The Israel Police Rav of the Northern District, Rav Anshel Friedman, addresses the controversy surrounding Lag B’Omer on motzei Shabbos and chilul Shabbos surrounding the event. Friedman, a Belzer Chossid, serves as the department Chief Rabbi of the entire Northern District.
Rabbi Friedman spoke with Kol Berama Radio host Noam Zeigman on Wednesday, 1 Rosh Chodesh Iyar, explaining if we truly wish to safeguard the Shabbos, then no one will begin before the early hours of Sunday morning and not immediately after Shabbos. If the latter is the case, police must travel on Shabbos for the department must be prepared as soon as Shabbos ends and this he laments, leads to chilul Shabbos.
“I am serving in the department for 28 years and if required, I always spent Shabbos in Meron to avoid chilul Shabbos. Perhaps the tzibur will be angry with me, but I have criticism against the chareidim in particular for there is chilul Shabbos in Meron. Fifteen minutes after shekiya we can see chareidim driving, concerned they must get a good spot. Israel Police must be prepared for this to protect everyone”, explaining these realities lead to chilul Shabbos.
Rav Friedman calls on those who have an influence on the chareidi tzibur to give a psak halacha that no one is to arrive before the early morning hours on Sunday to avoid chilul Shabbos in all sectors. “The police also prefer to remain at home and spend Shabbos with their families” he concluded.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)