Religion Magazine

"Old Bet Shemesh" Feeling Threatened by Sale of Building to Extremist Haredi Yeshiva

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
The news broke a few days ago that the old Bezeq  building in "old Bet Shemesh", very close to the Neimi shopping mall, was sold to an "extremist Haredi yeshiva" from Jerusalem.
According to Kikar that yeshiva is the yeshiva run by Rav Moshe Sternbuch, of the Eida HaChareidis.
This has caused quite a ruckus around town. Non-Haredi city councilmen are threatening to resign if the mayor does not intervene and get this canceled. Many residents of the old city are fuming saying this is crossing a line. They are concerned that such a yeshiva will be an attraction for similar Haredim who will start moving to that part of town and hurt the delicate balance. As well, it will turn the area into a place of conflict as they will surely make trouble for people passing through to do their shopping at the Neimi Mall.
Personally, my opinion is that while it might not be a wise move for the yeshiva to move to this location, and it might harm the balance of the area, it is a private venture and anybody can buy wherever they want. If they take the approach that they want to take over "by force" and not just stick to their own neighborhoods, they can buy up all the property legally and do what they want, no matter how much other people do not like it. They eventually might target RBS A as their next location and start making life difficult for people here, and then other neighborhoods. And there is nothing anybody can do. Raise prices, sell and move. That's life. If you don't like it, rally your neighbors to not sell. Instead of letting them make life uncomfortable for you, make life uncomfortable for them. Let the few who succeed in buying have to deal with living among an entire neighborhood of people who don't play along by their rules. Or else sell, make a profit on your property, and leave. But the Iryah has nothing to do with it.
Of course, that is assuming there are no zoning issues involved. if the building or area is not zoned for such an institution, then the Iryah must not agree to change the zoning and it must not ignore any misuse of the property. The Iryah should do what it can to not allow the area to turn into a war zone, but they cannot be involved in the private purchases of private properties.
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