Legal battle erupts between Mir Yeshiva and local businesses

Angry local store owners threaten to sue Mir Yeshiva for ordering establishments to close before 11 PM and reneging on agreements with them.

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Tzvi Lev,

Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem
Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem
Heski Baruch

A local store owner is threatening to sue Jerusalem's Mir Yeshiva over accusations that the Yeshiva is causing him monetary loss.

With over 7,500 single and married students, the prestigious Mir Yeshiva is the largest yeshiva in Israel and is also believed to be the largest yeshiva in the world. Located in Jerusalem's Beit Yisrael neighborhood, its large student population is a key generator of the local economy.

When former yeshiva head Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel was alive, he ordered that all the local establishments close after 11 PM in order to deter students from leaving the Yeshiva study hall. After the rabbi died in 2011, the local establishments openly flouted the rule, which they contended had caused them significant economic damages.

The saga turned into a long-running battle between the Mir Yeshiva leadership and the local business owners, which included threats by the Yeshiva to yank the kosher certification of restaurants that remained open. The matter came to a close after the Yeshiva promised to financially compensate the stores that closed before 11 PM.

However, Kikar Hashabbat reports that a prominent local businessman is claiming that the Yeshiva backtracked out of the agreement and refused to compensate him despite having closed his eatery at the desired time. According to the report, he has sent a letter to Yeshiva management threatening to sue them in a Jewish court if the dispute is not settled.

Recently, the Mir Yeshiva disseminated official letters to the student body warning them not to buy at the stores which did not heed the Yeshiva's instructions. "We return to tell you that our rabbis decided that stores which remain open after 11 at night, such as "Sweet Times" etc. Do not enter them or buy from them at any time until they accept the rules onto themselves."








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