Naftali Bennett: Telling Chareidim Not To Learn Torah, Like Telling Them Not To Breathe


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On Tuesday, the head of the Yamina party, Naftali Bennett spoke about the incitement against the Chareidi community for opening their schools this week in accordance with the instructions of their Rabbinic leaders. Bennett told reporters that telling the Chareidi community not to learn Torah is like telling them not to breathe.

A new wave of anti-Chareidi incitement flowed across Israeli media earlier this week following the decision of Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky on Sunday to instruct Chareidi Mosdos to open their doors to students as of Monday. The ruling went against the expressed instructions of the government and the Health Ministry.

In an interview on IDF radio on Tuesday, Bennett set out to defend the decision and the Chareidim and said that the entire situation could have been handled differently. “This whole situation with the Chareidim should have been handled differently and did not need to progress to the point where it is today, neither in terms of morbidity rate nor in terms of the hatred that they now face. one cannot tell this community ‘do not learn Torah.’ It is like telling them not to breathe air. You have to come to some sort of agreement with them.”

Bennett also spoke about the recent lockdown and the decreasing morbidity rate. “Lockdowns are the tools of the lazy. Of course it will work if you simply lock everyone in a prison. But the damage that was caused is immense. The tweezer method is more pin-point and requires a much longer commitment on behalf of the population, it requires reworking technological data and equipment on a daily basis, in-depth follow-up on the operational level, the training of workers, changes, adaptations, and updates as things develop and a lot of testing for the virus. Counties such as South Korea, Estonia, Cyprus, Taiwan, and others have chosen to use this method and have succeeded. Many other countries, Israel among them, got lazy and did not come up with a plan to finish off the virus and are therefore left with using the lockdown method.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Bottom line:
    Nobody can confirm if the masks work or not. If they really worked, everyone would be allowed to go about their business. The only ones being damaged are the ones not wearing them. Clearly this is not what government truly believes, or they would not be targeting people who have moved their masks down temporarily. Panic is no way to run society. It definitely cannot go on long-term. It’s absurd and it needs to end.

  2. Someone should tell Bennett that if they insist on “learning torah” in ways that ignore the public health guidelines, many of the Chareidim will also be unable to breathe and will be niftar from the virus. Its not a binary decision. There are ways for every individual to continue learning torah but in ways that reduce the risk of viral transmission and infection as explained here daily on ywn in guidance from public health officials, rabonim and askanim. If some Rav insists on ignoring these guidelines, he will be responsible for deaths and illness among his followers.

  3. Gadolhadorah,
    You keep spewing narishkeit I’m so sorry to say. The facts still are that for the younger people, the younger you are, unless you have another major reason, it doesn’t really affect you badly. That is across the board. The problems are if you have other issues. For those who have other issues, including mental issues that make them freak out if they see someone without a mask, they should be the ones to wear masks and stay inside. It worked in Florida. It could work here too.

  4. @jersey, @kollelman. Young people do survive, but they also propagate the virus in the community. Check the front page for the levayas. Can you connect these 2 things in your mind?

    I agree with GH. I don’t think Hashem accepts prayers and learning that leads to the death of the Roshei Yeshivot. This is not learning lishma.

    Reminds me of a story about an old man who was sick but refused to eat on Yom Kippur. His wife complained to the Rav. Rav called him up and said:
    Yankel, you know our shul, we give aliyot to people who do not eat kosher, who do not keep shabbos. But, I am sorry Yankel, we do NOT give aliyot to avdei avodah zarah, so you are not getting an aliya …

    Yankel: WHAT? what avodah zarah?!

    Rav: if Hashem does not want you to fast, and you insist on fasting, that means you are doing it for some other entity.

  5. gadolhadorah,

    Just because the gadolhadorah said not to resume school, it’s irrelevant because the gadol hador said the opposite. Were talking about reb chaim kanievsky

  6. If Israel would have put so much energy a resources to give proper medications For the people with symptoms and supplements to all people, WE WOUKD VIRTUALLY HAVE NO DEATH FROM COVID.

    But they don’t want to help the people, they like the power…

  7. #1
    People living in stable societies do not, cannot, and should not have the option of choosing their own policies when there is a need for uniform implementation. Those who do not understand this are part of the problem

  8. . In the preface to this week’s Parsha, the Netziv famously speaks of the “yesharim’s”, upright, concern for others far outside their religious orbit :

    עוד היו “ישרים”, היינו: שהתנהגו עם אומות העולם, ; מכל מקום היו עִמם באהבה, וחשו לטובתם, באשר היא קיום הבריאה

    Orthodox blood plasma donation was a wonderful example of caring for others.

    Making large weddings shows a lack of “yashar”, responsibility and care for the world mentioned by Netziv. –Corona czar, Dr. Birx also has a point “ the Orthodox Jews clashing with local officials over new coronavirus restrictions in Brooklyn need to understand that they’re living in a “community of others.” “We are a community together. No one group lives in isolation”.

  9. Never believed I heard or rather such absolute non sense yes masks do stop the spread of the virus. And wrong young people are now dying from the disease not only seniors