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September 1, 2015 / 17 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘yeshiva’

Jerusalem Yeshiva Student Drowns in Beit Zayit Reservoir

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

The body of a Jerusalem yeshiva student has been recovered after he disappeared while swimming and apparently drowned in the waters of the nearby Beit Zayit reservoir, about seven kilometers (five miles) west of Jerusalem, close to the city of Beit Shemesh.

In the past several days, Israelis have been living with record temperatures as a massive heat wave passes through the region.

The elite IAF 669 Airborne Search & Rescue Unit was tapped to track down the missing student, along with police officers, firefighters, emergency service responders from Magen David Adom, ZAKA and Israeli Hatzoloh.

Authorities were told earlier in the day by a friend that the student had gone swimming, and he feared his friend had drowned in an area which is filled with mud.

Hours later, the body of 20-year-old Shalom Mori, a resident of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, was found. The circumstances surrounding the tragedy were not explained to journalists in detail.

May his memory be for a blessing.

Ya’alon Removes Police Siege of Ode Yosef Chai Yeshiva in Shomron

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has withdrawn Border Police from the Ode Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the community of Yitzhar in northern Samaria after a one-year siege of the institution that has been accused of inciting “price tag’ actions against Arabs.

Ya’alon initially shut down the yeshiva last summer, but despite the screaming headlines that the government had “defeated” the youth, the closure was during the three-week period after the Fast of the 10th of Av when yeshivas go on vacation.

He allowed the yeshiva to re-open, under Border Police guard, the day after all yeshivas re-opened their doors again on the beginning of the month of Elul, one month before Rosh Hashanah.

After a year’s opportunity for the Border Police to learn some Torah and return to repentance, the Defense Minister decided earlier this week not to extend the order that placed Border Police in the Yeshiva study hall.

One the one hand, the security forces now are denied a chance to learn Torah.

On the other hand, the yeshiva stated:

We are happy that the defense establishment climbed down the tree, but it is a pity that the Defense Minister has not apologized for the unprecedented theft of the yeshiva and desecration of more than year.

We wish him and all of those involved in this criminal act to repent. The continued harassment of the yeshivas, including budget cuts, is an attempt to gag us but will not succeed.

The Yitzhar yeshiva added it intends sue the government for damage caused by Border Police the past year.

My Encounter with Rav Lichtenstein

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Some 25 years ago I decided I wanted to go to Israel and debated over which Yeshiva I would attend.

The “Gush”, Yeshiva Har Etzion, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein’s yeshiva in Israel, was one of the options on my very short list.

I applied, and was invited to come down to Yeshiva University for an interview with Rav Lichtenstein.

I spent weeks preparing for that interview. I picked out an interesting piece of Gemorah, and learned it backwards and forwards.

I walked confidently into Rav Soloveitchik’s apartment in YU where Rav Lichtenstein was holding interviews with prospective students, and we began to learn. He asked questions and I answered them. I defended my positions. Very straightforward.

And then I don’t know what happened.

He raised a question from a different Gemorah related to this particular sugiyah. A Gemorah I had also studied in preparation for this interview.

I don’t recall it even being a complex question. But his question came from a perspective I hadn’t considered, and it turned everything upside down. Suddenly we had to take everything I learned apart, and we started again from a completely different angle.

I walked into that interview thinking I knew that Gemorah like the back of my hand, and by the middle of this experience, I realized I knew almost nothing, including how to learn.

What was supposed to have been a 15 minute interview, turned into an intense, more than hour-long learning session and intellectual battle, the likes of which I had never experienced in my entire life.

I walked out of the apartment as white as a sheet, and covered in sweat from the energy I expended in the intellectual battle I just fought and lost with Rav Lichtenstein, realizing that my weeks of learning, where I thought I knew the Gemorah inside and out, had barely scraped the surface of the depths of what learning truly was.

The students who were waiting patiently outside for for their turn, took one look at me and were afraid to go in next for their interviews.

While it had been intellectually satisfying, I was sure I hadn’t been accepted to the Gush after displaying how embarrassing little I had managed to actually learn in the few weeks ahead of the interview, compared to what we had accomplished in such a short time.

But to my surprise I was accepted.

Ultimately, I chose a different path to Israel, but that encounter — learning with Rav Lichtenstein — was the yardstick by which I measured the quality of my learning from that point forward.

