Several prominent ultra-Orthodox yeshivas canceled summer vacation and called on their students to continue studying Torah in solidarity with IDF soldiers fighting in the Gaza Strip, ultra-Orthodox media reported.
Rabbis heading yeshivas affiliated with a number of Hasidic dynasties, among them the Gur, Belz, and Sanz groups, decided that it was unsuitable for students to go on vacation while the army was engaged in a war in the Palestinian enclave, according to the Kikar Hashabbat website.
The leader of the Belz sect, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, instructed his students to entirely avoid trips throughout the three weeks ordinarily designated for summer vacation and called on them to instead remain in their yeshivas.
“I forbid [vacation] altogether,” the rabbi said.
Last week, Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef ordered Sephardi yeshivas to continue operating during summer vacation as well.
“We must continue to learn; it is not right to hold a vacation period during a time of war when there are people on the front,” Yosef said. “That is why I think we must study as usual in yeshiva.”
Summer vacation at ultra-Orthodox yeshivas, known as “Bein Hazmanim,” generally begins after the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, usually sometime in mid-August, and ends three weeks later, on the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul.