VIDEO & PHOTOS: Yerushalayim – Bnei Brak: Over 300,000 MeKadesh Shem Shomayim


[Video & photo links below] Today, erev shabbos, the day after, there is widespread agreement, that Thursday’s prison marches, the atzeres in Bnei Brak and Yerushalayim were a major Kiddush Hashem, as the secular and frum media alike report the astounding reality that hundreds of thousands of yidden gathered for one purpose. They recited tehillim and heard words of chizuk from Gedolei Yisrael Shlita. There were no ‘incident’, scuffles with police, audible shouts containing vulgarities, but a forum of kedusha in the presence of Gedolei HaDor, who sanctified the forums with their presence.

According to the daily HaMevaser, over 300,000 attended the two forums, along with the leading rabbonim, admorim, and roshei yeshiva.

Today, the day after, the argument surrounding Chinuch Atzmai continues, some insisting discrimination is a reality, while other simply deny its existence. Thursday’s events however were not about the differences, but they served to send a clear message to all yidden, to the government, and most of all, to Israel’s secular Supreme Court of Justice. The message, yes, you may feel that you reign supreme, but we are here to tell you otherwise, and if chas v’sholom we are compelled to choose, between Torah and Gedolei Yisrael Shlita and the secular court system, we opt to remain loyal to the Gedolim Shlita – even at the expense of parting with our dearest children and spending shabbos in prison.

The message, while not understood or accepted by all, was delivered respectfully and in a most potent fashion, one that shouts loud and clear, there will be no compromise regarding chinuch of the children and total and undiluted adherence to the words of the Gedolim Shlita, in this case, Kvod Kedushas HaDmor M’Slonim Shlita, who is known for his commitment to the chinuch of the tinkos shel beis rabon, one who is foreign to politics, kovod and the secular values that dominate the day-to-day life of the Modern State of Israel.

Baruch Hashem, the participation in the atzeres was widespread, and even Gedolim affiliated with the dati leumi community such as HaGaon HaRav Zalman Baruch Melamed Shlita and HaGaon HaRav Dov Lior Shlita instructed talmidim to attend the atzeres, exhibiting an understanding that the message crossed all barriers. This was not a matter of dati leumi versus chareidi, or IDF versus beis medrash, but a message of unit, Torah reigns supreme above all else.

Regarding Chinuch Atzmai and Emanuel, undoubtedly, after the parents serve the two-week prison terms, they will be that much stronger and determined in their path, heroes in their community, but then, only then, the real work will begin, for Emanuel, a small community in Shomron will have to heal its wounds, the sharp division of the varied population, the humiliation felt by the Sephardi girls and the feeling of mission felt by the convicts after serving their prison term.

One can only hope Gedolei HaDor Shlita will continue to guide us all, and that the decisions made are L’Shem Shomayim, and this we pray will result in achdus, and eventually increased understanding in a state where the Supreme Court reigns.

In addition to the amazing coverage provided by Yechiel Spira and the staff at YWN Israel Thursday, Yehuda Boltshauser / Kuvien Images & Co. were out in full force at the “Prison March” – both Yerushalayim and Bnei Brak; and present the YWN readership with hundreds of photos, and video coverage.

Click HERE for photos taken in Yerushalayim – Coverage by: Refael Ovadia / Chaim Schvarcz / B.W. Posen for Kuvien Images (Yehuda Boltshauser & Co.).

Click HERE for photos taken in Bnei Brak – Coverage by: Y.Y. Shachar and Bitzy Hazen for Kuvien Images (Yehuda Boltshauser & Co.).


(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. Given the fact there are *at most* 700,000 chareidim in the country, that would mean virtually the entire male chareidi population showed up.

    Given the fact that quite a few do work and study and were too young or too old to participate, and others simply didn’t go due to other reasons, 300,000 is completely impossible.

    Then again we’re used to chareidi newspapers exaggerating such numbers… Why do chareidi news sources always exaggerate regarding the number of people present somewhere? Usually you have to divide any number they report by 3 or 4 to get an accurate estimate.

  2. Mr. Breslauer: does it really matter whether there were 200,000 or 300,000? Ba the police accounts it was in the area of 200,000. The idea is that this was a great showing of a kiddush hashem.

