From the absurd to the insane! I'm telling you guys, they need to be drafted in the army!
A long-running quarrel within the famed Ponovezeh Yeshiva in Bnei Barak has burst once again into bouts of violence and brawling among the two feuding sides loyal to two separate rabbis who both claim to head the institution.
On Sunday night, dozens of yeshiva students were involved in a fierce melee apparently over who which faction had the rights to lead the evening prayers. Some twenty students were reportedly injured during the fighting during which a prayer stand was thrown into a crowd of students and one of the yeshiva deans central to the conflict, Rabbi Shmuel Markowitz, was struck.
A student thought to be responsible for striking Rabbi Markowitz was arrested on Monday.
The latest skirmish follows a series of fights that have taken place in recent days and weeks which led last Thursday to a massive police operation in which several dozen yeshiva students were arrested for their part in the violence.
Most of those arrested were loyal to Rabbi Markowitz and his faction, known as “the terrorists.”
Those loyal to the faction of yeshiva president Rabbi Eliezer Kehanaman, son of Ponevezh founder Rabbi Avraham Kehanaman, along with Rabbis Gershon Edelstein and Baruch Dov Poborski are known as “the haters.”
Violence broke out again on Sunday night between the two factions over who would have the right to lead the evening prayers. The skirmish grew within the yeshiva halls during which Markowitz was hurt, allegedly by Rabbi Yossi Kehanaman, son of Preident Rabbi Eliezer Kehanaman.
Markowitz has now filed a complaint against the younger Kehanaman with the Bnei Brak police, although he has denied the charge and was released.
This led members of “the terrorists” faction to violently vandalize a dormitory belonging to “the haters.”
The dispute over the leadership of the yeshiva started back in 2001, with the death of Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach, the undisputed dean of the Ponevezh Yeshiva and the spiritual head of the non-hassidic haredi community.
A power struggle for control over the yeshiva, its institutions and its valuable real estate ensued between one of the co-yeshiva deans Markovitz and yeshiva president Kahneman, along with rabbis and co-deans Edelstein Poborski.
Former leader of the non-hassidic haredi world the late Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv expressed his support for Markovitz, while most of the other leading rabbis in the haredi stronghold of Bnei Brak,have publicly supported Kahneman, who also has the backing of the veteran teaching staff of the yeshiva.
Content provided as courtesy of the Jerusalem Post