Two unattended bags lying outside the Beis Medrash Govoha campus as first seder was getting underway Thursday prompted police to order an evacuation of the premises.
The evacuation, which covered the main Yeshivah hall, the Mizrach and Maariv batei medrash, along with the dormitory, was called off shortly afterward when the owner of the small suitcases came back and identified them as belonging to him.
Rabbi Moshe Gleiberman, vice president for administration at Lakewood’s premier yeshivah, told Hamodia that the seder hayeshivah was not affected.
“The buildings were not evacuated,” Rabbi Gleiberman said in an email. “Seder began as [usual].”
Two suspicious valises were discovered shortly before 9:00 a.m., as talmidim were streaming in for seder. Police arrived with canine units and ordered everyone out as they investigated. But the bags’ owner, who lives near the yeshivah, came forward within minutes and opened them for the officers.
BMG is one of the two largest yeshivos in the world, with more than 6,000 talmidim learning in a few buildings across Lakewood. Police regularly respond to any suspicious behavior or unattended bag left in the area. But an evacuation order is considered rare and is only undertaken in some circumstances.