web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 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

Eyal adds, “When I was checking out the different yeshivot hesder, I chose Otniel for its uncompromising high level of learning, yet with an emphasis on learning other subjects like chassidut and mussar. We also have throughout the year different chaburot (workshops).  During our off times (like bein hasedarim), any older student who is talented in a certain area can form a chabura to teach those who are interested in his specialty, whether it be art, theater, music or photography.  We also have a chabura called kelim l’bikoret tarbut.  This is a chabura that gives us the tools to learn how to examine our surrounding culture critically.   And on Fridays we have dancing.  After lunch, boys will assemble in the dining room and we will dance.  For fun, for the joy of it.  It’s a vibrant place.”

Shulman-051013-DancingAnd indeed when I visited the yeshiva one rainy Friday in January, a group of students spontaneously picked themselves up and started singing and dancing in the dining room.

Eyal describes the uniqueness of the rabbonim and the students, yet they are all together serving Hashem in harmony.

“We are also a big part of the Otniel settlement,” he continues.  “Many of the residents are affiliated with the yeshiva.  They are either the families of the rabbonim or in the management here.  Some of the students are from the town as well, although most boys go away from home for yeshiva.  Part of the yeshiva program is davka to have a connection with the people of the town.  We go every Shabbat to our rosh yeshiva‘s house in Otniel.  Sometimes we have classes in one of the family’s houses.    These families see the yeshiva as a source of Torah. The fathers come some times to learn with their kids here. This is a beautiful thing in my eyes.”

I wonder why the yeshiva is located where it is, if it’s for Zionistic reasons.

Raanan explains, “I would say that it’s deeper than calling it simply a ‘Zionist’ reason. Otniel, in fact, is considered to be relatively moderate in its political views, and the atmosphere is certainly not in any way that of a stereotypical extremist right wing. The way I see it, the yeshiva is here because it is understood that as Jews in the land of Israel, there is a strong, deep connection with the actual land we live on, and that connection is expressed by living in places which may not be always the most comfortable areas to live in. Otniel, which by the way, is named after Otniel Ben Kenaz from Sefer Shoftim who is said to have lived here, is surrounded by Arab villages but we don’t feel that we need to be here in order to get on the nerves of our Palestinian neighbors.  I also believe the yeshiva is here because it is a beautiful, secluded area in the Hebron hills and the roshei yeshiva wanted to create a space where the mind feels free and not closed in within crowded city borders.”

Eyal tells me he is not at all scared in Otniel. “In truth, I feel safer here than in my home in Givat Shmuel near Tel Aviv” he says.

As far as the students’ plans for the future, Eyal laughs and says,“ I am only 18, so my plans can change at any time.  At this point, I see myself finishing hesder, then perhaps going to university for engineering.  Hopefully, I’ll get married at one point.”

Ra’anan, on the other hand, is in his last year here.  “I’m not 100% sure what I will be doing next year. This summer I will be going on shlichut with the Sochnut Yehudit to Australia.  I will be teaching Jewish Identity and Zionism.  Next year I might go to filming school.  I’ve also taken one of the tests for the rabbanut haraishit in our kollel program here.  So I always have the option of going into the rabbinate.

As we conclude, I reflect on the two young men I have interviewed. Staunch, believing, Torah true, mentchen who are ready to fight in all ways for what they believe in. he says. And I say, if Ra’anan and Eyal are examples of the kind of faith filled, authentic, idealistic, wholesome Jews Otniel produces then the yeshiva, and the Jewish nation, have much to be proud of.

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
Border Police take charge of  Yitzhar's Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva while students are on vacation.
Brave Israel Police Stand Guard at Empty Yeshiva to Stop Violence
Latest Indepth Stories

NIF support for BDS groups, writes Black, also included acting as a “go between for other donors…. Go-between financing to create a tax-deductible transaction is a key feature of the global boycott movement.” Despite our confidence in the pro-Israel bona fides of parade organizers, we wish they’d have chosen not to welcome those whose views […]

Brandeis, which had to have known about her record of criticism of Islam, pulled the honor after pressure from a Muslim advocacy group and a number of faculty members and students.

Rabbi Paysach Krohn

Wherever I was invited around the world, I always met with people and let them know that I wanted to hear great stories.

Israeli flag

R. Hadaya strongly argues in favor of establishing a festive day in commemoration of the establishment of the state of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority has jailed more than 350 Arabs for “security” reasons in just 2014.

Since Torah is the great equalizer, the great reconciler of divergent but valid opinions, this is also the place where common ground is reached.

Some American Jews feel their community has been hijacked from within by groups waging war against Israel seemingly in the name of the Jewish people.

Jerusalem only seems important in the Islamic world when non-Muslims control or capture the city.

Jordan’s king is adding fuel to the fire on the Temple Mount, blaming Israel for violence by Muslim Arab rioters.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

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

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

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

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

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: