Shimon Peres: Patron of the Olam Hayeshivos

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Former Israeli President Shimon Peres, of blessed memory, who passed away overnight, will always be remembered as a man who fought for peace, although many say that he was far too obsessive in his quest, and that he took excessive risks. In that sense, he was like Ariel Sharon, who decided to surrender Gush Katif in the belief – or, better yet, the delusion – that it would somehow lead to peace. Sharon ignored the dissenters who claimed that if his move did not bring peace, it would simply serve to expose more of the country to rocket fire, not to mention the fact that it would result in the destruction of Jewish communities for no reason. Peres had an even more ambitious vision than Sharon, but that almost meant that he took much greater risks.

As a man who was both the president and the prime minister of Israel, Peres was a fascinating individual. He was one of the most highly admired statesmen in the entire world. Even when he was no longer an active politician, Peres still attracted plenty of interest. All the news outlets in the world reported on the stroke that he suffered, while political leaders from all over the world called to wish him well.

Peres was part of the previous generation. He was an active player in the political field even in David Ben-Gurion’s day. Interestingly, throughout his years in politics, Peres was widely disliked. It was only in recent years, since he was elected president of Israel, and even more so since he retired from the presidency, that Peres became a beloved public figure. Suddenly, he enjoyed the public adoration that he had craved and pursued throughout his life.

When he was recently hospitalized, the country’s admiration for him grew and transcended sectarian divides. He was visited in the hospital by Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, and a number of rabbonim.

Peres had a special connection with the chareidi public. The gedolei Yisroel, both today and those of the previous generation, will never forget his status as the patron of the yeshiva world. Peres was responsible for the original arrangement that allowed yeshiva bochurim to be exempt from the draft, an arrangement that is still in place today. Whenever the status quo was challenged by various voices in the country – usually on the grounds that there were only 400 yeshiva students when Ben-Gurion agreed to the arrangement, while there are now tens of thousands of bochurim, kein yirbu – it was always Peres who spoke out in favor of it. Everyone knows about the special connection he had with the gedolei Yisroel, especially Rav Ovadiah Yosef zt”l.

There is no doubt that much will yet be said about him, but his contribution to the world of yeshivos will not be forgotten.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. While Peres did have a special connection with the chareidim,

    When all is said and done,somehow his protégées would end up invariably on the side of the Left

  2. this is a classic case of ” acharei mois, kedoishim emor”. He might have been good for the yeshivos, but he was terrible for the country. PLO was dead in the water after iraq war with saddam hussein. It was Peres who gave them life, and all our subsequent problems, when he orchestrated the Oslo agreement. He loved “being a statesman” and kissing up to the foreign leaders. He was a liberal, who couldnt or didnt want to see reality. Lets not make him, after death, this great Israeli hero.

  3. Peres a marbitz Torah?! The guy was a real Machiavellian, sheigetz, commie, and judenrat. The only good thing he did was possibly getting the French to assist with Dimona reactor over fifty years ago. Peres was always an integral part of the erev rav coalition with the goals of destroying Torah and Am Yisroel. For example, he caused deaths of hundreds of Jews with his Oslo under the table deals. He was a real apparatchik whose only way to get into the Knesset was on the party list system, would be very unlikely to get elected in a direct democratic election. He might have done a few minor favors for Olam Hatorah while doing everything to fight the Torah – don’t be fooled by the Machiavellian tricks.

  4. Peres did many good things for the Medinah, including making the Air Force into the super-power that it is today.

    However, the fact that he is credited for exempting “tens of thousands of bochurim” from IDF service is a klala, not bracha.

    These massive deferments have caused and will continue to cause anger and resentment towards the Haredi communities in Israel.

    • So in your opinion, the situation would have been better witho u t the deferments? That the secular wouldn’t hate us (they wouldn’t? we’d still be insisting on keeping the status quo)? That our young people would be subject to all the spiritual challenges in the army, starting from chilul Shabbos, bitul Torah, kashrus, nivul peh, tznius, etc etc etc? T h a t ‘s better???

  5. Mr. Peres was definitely ‘NOT A MARBITZ TORAH’ he was part of Ben Gurion’s clique was if anything he was a soineh haddas, being in politics when it was convenient for him and would serve his political ambitions he threw the charaidim a ‘small bone’, I am astonished that Matzav which is supposed to cater to the Torah world is giving a person like him so much coverage. He may have received a berocho from the Helige Chofetz Chaim for long life and that was his reward for the miniscule favors he did for frummer yiden.

  6. Should we be criticizing a fellow Jew before Rosh Hashanah — as he passes from this world to the next? His merits — and his other actions — are obviously known. It may be more useful to make clear that no Jew — no names used — should ever put the lives of other Jews at risk, and remind the world that G-d gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people for eternity. Oslo accords do not change that. It’s in the Torah!


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