Major hasidic groups in Israel, excluding Chabad, will not close their yeshivas for the normal summer vacation period that runs from approximately Tisha B’Av to Rosh Hodesh Elul. The official rationale for this move is supposed to be the idea that Torah study provides protection for the Jewish people and the Land of Israel and, during a time of war, that protection is especially needed. But public relations is also playing an outsized role.
File photo: Gur hasidim in Israel
Most Hasidic Groups In Israel Will Keep Yeshivas Open During Summer Vacation Due To The War
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Major hasidic groups in Israel, excluding Chabad, will not close their yeshivas for the normal summer vacation period that runs from approximately Tisha B’Av to Rosh Hodesh Elul, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Gur (Gerr), Belz, Vizhnitz, Sanz and several smaller hasidic groups will keep their yeshivas open and run reduced study programs.
The rationale for this move is supposed to be the idea that Torah study provides protection for the Jewish people and the Land of Israel and, during a time of war, that protection is especially needed.
However, haredi yeshivas fled southern Israel when the Hamas started firing large barrages of rockets at Ashkelon and other cities there, causing Zionist Orthodox Jews – whose yeshivas did not flee the south and whose students actually serve in the IDF – to lash out at haredim for running away, ridiculing the above-stated theology of protection.
After all, haredim insist that their Torah study protects the army, the people and the land and claim that is why they should not be compelled to serve in the IDF like everyone else.
But to have that theology, dodge the draft and then flee at the first sign of trouble?
That is a public relations disaster.
“You cant say the whole time that those who study Torah provide protection and salvation for the Jewish people and then go on vacation. When the country needs to be defended then it is not appropriate for yeshiva students to go on holiday,” a Gur spokesman told the Post.
Non-hasidic haredim appear to be ready to cancel special vacation trips and events, but may still close their yeshivas, an unidentified spokesman told the Post.
The Post also notes that the haredi weekly newspaper Mishpacha published pictures and short biographies of many IDF soldiers killed in the Gaza operation and notes that this “is the first time that a haredi publication has adopted this practice and one haredi commentator described it as a significant development within the community.”
But what the Post fails to report is that Mishpacha is the most moderate and least accepted of all haredi publications in Israel, and has repeatedly faced bans from haredi leaders for being too religiously left-wing.
Yated Ne’eman, Hamodia and the other haredi daily and weekly papers have not published pictures of the fallen IDF soldiers or their brief biographies – and often fail to mention the IDF itself by name in their reporting.
Also, all but one or two very minor haredi calls to have haredim say special prayers now because of the war have been issued by senior haredi leaders without specifically mentioning the soldiers (or the IDF itself, for that matter) as people who should be prayed for – also a fact the Jerusalem Post has consistently failed to report.