  3. I agree with #1 300,000 sounds like a gross exaggeration. The media has put the total at around 115,000.

    And yes #2 it does make a difference. One should report the reality which is in itself quite impressive instead of exaggerating and misleading people.

  4. i would love to take the leaders from both sides of this problem on a tour of the great american mosdos and show them how it is possible for sfardim and ashkenazim to coexist both in ashenazi and sfardi institutions. these people have allot to learn about achdus from acheinu ha’ amerikayim! also i would like for them to hear rabbi pesach krohn and what he had to say about ‘separate schooling’.

    TO ALL FRUM YIDDEN LIVING IN AMERICA:(parents, rebbes, menahalim,mechanchos,executive directors ) a great yasher koiach for promoting ACHDUS!!!!! in klal yisroel

  5. Why was this a Kiddush Hashem? What about what R’ Deri said, even though he is not one of the Gedolim. But why cant the Gedolim be saying the same thing?

  6. I just don’t understand how you can continue saying discrimination, when there are in fact some Sephardic families also jailed.
    And how can the State not allow parents to send their children to the Mosdes they wish, like Bais Malkah in Bnei-Brak.
    This is clearly a fight from the court against Yidishkeit in general.
    Families of Emanuel keep strong ALL of Klal Yisroel is with you.
    BTW time is long overdue to put the Bagaz in its place and not allow them to rule over us in the way they have done in the past going far overboard.

  7. #5, Show me one American Askenazi schook that has more than 15% Sefaradim! This one has more than 25%! It has all to do with living up to the school standards. Try joining any american school where you don’t live up to their standards, and you will be rejected.
    And by the way, what would you say if it would be the oppisite, with 10 Modern Orthodox children being forced to join a Satmar school, would you liberals still be saying the same? Think of it, you liberals are just bigots who cannot stand the ultra-orthodox!

  8. To farfrumt: You are totally mistaken. This has nothing to do with a race issue between ashkenazim and sefardim. The fact that 31.8 percent of the children learning in the megama hachasidit is sefardi proves it. Regarding the American schools, according to you there is a great racist issue here too. A very minute amount of sefardim can be found in ashkenazy mosdos. Only the ones that have similar upbringings come to the ashkenazy yeshivos and they are accepted with open hands.In Eretz Yisroel also, in almost every mossad that I know, they have a minimum of 15 percent sefardim and the ones who are accepted are the ones whose family and upbringing coincide with the style of the yeshivos. Many thousands of sefardim joined the marches yesterday and I dont think thaT they feel at all affected by so called racism. My best friend is Teimoni in Bnei Berak and he was there at the parade calling me to the states so that I can hear the beautiful kiddush hashem live. Someone who does not live in Israel cannot understand the division of cultures. It is not racism.

  9. #2: yes, it matters, because it makes us look like a bunch of fools.

    Lying about numbers makes you look like a fool.

    I remember, many years ago, when I was just starting to become frum, reading about the different movements in chareidi Judaism. Some article from a highly respected university listed “Hasidic Judaism” as:

    * 250,000 – 300,000 Chabad-Lubavitch
    * 10,000 Satmar
    * 2000 Gur
    * 1000 Belz
    * 500 Bobov
    * 200 Vizhnitz

    Yeah, the person who provided that information was somehow affiliated with a certain group based in Crown Heights.

    Do you see how providing ridiculous numbers makes chareidi Judaism look like a big joke?

    ANYONE can tell there were no 300,000 people at these protests. And not 200,000 either. By the way, the police estimated 110,000 as I read. Even that sounds to me like a huge exaggeration.

  10. You can create a formula as follows to calculate the number of people attending. Secular Newspaper reports 50 thousand. Mulitply by 3. Charedi reports 300 100 thousand divide by three. Settle for something in between and you will be within 5 thousand. Now that we have figured out how many people have attended without being there, we can focus on the real issue. Stopping the discrimination.
    We have no Sanhedrin today, and as much as we claim to have respect for our Gedolim, and we won’t allow a secular court to dictate to us, the facts prove otherwise. In which Beth Din was the case of the Lubavetcher library adjudicated? Or the Satmar dispute? Or the Bobov dispute? To which Beth Din should the aggrieved parents in Emanual turn to? And can they expect that a psak halacha will be adhered to once rendered? In the absence of a Sanhedrin and until Jewish courts become an avenue for true recourse once again, like it or not, the secular court will fill that void. What is needed here is a Beth Din for Chinuch Atzmai that deals with parent complaints adjudicating issues of discrimination, as well as other school related issues.

