Ponovezh Yeshiva hall closed following brawl

Israeli police break up large fight between students at leading Lithuanian haredi yeshiva after feuding factions used tear gas.

Gary Willig,

Ponovezh Yeshiva
Ponovezh Yeshiva
Flash 90

Four people were arrested during a large brawl at the Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak Thursday.

Police were summoned to the flagship Lithuanian yeshiva after a fight broke out as part of a long-running feud between two rival factions.

The brawl was the latest chapter in the longstanding dispute between the two factions over control of the yeshiva and the division of its territory. The supporters of Rabbi Shmuel Markovitz on the one hand, nicknamed the "haters," and Rabbi Eliezer Kahaneman's rival camp, called the "terrorists" have long been at loggerheads and tensions frequently lead to violence.

The flagship Yeshiva of Lithuanian haredi Judaism has been roiled by the power struggle between the two for over twenty years, and both sides observe an uneasy status quo, in which campus space in Bnei Brak is evenly divided between the two factions.

Several students attacked their rivals with tear gas, causing light injuries to three students,

A large police force arrived to break up the riot. The police closed off the yeshiva's main hall, where the violence began when one side attempted to bar the other side from entering.

A similar brawl broke out last week.

Ponovezh is considered one of the top institutions in the haredi world, and the ongoing internal strife has been a black eye for the community.


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