The Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday rejected the petition against the Tel Aviv municipality’s ban on the use of mechitzos at the annual Yom Kippur tefillah at Dizengoff Square.
The judge rejected the petition of the Freedom and Human Dignity in Israel Forum and stated that no gender segregation will be allowed in the public space on Yom Kippur.
“The mitzvah of tefillah will not be harmed if the petitioners do not daven in the manner requested by them – separated by gender in the public space,” she wrote.
Attorney Tzafnat Nordman, who represented the plaintiffs, stated: “A court in the Jewish state prohibits a mechitzah for Jewish tefillah. The first ban on a mechitzah in the sovereign Land of Israel, since the British and the Mufti. I finished reading the verdict with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. What an insult. First as a Jew, then as a citizen of the State of Israel, finally as a lawyer.”
“The ruling tramples on the fundamental rationality of administrative and constitutional law, of the liberal system, and inflicts a severe, stinging affront on every Jew who is not yet completely alienated from his roots. I will stop here,” Nordman concluded.
Likud MK Tally Gotliv responded “Elokim B’Shamayim. Who is harmed by a mechitzah at tefillas Neilah on Yom Kippur? The court needs to infringe even on this? In the name of whom are you fighting? The ‘State of Tel Aviv’ that accepts everyone but religious people. A PLO flag – yes, a pride parade – yes, a mechitzhah for tefillah – chalilah.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)