Thursday, November 03, 2011

Yeshiva Expels Students for Getting Driver Licenses

I found the following story rather bizarre.
The head of the prestigious Be'er Torah yeshiva has announced that he will expel 30 students from the institution after discovering that they hold driver's licenses.

The "expulsion letters" were issued a month ago, yet the yeshiva students refuse to comply with the demand.

A letter issued by yeshiva head, Rabbi Gavriel Yosef Levy, informed the students that as they breached the yeshiva's rules, they should find an alternate place to study in the winter term.

According to the yeshiva charter, holding a valid driver's license is forbidden. The charter's third chapter asserts: "A yeshiva boy shall not drive a vehicle and must not hold a driver's license."

According to the students, the institution's staff looked into the driver's license issue in cooperation with the Transportation Ministry. One of the expelled students told Ynet he was furious that his personal details in a government database were compromised.

The ministry issued the following response: "Entering the Transportation Ministry's database while pretending to be the owner of a license is an offense. The ministry is aware of the problem and seeks solutions that would prevent unauthorized parties from eliciting information about driver's license holders." (YNET)
On the one hand, the yeshiva is allowed to make whatever ridiculous requirements they wish for admission. If you don't like it, don't go there... (perhaps, similar to the weird requirements of certain yeshivot that require all their students to follow strict Ashkenazi customs, even the Sepharadim, even outside the yeshiva). Or perhaps, the Beis Yaakov school that expelled 9 girls for having non-kosher cellphones.

Is the yeshiva like the Belzer Chassidim, who forbid women to drive at all? Why doesn't the yeshiva want them to drive; is the process of learning to drive "bitttul Torah" (a waste of Torah time), is the yeshiva worried they will drive instead of being in yeshiva, or is it that yeshiva guys shouldn't be behind the wheel in the first place, because it's not befitting a Torah scholar to drive (and they should be driven around?)

Yet even more distressing is that the Transportation Ministry cooperated with the Yeshiva. In the USA, the ministry would have been sued. Here, there's not much that can be done.

Oh well.

Hoping the yeshiva guys find another yeshiva soon...on the bright side; they can drive there.

Obligatory Joke:

Many years ago, the Lubavitcher Rebbe was being driven to upstate New York to the catskills one Friday. Somewhere along the NY State Thruway, the Rebbe asked his driver if he could pull over. Obviously the Rebbe's driver pulled over at the first opportunity. The Rebbe sighed and said, "How I wish you would let me drive...I've always wanted to drive the car, but I'm always being driven around. Please let me drive the car...even if just for a few miles."

The poor chossid driver had no choice...and he got out, opened the car door for the Rebbe, and sat in the back seat. The Rebbe, gleeful as a child, got behind the wheel and started driving.

It was only minutes before the speedometer's needle crept past 80 miles per hour, as the Rebbe was excitedly, getting into the driving. And then, the siren's wail broke the excitement, as a NY State Trooper called for them to pull over.

The Rebbe's car slowly pulled over to the side of the road, and the trooper got out of his car, and walked over to the driver's side.

A minute later the trooper was back at his car, calling his local commander over his radio.

"We have a serious political problem here boss...I pulled over a mega-serious VIP for speeding, and I don't know how to let him go."

"Who's the VIP?" The commander asked over the radio.

The trooper replied, "I have no clue...but his driver is the Lubavitcher Rebbe..."

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Anonymous said...

apparently quite a few yeshivas forbid students from getting driver licenses

Mrs. S. said...

Most (all?) Israeli Bais Yaakovs forbid their students from getting driver's licenses.

Anonymous said...

Most Israeli Bais Yaakovs forbid their students from sitting in the front seat - you know, over the shoulder seat belts aren't tsanua

Anonymous said...

I think it it's a road safety thing after a few cases of Yeshiva guys renting cars ben hazmanin and getting into fatal accidents.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately teenagers and cars are not a good combination. These boys do not live in suburban America, they live in cities with public transportation. They do not need to drive - driving will only lead them to places and activities that are less than positive. It's also a huge distraction from Yeshiva, and BTW, why should we be encouraging boys to waste money renting cars to go on unsupervised trips with their friends? Kol hakavod to the Yeshiva, too bad they had to use subterfuge to get their info...

2senseplain said...

In addition to what Anonymous said, note that responders to the news articles, who claimed to have sons in the yeshiva in question (or other yeshivot with similar rules) pointed out that the boys are studying with the privilege/responsiblity to be released from army service to defend Israel via Torah study and have no business therefore, giving their studies anything less that 100%. They don't need luxuries or distractions aany more than our sons who serve with army service get. If they were defending Israel in the army instead of at their shtenders they would be expected to stay at their posts, not go haring off in cars. And it wouldn't matter if they were 18 or 24 or 44 for that matter.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

How "top quality" can the yeshiva really be if they need to use "subterfuge" to get their info?

Devorah said...

Can you please correct the spelling mistake in the headline from expells to expels? And I'm curious, what are the ten Muqata points I was to have won for the I scream - ice cream contest?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...


1. Mistake fixed.
2. We'll need to think of something appropriate. Maybe a muqata t-shirt...

Anonymous said...

I would have hoped that by now all of us would have learned to take anything written in Ynet about either "settlers" or "chareidim" with a grain of salt. They have published plenty of stories before that were total fabrications, just lies and slander. It's bait for huge amounts of lashon hara and sinat chinam.

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