Stun bomb hurled at Bnei Brak yeshiva

Incident believed to be between warring rabbis and their followers.

ponevezh flag 298.88 (photo credit: Matt Wagner)
ponevezh flag 298.88
(photo credit: Matt Wagner)
Three students were lightly injured when a stun grenade was thrown at the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak Sunday evening. Magen David Adom medics transported the three to the Tel Hashomer Medical Center, Army Radio reported. They were reportedly suffering from smoke inhalation. The incident is believed to be the latest flare-up between warring rabbis and their followers in an ongoing power struggle for control of Ponevezh, a training ground for the intellectual elite of the Lithuanian yeshiva world. Since 2001, when Rabbi Elazar Menachem Man Shach, the legendary and unchallenged head of Ponevezh Yeshiva, passed away, a power struggle has ensued between Markovitz, son- in-law of Rabbi Avraham Kahneman, Ponevezh's founder, and Eliezer 'Lazer' Kahneman, Avraham's son. The rabbis are at odds over who is the rightful heir to Ponevezh. Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the most respected halachic authority of haredi Lithuanian Jewry who is based in Jerusalem, has expressed his support for Markovitz. In contrast, most rabbis in Bnei Brak, a mostly ultra- Orthodox city just southeast of Tel Aviv, have publicly supported Kahneman, who also has the backing of the veteran teaching staff of the yeshiva. The power struggle is for control over the campus, which includes prime real estate in the heart of Bnei Brak and the yeshiva's prestigious name. That name has been tarnished as the infighting between the two camps has been ongoing over the past few years. Some of the incidents include contracted beatings performed by professional goons, break-ins, confiscation of property and the use of firecrackers to disrupt Torah classes.