  11. I can’t understand the comments of the posters here. There was no discrimination. The school had two tracks, one for religious and one for non-religious (mixed dancing, treif food, etc). There were plenty of Sephardim in both tracks, Ashkenazim too. Most parents were happy with this. Any parents who wanted their kids in the religious tracks needed to agree to adhere to certain standards. The court even agreed to keep the tracks, and have a committee decide which track each girl would fit in. Only lalum did not accept this.

  12. #1 Daniel Breslauer;
    You talk about gross exaggerations while making at least one, yourself.

    If the entire Cheredi population is around 700,000 as you yoruself said then 300,000 attending the event is nowhere near “virtually the entire male chareidi population ” as you wrongly claimed.

    In fact, 300,000 is less then half.
    It also says in the article that G’doli Torah were telling their students to participate, so those you would dismiss from the population of those participating, because they are studying, is also wrong.

    As for those who are working or too old or young, IO see no reason why that part of the cheredi population must be so much more then 400,000 that the other 300,000 could not have possibly, been there.

    I think it is entirely possible that 300,000 (again, much less then half the cheredi population) could have been there.

  13. #1 – I have heard reliable reports that many of the Roshei Yeshivos canceled second seder that day, and had all the (non-Israeli) bachurim go to the rallies. As for the chaeridim who work, perhaps they took a vacation day? What ever happened to being dan likaf zchus? Does that not apply to chaeridi newspapers?

    #6 – The Gedolim obviously disagree.

    #8 – “And by the way, what would you say if it would be the oppisite, with 10 Modern Orthodox children being forced to join a Satmar school, would you liberals still be saying the same?” Great point, well put.
    “you liberals are just bigots who cannot stand the ultra-orthodox!” Why do you assume the worst about your fellow jews? Perhaps some of them have been taught certain negative stereotypes about chareidim, but that certainly doesn’t mean they all “cannot stand the ultra-orthodox”.

    #12 – Let me get this straight – since there are unfortunately “frum” jews who do not follow the rulings of Beis Din, you think we should stop turning to our Rabbonim to tell us what to do, and instead turn to the liberal, anti-religious Israeli courts?!

  14. Now I see that you said virtually the entire MALE cheredi population, but again I see no reason why there could not be 300,000 males of the cheredim who either left studying because either their rabbonim told them to (or at least gave permission)and why the males who are too old or working or too young (how young is too young anyway?) could not be from the other 400,000 in the population.

    And who says no women attended in separate groups separate from the men, anyway?

  15. Once we are at it. It is not only sephardim that suffer from discrimination. What about all the children of American parents that cant get into chadarim and bais yackov because their parents are Amerikai!

  16. First of all, ladies were there, too.

    Also, they counted both gatherings-Bnai Brak and Yerushalyim. The police estimate for the Yerushalayim one was over 160,000, and very possibly underestimated.

    My son, who was there for part of it said there were so many people, no matter how far you tried to look, there were still more… it was endless and a Kiddush Hashem.

    (PS-We don’t measure Kiddush Hashem by what the radio broadcasters say. Rather it is measured by how Klal Yisroel adheres to the Ratzon Hashem. In this case, 2-300,000 followed the call of the Gedolim and showed up. That is Kiddush Hashem.)

  17. I have four sons in Eretz Yisrael 2 learning and 2 working; all were at demonstation yesterday, 2 in Bnei Brak and 2 in Yerusalem. They took time from their work with their bosses permission to attent. Remember also yesterday was quite hot especially in the son. Result of yesterday a great Kiddush Hashem. It also proved my point that the burning ot rubbish bins are many kids who are looking for excitement. Yesterday when the frum spoke the medina listen. The supreme court does not reign supreme with the frum Yidden and espeically with Hashem

  18. Why is everybody so defensive about being accused of discrimination against Sephardim? Is it because America told you it’s assur to discriminate against blacks? America is not the law. Maybe from a Torah perspective its really okay to discriminate against Sephardim. And maybe this rally is a Kiddush Hashem because we can teach the world that discrimination is not such a bad word and sometimes its necessary.