More than 50 years since the establishment of Yeshivat Har Etzion, the flagship yeshiva of religious Zionism in Israel, last night (Tuesday), the institution opened its doors to a new yeshiva for high school students, located in Alon Shvut, in Gush Etzion.
The Yeshiva will begin this year with the ninth grade, and expand to additional grades every subsequent year. The yeshiva will be a dorm, which is very common for Yeshiva high schools in Israel.
Those in attendance who signed the new school’s foundational doctrine included Rabbi Ya’akov Medan, head of Israel’s Hesder institutions, Rabbi Baruch Gigi and Rabbi Moshe Lichtenstein, heads and founders of the yeshiva, Rabbi Amichai Gordon, Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman, himself a graduate of Har Etzion, the president of Herzog College Rabbi Yehuda Brandes, and others dignitaries.
Rabbi Moshe Lichtenstein opened the event thanking God for the momentous occasion and said: “We have the privilege of renewing Torah learning here in Gush Etzion, after 2000 years of exile, in a place that was desolate and barren, after the destruction of the Gush in the War of Independence, and our return here once again to establish a house of God.”
Rabbi Baruch Gigi said: “This week we read Parashat Shoftim which is the foundation of the oral law of the Torah. Learning this (the oral law) is the mission of every Beit Midrash, wherever it stands. We want to build an institution that will shape the Torah world, right from the get go.”
Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman added: “This is a dream come true.”
In addition to Yeshiva Har Etzion in Gush Etzion, there is also Yeshiva Makor Chaim. In Efrat, there are another four boys yeshiva high schools – Orot Yehuda, Shvut Yisrael, Neve Shmuel and Derech Avot.