Rav Kahaneman of Ponovezh Yeshiva to Ami Magazine: “There Is No Reason to Panic”


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01_ami155_coverYeshivas Ponovezh is a famed bastion of Torah, and the nasi of Ponevezh, Rav Eliezer Kahaneman, is a grandson of the famed builder of Torah, the Ponovezher Rav, Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, zt”l. In an exclusive interview with Ami Magazine, Rav Kahaneman discusses in fascinating detail the development and growth of Ponovezh and the threats the Torah world is facing by the Israeli government. The threats to Torah are not new, Rav Kahaneman says, describing the previous attempts by the government to attack Torah learning. “What we need to do today is learn,” he says. “We have a promise that Torah will survive. But there’s no promise that it will be easy.”

(AMI Newsroom)


  1. If you both Shomer Mitsvos, and a Zionist, you have reason to panic. The leaders of the zionist movement have decide that one can NOT be both frum (as into a lifestyle based on Torah and Mitsvos) and zionist (as into a lifestyle based on building up the economic and military might of the State of Israel, including and especially serving in the military). Of course many haredim have realized the inherent conflict between being an Oved ha-Shem and an Oved ha-Medinah, but never before has the confrontation been so clear, and soon everyone will have to choose which side they are on, whether for the Medinah or for Ha-Shem, with waffling no longer allowed. If you like to waffle, time to panic.

  2. He can say that because he doesn’t hate the medina. Ponovezh flies an israeli flag and davens for the soldiers. other than ponovezh, what other yeshiva has given the “zionists” a reason not to hate them? if you hate the “zionists” after so many years of funding and protecting you (physically-im not arguing the safety of limud) its only natural for them to have disdain towards you. if you will spit on them and think of them as goyim-why should they support you. I dont agree with how this has all occurred, but it hardly shocks me. as i heard from someone- if the limud is really a zechus than why dont yeshivas send bachurim to the army bases to sit in a tent and learn during times of war? if bnei brak doesnt have to worry about missles because of torah-take the torah to soldiers! i think there is a mutual disrespect from both sides and ponovezh is one of the few places which has some clarity on the matter.

  3. The Kahanemen family have always paved the way to limud hatorah with Ahavas Yisroel.

    #1 So your assessment is that Ponovitz will not be hanging the Israeli flag this year on Independence Day or Yom Yerushalayim???

  4. bklynmom: The flag on Israeli independence day (the anniversary of the British withdrawal) will be a very good sign, not just at Ponovezh, but throughout hareidi nieghborhoods. My guess is that if Israel seriously attempts to implement conscription of yeshiva students, which will result in massed resistance, there is a good chance that they will stop flying the Israeli flag. Remember that the support of the zionists among the “moderate” hareidim was always based on the assumption that the zionists had agreed to exempt yeshiva students from the army and allow limited communal autonomy. If Ponovezh decides not to fly the flag this year, it means they consider the support for the medinah to be history, and they they (and much of the heretofore pro-zionist hareidim) will be “neutral” as to the war. In an exteme situation (mass arrests, arresting yeshiva rabbanim as accomplices, closing down yeshivos as criminal enterprises, etc.), I would expect that even the formerly moderate will end up flying the Palestinian flag.

    Realistically, I expect the zionists will back down and content themselves with simply not funding non-zionist yeshivos (i.e. those yeshivos that don’t support military service by their talmidim), and treating non-zionist hareidim the way they treat Arab Muslims. The zionists may be misguided, and perhaps evil, but they aren’t off the wall stupid or suicidal. Persecution of an anti-military religious minority would seriously undermine Israel’s standing and threatedn support for the
    state in all countries.

    P.S. David ha-Melekh would have considered zionists to be apikoresim and potential traitors since they don’t recognize Ha-Shem kingship. An army can’t trust a soldier who doesn’t accept the legitimacy of whose on top – and in a frum army, Ha-Shem is on top, and halacha is the law of the land.