Rabbonim Who Caught Eruv Vandals Arrested By Yerushalayim Police


bayitveganThe Israeli chareidi print and online media have reported a travesty of justice in the Bayit Vegan-Kiryat Yovel neighborhood of Yerushalayim after two rabbonim were arrested as they responded to another attempt by chilonim to destroy the area eruv. Residents and bnei yeshiva went Friday night, at the urging of local rabbonim, to stand guard over the eruv and prevent it from being ripped down by secular residents. It was not a long time later that chilonim called the mishtara (police) after the local chareidi residents had detained those responsible for the most recent destruction of the eruv. What compounded the matter was that one of those who were caught was Professor Danny Mandler, a secular Yerushalayim university professor who has been vocal in his opposition to the eruv.

Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Reichman and Rav Dovid Eisenstein of the Mehadrim Eruv Committee had been invited to the area for Shabbos so they could keep watch over the eruv. Friday night, the two rabbonim went with some others on patrol and indeed observed two individuals wreaking havoc on the eruv. One of them was Professor Mandler, who had been part of a team of chilonim who were ostensibly working with chareidim to discuss the eruv issue.

The mishtara were then called by a chiloni resident, and after the rabbonim told the police that they would be unable to go down to the police station to give their report because it is Shabbos, the officers began to assault the rabbonim. An excessive number of police officers responded to the scene, overreacting and conducting themselves violently.

The rabbonim were taken to the Police Headquarters at the Russian Compound and, on Motzoei Shabbos, after a long and uncomfortable day, were released.

Professor Mandler and his partner in crime received a ‘slap on the wrist,’ being commanded to distance themselves from the eruv for a month.

Local councilmember Aharon Franco spoke to Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat and apprised him of the events on Shabbos, explaining that all construction of local eruvin has ceased until the ongoing attacks on eruvin can be stopped and the situation resolved once and for all. Barkat, in a special message released last night, has expressed his remorse over what transpired and the despicable behavior of the local police. He is scheduled to meet today with the City Vaad for the Construction of Eruvin in Yerushalayim to follow up on the disturbing events on Shabbos.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. The kiryat yovel eruv situation comes with a background history that should be an addendum to this article. For years, there was a maintained municipal rabbinic eruv surrounding Kiryat Yovel which functioned well. When the charedi immigration to K.Yovel began it brought actions and attitudes of kanoosis rather than darchai noam. They acted on we are #1 We have arrived, we know best, our halachas (overriding rabbanim that served & lived there) will be the determining factors here. As you can imagine, strife and friction erupted not only re: the eruv but in the grocery stores and kosher pizza shop.
    Galus & zionazis are cutey terms to throw around, the connection to this issue is rather bleak.

  2. The prior comment does not absolve the horrendous behavior of the police towards the rabbanim that were ohev shalom and rodef shalom.