Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

27 Ellul 5760 - September 27, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Home and Family
Dismantling of Religious Affairs Ministry Liable to Harm Torah Institutions
by A. Cohen

Torah institution principals and administrators recently participated in an emergency conference held in the Vishnitz Hotel in Bnei Brak. At the conference, they expressed their concern over the intention to dismantle the Religious Affairs Ministry as part of Prime Minster Barak's "secular revolution."

The conference opened with the recitation of Tehillim led by HaRav Shmuel Dror. A message from HaRav Aharon Leib Steinman was then conveyed. HaRav Steinman said that we must firmly oppose the dismantling of the Religious Affairs Ministry. "This step is liable to be dangerous and to yeshivos, Torah institutions and religious services," he noted. HaRav Steinman also instructed Knesset members Rabbi Avrohom Ravitz and Rabbi Moshe Gafni to make every effort to prevent dismantling of the Ministry. He added that he was confident that they would do their utmost to prevent the secular revolution.

Rabbi Tzvi Roth, conference moderator, said that closure of the Religious Affairs Ministry and transfer of its departments to other offices not only constitutes a financial danger, but most importantly an ideological danger, especially since the government seeks to intervene in the curricula of the yeshivos.

Rabbi Yaakov Cohen from the Gerrer Institutions discussed the harm likely to result from the distribution of the departments of the Religious Affairs Ministry among the various ministries.

Rabbi Abraham Friedman of the Or Hachaim institutions discussed the monetary debts of the Religious Affairs Ministry to the yeshivos, and noted that in practical terms this means that there will be delays in the routine transfer of funds to the yeshivos during the next three months.

HaRav Meir Jungerman, head of the Torah institutions in Zichron Yaakov, called for the strengthening of Torah study and added that in order to increase donations from our generous brethren outside of the country, perhaps centralized fund be set up to solicit funds for Torah institutions.

Participants at the conference announced the following decisions:

1. The conference calls upon the Prime Minister to remove the topic of yeshivos and other Torah educational institutes from the political arena. We have been promised that Torah will never be forgotten from our mouths and the mouths of our children and their children forever. Chazal tell us that from the times of our holy fathers Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov the study Torah has not ceased.

2. The conference, therefore, anticipates that the heads of government will regard yeshivos and Torah institutions as the main priority of the Religious Affairs Ministry. In its fifty years it has aided and helped merit them to flourish, enabling them to raise blessed, worthy generations sustaining the traditions of the Jewish people and concomitantly, to return those who have faltered to the Father in Heaven.

3. The conference calls upon all chareidi and religious parties to back us in the struggle by the heads of the yeshivos not to change the current location of the Department for Yeshivos (Organizations and Institutions Branch in the Religious Affairs Ministry) even if other Ministry functions are eventually transferred elsewhere.

4. The conference wishes to inform the public of the serious outcome of the dismantling of the Religious Affairs Ministry and the ramifications of change in its format.

5. The conference asks the Knesset members of the chareidi and religious parities not to conduct any negotiations at this point with the heads of the government, since the dismantling of the Religious Affairs Ministry is part of the planned "secular revolution."

6. The conference calls upon leaders and generous Jews in Eretz Yisroel and abroad to expand their share in our burden as in the Yissochor and Zevulun partnership, and in that manner to help us maintain our Torah institutions.


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