that's trying to harm the good relations that have existed for more than a decade between the yeshiva and the residents of Ramat Hasharon.

"We are sorry that the mayor in a desperate political move succumbed to this campaign of hatred, and it is worth mentioning that throughout the State of Israel there are hundreds of synagogues in which there are Torah studies of various yeshivas and kollels alongside regular prayers, according to the purpose of each synagogue for thousands of years: To be used as a place for prayer, as well as for study of Torah. As it is in the entire country, so should it be in Ramat HaSharon. The Bar Yochai Synagogue serves both the purposes of Torah and prayer.

"The Ramat Hasharon Hesder Yeshiva has been in existence for more than a decade and its students are deeply attached to Ramat Hasharon and are working for the city's residents on a number of volunteer and ethical projects. That is how it was and that is how it will continue to be."


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