Gaza Terrorist Paid Hamas Brother $61,500 to Kill Teens

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Cleared for publication:  Hebron resident Hussam Qawasme was apparently paid NIS 220,000 – $61,500 – for the June 12 abduction and murder of three Israeli teens by Hamas terrorists in Gush Etzion.

Qawasme was arrested July 11 in connection with the attack, which he is credited with helping to mastermind. He reportedly received the funds for the job from his brother, a convicted Hamas official in Gaza.

According to information released Thursday by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) it was Qawasme who hid the bodies of 19 year old Eyal Yifrah, 16 year old Naftali Frenkel and 16 year old Gilad Sha’ar, kidnapped and murdered on June 12. He had purchased the field where the bodies were stashed in shallow graves along Highway 60 in the town of Halhul, halfway between Hebron and Gush Etzion.

“In an intelligence operation launched by the Shin Bet, Hussam Qawasme was tracked down and arrested in a hideout in the Shuafat refugee camp,” the Shin Bet stated.

Hussam Qawasme was given up by another arrested accomplice who had hidden him and was also recently indicted. Hussam himself was incarcerated in Israel from 1995 to 2002. He was convicted on charges of involvement in Hamas terrorist activities, including participating in a cell that carried out bombing attacks.

“He is the son of a family whose sons have been involved in severe terror attacks on behalf of Hamas,” the Shin Bet added.

The Hamas operative planned to flee to Jordan after stashing the bodies of the three teens but instead was caught and arrested, according the a statement released Thursday by the Shin Bet following Qawasme’s indictment in the IDF military court.

Hussam Qawasme is described in court papers as a ‘command level Hamas operative.’

His brother in Gaza – who allegedly bankrolled the operation – was freed by Israel as part of the prisoner exchange deal that secured the Oct. 18, 2011 return of former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit from five years of captivity by Hamas.

The money was transferred from Gaza to Qawasme in Hebron via cash-stuffed envelopes carried by Hussam’s mother and another, unnamed woman, the indictment alleged. Among the purchases were a vehicle with which to carry out the attack and four guns.

The two kidnapper-killers, relative Marwan Qawasme and Amer Abu Aisha are still at large.

But under interrogation, Hussam Qawasme, 40, named other Hebron family members who had planned to help him escape to Jordan with a fake ID after the attack. Hisham Qawasme, 35; Jamil Qawasme, 28; and Hamas member Hassan Qawasme, 45, are all in Israeli custody.

Ateret Cohanim Opens Pre-Army Yeshiva Across from Old City

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Just outside the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem, a new yeshiva sponsored by the Ateret Cohanim organization is set to open by the end of the month.

It will be the first all-mechina pre-army Torah Learning Center to be established in Jerusalem.

Otzmat Yerushalayim,’ the first such venture on Sultan Suleiman Street, is housed in the Israel Post Office and Bezeq building. In the same building one can also find offices for the Border Police and the national Israel Police.

The building is located at the main intersection near the Flowers Gate of the Old City, also known as Herod’s Gate, according to the yeshiva’s website.

The yeshiva will be open to some 300 pre-army Jewish students in an area that leftist Jerusalem municipality representative Meir Margalit fears is “a sure recipe for violence. This is a very strategic site and there’s a potential her to cause serious disruptions in civic life in this city,” he told Reuters.

Boys from the pre-army Academy of Otzem in Cholot Chalutza (also known as the Mechina from Atzmona in Gush Katif) are the first group to learn in the yeshiva.

The Otzem Academy will send groups of 30 students each to the yeshiva to learn for 7 to 14-day periods over the coming months, according to the statement posted on the yeshiva website.

Students enrolled in pre-army academies throughout the country will send their students to do the same, sponsored by donors locally and abroad.

Facilities include a Beit Midrash, dining room, kitchen and dormitory which can hold up to 30 students at a time. Attendees will participate in educational tours around the Old City in addition to their studies.

A formal “Chanukat HaBayit” – open house” ceremony – is expected to take place around the date of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), the holiday celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.

This year will mark the 47th year since Israeli soldiers took back Jerusalem from its Jordanian occupiers (in the 1967 Six Day War) and the barbed wire cutting the city apart was finally erased from the landscape.  Israel’s restoration and formal annexation of the remainder of the capital has not been recognized by the United States and by the international community.

