Leftist protesters prevented Yom Kippur tefillos from taking place on erev Yom Kippur and Motzei Yom Kippur at Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv.
The organizers of the tefillos, the Rosh Yehudi organization, tried to use Israeli flags as an improvised mechitzah after a Tel Aviv court ruled that a mechitzah in a public space is illegal.
The leftists confronted the participants, destroyed the mechitzah, and even cleared the chairs that the organizers had placed. Clashes developed between the participants and the leftists, with the leftists standing next to the area and screaming “Bushah, bushah.” Most of the participants left the area.
One of the protesters was detained by the police and a group of leftists protested outside the police station where he was being questioned.
Leftists prevented mechitzos from being set up in other areas of Tel Aviv as well as in Yafo and Haifa at the end of the fast on Monday evening.
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir wrote “On this Yom Kippur we saw haters who are trying to expel Judaism from the public sphere. Israel is a Jewish country! And a democratic one. Next Thursday I will hold an evening tefillah in the square. The public is invited!”
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai responded to the clashes, “Unfortunately, last night, religious and Messianic extremists decided to trample on the court’s decision and established a mechitzah between men and women at the Erev Yom Kippur tefillah. A crowd of protesters, residents of the city, prevented the tefillah in Dizengoff Square from taking place in its illegal form. This is the first I’ve been called on Yom Kippur since the Yom Kippur War 50 years ago. I want to make it clear – I will not let the character of our city change! In Tel Aviv-Yafo, there is no place for gender segregation and exclusion in the public space.”
Opposition Chairman Yair Lapid wrote: “It’s a shame Yom Kippur was spoiled in G-d’s name. For years I have provided Yom Kippur as an example that Judaism does not need to be enforced. It becomes ours only when we consider each other. Until this year, when the Chardalim [Chareidi-Dati Leumi] came to the neighborhood and decided to bring the war to us as well. They insist on gender segregation in the public space. They erected a tent where they daven only with Ashkenazi tunes. They make sure to explain to us that there is only one version of Judaism, their version.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)