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Top Haredi rabbi Kanievsky says education at bottom of government’s concerns

Leading ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky has accused the government of abandoning the education of the country’s children during the pandemic, associates tell Hebrew media outlets.

Kanievsky, widely acknowledged as the preeminent living Ashkenazi Haredi sage, has said that “the education of Israel’s children is at the very bottom of the government’s concerns. Every other issue is given priority over education, which is the lifeblood of the nation.”

He has added that “millions of Israeli children have been at home for a year, in both spiritual and mental danger, and an immediate solution must be found to bring them back to school as quickly as possible, while maintaining health rules.”

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in the northern Israeli city of Safed, February 26, 2020. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Kanievsky has faced intense criticism for his handling of the pandemic and rulings given to his followers, and has instructed schools to open in defiance of government decisions on several occasions, leading hundreds of institutions to illicitly open their doors throughout the pandemic.

Kanievsky’s instructions, rather than government orders, are the final word for many in the ultra-Orthodox community.

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