BNEI BRAK (VINnews) — Chareidi prisoners in the religious section of the Ayalon jail have sent the names of the prison’s commanding officer and its rabbis to Rabbi Chaim Kanievski to give them a special blessing. The prisoners wished to express their gratitude to the new commander, Mark Alfasi, for his empathetic approach to religious matters in the jail.
A Chareidi prisoner reported that Alfasi has gone out of his way to provide the conditions for religious services in the jail, one of a number which have special rehabilitative programs for religious prisoners. A large, spacious Sukkah was built to accomodate the prisoners and they were allowed to spend more hours in the courtyard in order to celebrate Simchas Beis Ha’Shoeva in accordance with coronavirus restrictions.
The prisoners said that they got exemplary Arba’ah Minim (four species) during Sukkos and the rabbi of the section, Rav Shmuel Ben Harush, came specially to the jail before the holiday to ensure that all needs were taken care of.
The prisoner added that there was a special all-night learning session on Hoshana Rabba, with the rabbis making efforts to help the prisoners feel the sacred atmosphere. The director of the religious section, David Olivera was also singled out for his efforts to provide the needs of the prisoners during the entire year.
Rabbi Kanievski indeed gave a special blessing to the prison staff.
In other prison facilities there have been complaints by religious prisoners about being transferred form Maasiyahu jail to the Dekel facility in Beersheva which does not have the same accomodation for religious life. They were even refused permission to pray in the prison’s shul at the sunrise minyan, as the prison staff claimed that “there are no Slichos today.”
The Prison Service claims that the Dekel facility is run according to regulations and each new prisoner can take whatever he needs to his cell.