Driving lessons (illustration)
Photo: Sebastian Scheiner
Darchei Torah Yeshiva in Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood expelled three of its students in the past two weeks, after discovering they have obtained driver's licenses.
The yeshiva students said the management feared that those dismissed might have a bad influence over the rest of the students. "The problem began a few months ago, when two students who were expelled began visiting the yeshiva with their vehicles. The yeshiva decided to look into the matter – and when they discovered three other students had obtained licenses, they decided to dismiss them as well."
According to the students, it was fairly easy to find out who had obtained licenses, and all the yeshiva had to do was to call the motor vehicle licensing office. "If you call the office's center, you can reach an automatic answering service where you enter the identification number and date of birth of a person. It easy to see who has a license, because if the person doesn’t have one, the system says it has found no data on the specific entry."
According to one of the students, his expelled colleague denied getting a license at first, however the yeshiva administration exposed his bluff and showed him the front door."
"He said someone registered his name on a driver license, but it didn't help. They told him they didn't buy his excuse," the student said.
A prohibition on obtaining licenses is common at many haredi education institutions, but most yeshiva managers are willing to compromise on the matter.
According to haredi educators, the prohibition was in place in order to prevent students from neglecting their Torah studies and focusing on cars and rides instead.
Darchi Torah Yeshiva, attended by 70 teenagers aged 16-20, has been especially strict on the matter.
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