Summer Vacation in Israel Canceled…for Torah

29 Jul 2014

800px-Carteret_beis_medrashReposted from The Jerusalem Post online.

The major hassidic groups in Israel will not run the usual summer vacation programs for students from the Fast of the Ninth of Av to the beginning of the Jewish month of Elul because of the current military campaign several hassidic spokesmen said on Tuesday.

The large Gur, Belz, Viznitz and Sanz hassidic groups, among others, are all expected to cancel the usual summer vacation activities for students, and maintain a substantial study program in yeshivas.

The Fast of the Ninth of Av is the traditional end of the summer yeshiva semester and many institutions arrange for holiday excursions, hikes and other activities for their students along side a half-day study program.

According to a spokesman for Gur, the schedule for the three weeks between semesters this year will include the study of lighter texts alongside the usual curriculum of Talmud while the study environment will be less formal than during the official semester but he said that the same study hours as normal term-time will be observed.

A spokesman for the Belz hassidim told The Jerusalem Post the Belz Rebbe Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach has said that now is not the time for yeshiva students to go on vacations and hikes when soldiers are engaged in war and Israel’s security situation is so severe, and emphasised the widespread belief in the haredi world that the merit of Torah study provides spiritual and even physical protection for the Jewish people.

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The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.