An Israeli teen who wanted to grant his pals the benefit of donning Tefillin was suspended from school for three days.
Yishai, 16, attends the secular Makif Chet school in Rishon Letzion and wears Tefillin daily.
He decided to bring some Tefillin on Thursday so that his buddies might also do the mitzvah. Many of Yishai’s pals stopped by to don Tefillin for themselves after he set up a table. There was “no attempt to force anybody,” claims Yishai.
Yishai’s friends enthusiastically embraced the project. They expressed gratitude to me and said a sense of solidarity, according to Yishai.
“One of the teachers warned that she would call the principal while we were putting on Tefillin.
The principal arrived a little later and asked aggressively, “What is this here, a synagogue? Let the children don their Tefillin at home rather than here.
Yishai was quite disappointed, but he requested that the principal hold off removing the table until the lads had finished donning Tefillin.
He spoke to her politely, but the principal persisted in yelling at him.
She shouts, frightening the students, who hurriedly remove their Tefillin and flee.
She took the Tefillin off the head of one young boy who was donning them for just the second time in his life, which caused him great anxiety.
Yishai questioned the principal about why she was interfering with the children’s prayers.
In response, she took the table with the Tefillin and set it next to the principal.
I was about to start crying, but I kept my composure.
I was surprised to see her humiliate me in front of the entire school.
Such turmoil has never occurred to me before.
A Jewish boy shouldn’t have to feel intimidated to wear Tefillin to school, according to Yishai, who claimed that the superintendent agreed with him.
Following the event, Yishai was suspended from school for three days.
Yishai allegedly “talked angrily” with the principal and took a table without permission to put on Tefillin.
The municipality of Rishon Letzion stated,
“We respect all initiatives launched by students, particularly placing Tefillin, as long as they are done politely and in consultation with the school administration.”
Yishai denied making the principal feel disrespected.
A Gerer chasid from Arad learned about the incident after it was made public and was horrified.
To encourage the youngster, he bought him a Siddur with his name etched on it and a Tefillin bag and brought them to Rishon Letzion.