Some 200 rabbonim affiliated with the dati leumi community attended an urgent kenos held on Tuesday evening 27 Shevat 5774. The event was a showing of solidarity with chareidi yeshivos organizers explained.
The rabbonim gathered in the Tel Aviv Convention Center and unlike similar events in the past during which they addressed issues impacting the State of Israel and Eretz Yisrael, this gathering was dedicated to Toras Yisrael, limud Torah and yeshivos, with the emphasis placed on mosdos in the chareidi community.
Heading the event were Rabbi Chaim Druckman Shlita and Rabbi Yaakov Ariel Shlita, seated at one-another’s side.
Rav Ariel explained the gathering was to to emphasize the importance of Toras Yisrael in all walks of life and despite the various hashkafos, there is only one Torah. He pointed out that “davka the dati leumi tzibur must learn that everyone has a share in the Torah,” quoting this week’s parsha – “ועשו לי מקדש”, which he explains means that until such time there is a Beis HaMikdash, we must continue building new batei medrashim.
Tzfas Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu Shlita spoke as well, echoing the kenos is to address Toras Yisrael, not issues of land concessions or Eretz Yisrael. “Olam HaTorah is important to us and the very essence of our existence, the oxygen of the nation…” He spoke of meetings that he participated in following the establishment of the coalition with the hope of bridging gaps between the dati leumi and chareidi communities.
Rosh Yeshivat Har Etzion Rabbi Yaakov Medan Shlita spoke of the challenges facing the dati leumi tzibur and its rabbonim, which must lead and direct the community.
Rabbi Micha Halevy Shlita made a comparison between Yeshivas Mir, Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav and Yeshivat Porat Yosef, asking rhetorically which will produce the talmidei chachamim and rabbonim.
Also present was Israel Electric Company CEO Yiftach Ron-Tal, a retired IDF major-general who pointed out in his office the pasuk “לא בכוח ולא בחיל כי אם ברוחי אמר ה’ צבאות” was always hanging on the wall and when he was the IDF’s Commander of Ground Forces he requested minimizing any blow to hesder yeshivot and its soldiers. “Changes in the Olam HaTorah will not be achieved by force” he stated.
The participants however were not representative of a cross-section of the dati leumi community and visibly absent were representatives of Beit Hillel rabbonim, Tzohar Rabbonim, and rabbonim from Yeshivat Har HaMor. Rabbi David Stav of Tzohar was out of the country but he did request others to attend in his place.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)