web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Yeshivat Otniel

Shulman-051013-Main

Share Button

Young men singing – Hodu laShem ki Tov- and gunshots.  That was the tragic mix of sounds heard that Friday night ten years ago when two Islamic Jihad terrorists climbed up to the yishuv, cut the gate surrounding the yeshiva and entered through the kitchen door of בית ועד הר חברון, Hebron Hills Torah Academy, better known as Yeshivat Otniel.

Schulman-051013-OverheadA group of yeshiva students (most of them from Yeshivat Hagush who were visiting Otniel for Shabbat) were eating in the dining room. Separating the dining room and the kitchen are two sliding doors with small glass windows at the top. Inside the kitchen were 4 shana aleph students who were on kitchen duty.  As soon as they realized what was going on, they locked the sliding doors – and locked themselves in the kitchen.  They were immediately killed, but due to the tricky lock mechanism, the terrorists couldn’t figure out how to open the doors to the dining room. That heroic act of locking the kitchen door, though it sealed their fates, is what saved the lives of many others. The terrorists proceeded to shoot through the small glass windows into the dining hall, injuring a few.  The other students escaped and immediately contacted the army.  The soldiers came and neutralized the terrorists.  One of the soldiers, also a student at Otniel was severely wounded, but baruch Hashem pulled through.  Every year the pigua  (terrorist attack) is commemorated in Otniel and mention is made of the four students who cut off their own avenue of escape, but guaranteed the safety of others.

While there had been security back then, today an electric fence with touch sensors has been erected around the yeshiva.  There is also a large army base nearby, guards posted and a group of older post-army students who are members of the emergency reaction unit (in Hebrew – a “kitat koninut“) and armed at all times. These are necessary precautions, although the general security situation in the area is much better these days.

In an attempt to get a better understanding of Yeshivat Otniel’s place in the hesder world, I spoke with Eyal Schwartz, a shana aleph student and Ra’anan Rosenbaum, a madrich in the Overseas Program.  Hesder comes from the word l’sader – to make an agreement.  This type of yeshiva program came about many decades ago as an agreement between the secular Israeli army and the dati leumi – national religious – community.  The dati leumi retain the belief that our faith in God and our learning His Torah is what will help us defeat our enemies. However, they also believe that service to the country is a holy endeavor, and serving in the army is part of that holiness. Thus the idea of  yeshivat hesder was born.Shulman-051013-Aron

The classic hesder program consists of one and half years of learning after high school, 16 months active army service and then 2 more years in yeshiva. If a student wants to advance in his army career, he will stay longer than the minimum 16 months in active service.  As in the case of Ra’anan, a student can stay longer in the yeshiva setting as well.  The “rules” of hesder, however, only apply for the first 5 years.  By law, a hesder student must study in yeshiva all week.  He is not allowed to take outside courses, as the only reason he is allowed to serve for only 16 months, instead of the standard three years, is because he is learning the remainder of the time.  After the five years, the student can learn half day and work or go to school, whatever they want.

Ra’anan explains the goals of a hesder yeshiva.

 

“The idea is to bring together two opposite ideals in a way that works for both sides.  Really these are two worlds that can’t get more opposite than they already are.   Because, although we are religious and we would like to provide a good learning environment for our chevra out of high school for as long as possible, at the same time we realize that the army also needs them. “

The real study in contrast, Ra’anan maintains, is in the radically different set up of the yeshiva and the army.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

4 Responses to “Yeshivat Otniel”

  1. Lori Lowenthal Marcus says:

    PLEASE – show respect for those 4 young men who were murdered in the Otniel Yishiva kitchen that day – they were human beings, with names, without a future, but we in the future must show our respect. Noam Apter, 23, HY"D, Gavriel Hotter, 17, HY"D, Yehuda Bamberger, 20, HY"D and Tzvi Ziman, 18, HY"D. Noam was the one who locked the door into the cafeteria, saving the lives of so many. They were people, sons of Jewish mothers and fathers whose lives were cut down because they were Jews. http://deena.co/tag/noam-apter/

  2. Ronnie Pleet says:

    "Remember" is in our genes

  3. I heard its a good yeshiva !
    Chazak iematzh

  4. Yael Ingber says:

    גלעדיייייי י'מאמייייי

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Malkie Schulman
Rebbitzen Ruchoma Shain

I wonder out loud how Ruchoma would have handled her father’s putting down the law so strongly had she been a young girl growing up 100 years later.

Shulman-051013-Main

Young men singing – Hodu laShem ki Tov- and gunshots. That was the tragic mix of sounds heard that Friday night ten years ago when two Islamic Jihad terrorists climbed up to the yishuv, cut the gate surrounding the yeshiva and entered through the kitchen door of בית ועד הר חברון, Hebron Hills Torah Academy, better known as Yeshivat Otniel.

Dorit grew up in sunny Eilat. She was involved in sports since she was a young child. As a teenager she was the table tennis champion of Eilat, winning 2nd place in the southern regional competition and going on to win 3rd place in the national mixed double championship. At the same time, she was running marathons.

My name is Eli Freundlich. I was 18 and had just graduated Torah Voddath in Williamsburg. America had entered the war a few years before. I wanted to be drafted so was happy when I received my notice. It was July 1943 – July 27, 1943 to be exact – when I was sworn into the American Army.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/yeshivat-otniel/2013/05/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: