Schools reopen at Mea Shearim neighborhood
Schools reopen at Mea Shearim neighborhood
Photo: Gilad Cohen
Schools reopen at Mea Shearim neighborhood

Yeshivas reopen in Jerusalem's Haredi neighborhood amid lockdown

Although majority of the ultra-Orthodox sector appear to be obeying the health orders, some extremist factions opt to ignore the rules, reopening schools and even staging weddings so their younger generation 'does not degrade without Torah'

Gilad Cohen, Kobi Nachshoni |
Published: 01.10.21, 11:20
The yeshivas in Jerusalem's Haredi neighborhood reopened on Sunday as usual despite the tightening of the nationwide lockdown that saw the shuttering of the country's education system.
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  • The ultra-Orthodox community has largely adhered to the latest restrictions after Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, an influential leader of the non-Hasidic Lithuanian Haredi community in Israel, called on his followers to observe the health orders.
    Schools in Mea Shearim reopen as usual
    (Video: Gilad Cohen )
    However, some extreme factions of the sector, such as Jerusalem's Lithuanian community, decided to reopen the schools, primarily those for boys, the religious education of whom is considered a top priority.
    For instance, in the Mea Shearim neighborhood in the capital, it was "business as usual", with the extremist Hasidic factions that predominantly live there, refusing to obey the lockdown rules.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Schools reopen at Mea Shearim neighborhood
    Schools reopen at Mea Shearim neighborhood
    Schools reopen at Mea Shearim neighborhood
    (Photo: Gilad Cohen )
    "We do not want to see our children on the streets, and we do not want to see them degrade without Torah," said a source at one Haredi community.
    In addition, a mass "seven blessings" event - the heart of the Jewish wedding ceremony - was held at Mea Shearim on Saturday evening for the granddaughter of the community's leading rebbe.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Schools reopen at Mea Shearim neighborhood
    Schools reopen at Mea Shearim neighborhood
    Schools reopen at Mea Shearim neighborhood
    (Photo: Gilad Cohen )
    The government also approved the "Yeshiva Outline", which allows tens of thousands of schools from all ultra-Orthodox streams to stay open as long as they operate the institutions as "boarding schools". Non-Haredi yeshivas have been operating under the same outline since Hanukkah in small capsules.
    This system has however not been without controversy. Last week, Ynet revealed that the Health Ministry expressed concern over hundreds of yeshiva students recently being diagnosed with COVID-19, while infected students are no longer quarantined in separate areas.
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