Dozens of policemen were injured in the violent protest held by the Israeli Ethiopian community in Tel Aviv on Sunday evening 14 Iyar. Among the protesters was Yitzchak Temusa, a member of the Ethiopian chareidi community and a resident of Modi’in. Temusa told Kikar Shabbos News that he took part in the protest and shared his feelings of discrimination among the members of the Ethiopian community.
Temusa is married and has four children, and learned in Yeshivat Shaare Teshuvah V’Chaim under HaGaon HaRav Shimon Ba’adani, who is a member of Shas’ Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael. Yitzchak explains Rav Ba’adani has done a great deal to assist the Ethiopian community.
“I came here to identify with my colleagues in the struggle. I am not in favor of using force or confronting police. I glorify the derech of the Torah but I felt compelled to identify with members of my kehilla”, Yitzchak explains, adding “I am certain that the discrimination we feel as chareidim is similar or perhaps less than the general [Ethiopian] community feels”.
Yitzchak calls on chareidi leaders to side with the Israeli Ethiopian community. “Open a door to us and let our children into your yeshivos, seminaries and talmidei torah. We are Jews and should not be subjected to discrimination”. He added that he too has children and does not know which mosdos he will send them to.
Temusa adds “No one wants us; not Ashkenazim or Sephardim. I call on rabbonim to open the door so our children too may study Torah. Each one of our youth that has been permitted to learn has become an illui”.
He goes on to explain that being permitted to enter a yeshiva is what saved him. “With the exception of Rav Ovadia who supported us who do we have” he concluded.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)