Nisanit, Slated for Demolition, Receives New Yeshiva

Israel's northernmost yeshiva, the Yeshivat Hesder of Kiryat Shmonah, has opened a new branch – in Nisanit, of the northern Gaza Strip. Nisanit was frequently attacked throughout the Oslo War.

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About a dozen students from Kiryat Shmonah in the upper Galilee arrived today in Nisanit, one of the three communities in northern Gaza slated for destruction this summer. Their purpose? "That there should be a place of Torah study here," very straightforwardly responded David Azulai, one of the new students.

Though the community is populated mostly by non-observant Jews, they have been very supportive of the new yeshiva. "We came last week to see what it would be like," Azulai said, "and to check out the arrangements, and everyone was very friendly. We received invitations from all over the town."

There are two synagogues in Nisanit, and one of them will serve as the yeshiva's study hall. Living quarters have been provided by one of the residents, who has provided the students, at no charge, the use of a large room, complete with bathroom and shower facilities. The room is sufficiently large to sleep 15 people comfortably.

Food will be provided by the nearby Yeshivat Hesder of Sderot, just over the Gaza border.

Though some students will study in Nisanit on a come-and-go schedule, the goal is to have at least ten students remain there on a permanent basis.

Many question remarks remain. "We don't know exactly awaits us," one of the students wrote in the Katif.net forum. "Our in-depth study, our study of matters of faith – everything depends on our will power, but chiefly upon G-d's directing us along the right path."

"Technically, as well, the move is not at all simple," he continued. "It involves remaining there for several months without going home, including possibly even not celebrating the Passover Seder at home. It's not easy to suddenly leave our home in Kiryat Shmonah... Learning Beitzah [a book of the Talmud] in our own yeshiva is much more pleasant than learning in some building in an unknown place in Gaza. But the dedication of all of us is what will determine the fate of the Land of Israel – our dedication in Nisanit, the dedication of those who are remaining in Kiryat Shmonah, and the dedication of those soldiers who - Heaven forbid that it should come to that - will be forced to make the right decision when receiving the orders."

In conclusion, the student wrote, "We are going there to strengthen and to be strengthened, and to 'be there' during the duration of this decree – of course, with the hope and prayer that there will be no need for us to remain there, and that we will be able to return home quickly."

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