The security coordinator of Kibbutz Nirim, a Shomer HaTza’ir kibbutz near the Gaza border, was fired for permitting a minyan and recitation of kaddish on a Friday night. Kibbutz officials, who are vehemently anti-religious, feared the event was a move to begin efforts to build a shul, which the community never had.

According to the Yediot Achronot report, a son is in aveilus for his father and wanted to recite kaddish. The decision was made to gather on erev shabbos, weekly, to permit him to do so.

The community security coordinator suggested using a bomb shelter and after obtaining permission from IDF, security and local officials, the decision was made to do just that. The report adds that the bomb shelter stands empty, used only in time of emergency. However, permission was given providing the site is left as it is found, orderly and ready for emergency.

After the fact, gathering a minyan and permitting the son to recite kaddish for his father, some kibbutz members alleged it was an effort to begin establishing a shul. A kibbutz leader summoned the well-meaning security coordinator, and kibbutz members told Yediot the tone of that meeting was not a pleasant one. He was told that despite being cited for exemplary service in his post as security coordinator, he is being dismissed pending a final hearing next week. However, he is already on suspension and his appointment selected so it is unlikely the hearing is anything more than a show.

Others who came to the security coordinator’s side explained there were no changes made to the bomb shelter, no Sefer Torah was brought in and nothing was done to signal the establishment of a shul. Nevertheless, it appears his transgression was so severe, there is no room for mercy.