At present, some 215,000 Jews live in the eastern part of the capital, which is also home to approximately 280,000 Arabs, most of whom hold Israeli identity cards and enjoy state social benefits, including comprehensive health care.

Government Chickens Out and Re-Opens Yitzhar Yeshiva

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Border Police stationed at the Ode Yosef Chai Yeshiva in Yitzhar in northern Samarian allowed it to re-open Tuesday, almost as scheduled, after a month-long Passover vacation but with limitations on how many students may enter and when they can enter.

The Jewish Press reported here last week that the Border Police’s headline-grabbing takeover of the yeshiva, following alleged violence by yeshiva students, was a PR exercise in which the media establishment duly cooperated by not reporting that the yeshiva was empty, as always in the month of Nissan, which includes the Passover holiday.

Students in most yeshivas in the country returned to study Monday or Tuesday, the evening before the beginning of the month of Iyar.

IDF Brigade Commander Col. Yoav Yarom said Tuesday that the Border Police now will allow students to enter, but with limitations. Only 50 students may pray there at once, and the military official is in control

If they really are brave, perhaps they will guard the students inside the yeshiva during Torah classes and learn a thing or two about Jewish law.

That is not too say that those who are hell-bent on violence don’t belong behind bars, where perhaps they will learn a couple of laws in the Torah they missed out on in yeshiva, such as not destroying property, whether it be of Arabs or Jews.

The military also will determine when the students may pray and learn.

It is assumed that they will consult the timetables provided by the Chief Rabbinate and on the Internet for the proper time for praying, according to Jewish law.

If for any reason there are less than 10 students and rabbis, the minimum number for public prayer, the yeshiva has lots of reserves standing by to complete a minyan.

Brave Israel Police Stand Guard at Empty Yeshiva to Stop Violence

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Approximately 30 Border Police officers continue to live in the quarters of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in Yitzhar, in northern Samaria, even though all of the students are away for the annual vacation during the month of Nissan in which Passover falls.

Border Police spokesman Shai Hachimi confirmed for The Jewish Press that the men are staying in the yeshiva dorms, but it is not clear what they are doing there.

They made big headlines three weeks ago by setting up camp at the yeshiva after some of the student allegedly were among a mob of idiots who stormed the tent of IDF soldiers who were guarding Yitzhar from Arab terrorists. The attackers- make that criminals – ransacked the tent and destroyed army and personal property as a reward for the soldier’s serving the country while others are free to learn Torah – or, as in this case, not only no learn Torah but also violate it.

Some teenager from Yitzhar also took out his anger against the government, armed forces and police by puncturing the vehicle of the commander of the IDF Brigade in the area.

The vandalism supposed was “price tag” revenge for the demolition of homes by police. The “crime” of the homeowners was that they built without permits even though some of the houses have been standing for years. But the destruction undoubtedly was justified on the basis of it being carried out in the name of human rights, just as price tag violence is committed in the name of God.

People on the yeshiva have accused the government of “price tag” revenge by sending in the Border Police, many of them non-Jews, to take expel people out of their homes and then tear them down. The invasion of the yeshiva was icing on the cake but not the last word.

Police on Wednesday searched the home of Yeshiva Ode Yosef Chai’s head Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, while he was not home, and confiscated a computer. The rabbi told The Jewish Press he does not know what the police were looking for but speculated the raid may have been connected to the controversial book “Torat HaMelech,” which states rabbinic rulings on when a Jew is allowed to kill a non-Jew.

Liberal non-free thinkers in the office of the attorney general have tried to make a case the past several years against several rabbis for incitement because they endorsed the book.

Regardless of the intentions of the police, the yeshiva remains under the control of the Border Police.

The student’s vacation ends next week, but the police have said no one may enter,

Yeshiva officials have charged the government with trying to shut down the yeshiva. If true, such a measure would only encourage more violence.

Just as the government showed up to take over an empty yeshiva and capture headlines to convince ignorant Israelis that the police have put an end to violence from Yitzhar, it can be expected that the yeshiva  will not open for a day. Maybe even two days, or three, just enough to make a big impression before the Border Police leave.

In the meantime, the Border Police must be bored sitting around all day sipping coffee, preventing non-existent students from committing violence.

If they stay there long enough, at least the Jewish bones, maybe they will learn a bit of Torah.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/brave-israel-police-stand-guard-at-empty-yeshiva-to-stop-violence/2014/04/24/

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