Every weekday evening, boys from the Adei Ad outpost in Judea and Samaria, near Shvut Rachel in Mateh Binyamin Regional Council (about 40 families) gather to learn Gemara in the local synagogue, and are greeted by regular, intimidating guests: policemen who interfere with the class, demand the names and ID numbers of the participants and insist on questioning them while they are learning. The intruding officers want to know about the kids’ activities – every weekday.
The above video features one such encounter, between local resident Hadar Sarid and the two police whom he found, as usual, standing dressed in their uniforms and bulletproof vests, and staring at the young students.
Have any of the readers experienced studying Talmud – or cooking, for that matter – under daily police “supervision”?
As can be seen in the video, many of the students the policemen disturb with questions are minors who may only be questioned by police with a parent present.
“The class takes place after the evening prayers, and has been holding beautifully, for about a year. It’s just Torah learning, then we go home,” Sarid said, suggesting that “This class bothers the Shabak. There’s a bunch of boys here they don’t want to be sitting together every night. This is a problem for them, and they are trying to ‘be cruel’ and interfere with this class in any way – that’s the whole story.”
A few months ago, the local resident who started the Talmud class, Ithiel Zuaretz, was ordered by the military commander, General Roni Numa, to leave his community – it was Zuaretz’s fifth decree of exile, and the reason (unofficially, on paper the army is not required to provide a reason) was his conducting a Talmud class for youths.
Soviet or Roman empire-style, take your pick.
Zuaretz, 30, married with four children, has been in and out of administrative detention for year – but is yet to be convicted
The class started by Zuaretz continues without him, but many participants receive harassing phone calls from Shabak agents warning them to stay away.