Religion Magazine

Yeshiva High Schools in Bet Shemesh Cause a Storm

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
According to Kikar, there is shock in Bet Shemesh regarding the opening of a Yeshiva High School in the city.
According to the article, a yeshiva tichonit was opened in Bet Shemesh and the Haredi gedolim in the past have come out against such instititutions and a group of rabbonim, from the "entire spectrum" of the Haredi community - from the Eida all the way to the Litvishe rabbonim, have signed a letter against the opening of this yeshiva tichonit.
3 yeshivas are mentioned specifically -Arzei Levanon, Mesivta Bet Shemesh and Meorot.
There are a few aspects of this that pushed me to comment:
Yeshiva High Schools Shemesh Cause Storm 1. The pashkevil they post actually went up at least two weeks ago. This is old news. I would also note that while I saw a copy of the pashkevil posted a couple of weeks ago online, I could not find any in the usual places and nobody (at least those I asked) who posted it had seen the original.
2. no new yeshiva tichonit (that I know of) has opened in Bet Shemesh recently. Of the three listed, Meorot happens to be relatively old, around for many years. Mesivta Bet Shemesh has been open over 5 years. Arzei Levanon is now in its third year. I wonder why the protesters just woke up now about this, or if they were simply having a boring week and decided it was time to recycle this issue.
3. "storm" in the title of the Kikar article seems a bit strong, since besides for the pashkevil I haven't heard a word around town nor have I seen protests and rallies against it. Either it takes very little to shock people nowadays, "storm" means very little nowadays, or it is just hyperbole.
yeshiva high schools in Bet Shemesh cause a storm4. I feel bad for Arzei Levanon for being included in this. They are not even a yeshiva tichonit, though they offer a couple of classes as "chugim". As well, from what I understand, they asked rabbonim in advance and were told they'd be ok as long as they dont teach for bagrut and do the bit they wanted to do as chugim instead of actual obligated curriculum. At least one of the rabbonim signed on this pashkevi/letter is one of the rabbonim that said back then that he would not oppose them if they did that. Now they get "lumped" with the yeshiva high schools, and get attacked by one of the rabbonim who said he wouldn't, and they even lose all the boys who want a yeshiva high school because they don't provide that - they lose on all sides, when they just tried to have a niche market and keep the rabbonim happy.
5. for Mesivta and Meorot, this, unfortunately, is part of the game. They are schools that are against the official position of the Haredi community, so even though the schools are populated by a Haredi student body, meaning Haredim (of some sort) want these schools and send their kids to these schools, the Haredi askanim have to mobilize the rabbonim every now and then to publicly oppose such institutions. If they didn't some people might forget that the rabbis are supposed to be against them.
6. I am surprised some other rabbonim are not on the letter. Considering a recent letter to the editor in Mishpacha Magazine by a local [American expat Haredi] rav making it clear that he opposes such schools because the gedolim do, I would have expected this rav and his peers to also sign on the letter. Maybe he (and the others) simply was not asked.
7. perhaps it was the recent article in Mishpacha about the anglo-style of RBS, along with these types of yeshivas, and the letter to the editor, that prompted this. That can't be because the original pashkevil was out before the Mishpacha article. But maybe that prompted the article in Kikar
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