Tel Aviv Mayor Wants To Cancel Chabad ‘Mishichist’ Event Over Gender Separation


Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has decided to cancel Chabad’s “Moshiach in the Square” event because it was going to maintain gender-separation. Huldai explains that the event is not a religious one and therefore, in his mind, there are no grounds to permit gender separation.

While the chareidim remain conspicuously silent, MK Betzalel Smotrich is a lone voice shouting out in defense of Chabad, against the mayor.

Working against Chabad, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in his legal opinion states the mayor has the right to determine the character of the event and use its judgement regarding a permit for any event held in a public venue.

Mandelblit adds, “In accordance with the discretion of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality, when it decided that it would freeze the use of Rabin Square in favor of the requested public event, there would be no gender segregation after the organizers of the event were able to present their arguments.”

[UPDATE: Court Rules In Favor of Chabad Tel Aviv “Mishichist” Event With Gender Separation]

Mayor Huldai explains. “Our city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, where the Declaration of Independence was read, has always been a pioneer in the protection of human rights, equality and gender equality in particular, which is consistent with the values ​​of the State of Israel, which strives for equal rights.” He added that with regard to the location of the event, “this is a central square that routinely serves many passersby, and that this is not a purely religious event.”

While Yahadut Hatorah and Shas both remain silent following the announced decision, Smotrich has decided to speak out, sending a harshly-worded letter to the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, with a copy to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

In the letter he writes, “I urgently appeal to you following Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai’s announcement that from now on he will not allow any gender segregation in public events in Tel Aviv. This announcement came after the Israel Women’s Network petitioned the Tel Aviv Municipality and Deputy Attorney General Dina Silber to protest the existence of the Moshiach Square event, a private event that was supposed to take place in Rabin Square, which offers mixed seating for those who wish as well”.

After discussion between the mayor and Deputy AG Silber, the decision was made to ban the event.

Smotrich however insists the State of Israel must protect the rights of those wishing to have a gender separated event, explaining Tel Aviv City Hall’s decision is offensive to many citizens who wish to attend the Chabad event.

Smotrich adds, “This is a war of values. In contrast to the picture that the Women’s Lobby wants to paint, and in the wake of it, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, the desire to maintain gender segregation in some circles of life is not a position that belongs to extremists or the sons of darkness, but rather a position based on a rich world of values ​​and a long tradition of the Jewish People.

“In Israeli society, there is a legitimate debate over this world of values, its boundaries and the manner in which it is implemented, but in a public-democratic space there is no room to allow the silencing of one voice by excluding it from the public sphere. ‘Legal’ opinion is the farthest from liberalism, and rightly so, the term ‘totalitarian liberalism’.

Therefore, the MK concludes his letter to the Attorney General: “I ask you to instruct the Tel Aviv municipality immediately that the sweeping prohibition it imposes on the existence of events in gender separation is unconstitutional and that it is not within their authority to prevent the existence of the ‘Moshiach Square’ event, which was duly accepted and approved by the municipality many months earlier.”

In response to the mayor’s decision, the Ichud Leumi faction of the Bayit Yehudi party released the following message. “The secular coercion that Huldai is leading in his city is an extreme step that is endangering the delicate fabric of life in his city.”

“Will the next step be the closure of shuls in the city in which there is an ezras noshim? Unfortunately, instead of honoring tradition of Israel, and giving a place to people who believe in his city, Huldai decides to exclude them from the city of Tel Aviv, and we are witnessing the first time that in the name of the war there is a revival. We are strengthening the hands of the Chabad movement that will continue in Tel Aviv, to shine a light of tradition and unity against the darkness that the mayor leads.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. When Will People Speak Out About This “The Last Rebbe is Moshiach” Nonsense?!?!?
    In the Rambam Hilchos Melachim it said Bar Kochba was not Moshiach as he died!
    Of all dead Jewish leaders was the last rebbe the extreme greatest? Indeed if all dead ones can be Moshiach why not David or Shlomo or Chezkiah????? Or Rashi or Rambam????
    The Rambam in Mishnayis at end of Sanhedrin on his Ikur In Emunah on Moshiac says we should Not Seek out the time Moshiach will come but Patiently Wait. This is because if we do and it turns out we calculated Wrong and Moshiach Did not come Many May Lose Faith?? Recall what happened with Shabsi Tsvi when many were thinking he was moshiach till he converted to Islam and major disheartening occured.

  2. Not much common sense in this decision. Clearly it has religious links so it would not hve been much of an imposition to allow gender separation. There are times when such separation is clearly unwarranted (e.g. efforts by some lunatics to require women to walk on certain sides of the street in religious neighborhoods) but this event could easily be accomodated to meet religious preferences.

  3. As I have been pointing out to the “Mishichist” Lubavitchers since 2005, the Rebbe is not Moshiach.

    The Rebbe is not about to appear in a “Second Coming” now, soon or anytime ever.

    They should wake up to themselves.

    שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם

    Adam Neira
    World Peace 2050
    Founded April 2000

  4. הרבי מלך המשיח שליט”א???
    Is there a new Rebba ???
    I thought The Lubavitcher Rebb ztl is buried in Queens and his Yahrzeit was just last week??

    These people have taken a page out of Christianity and Islam by claiming their leader is still alive, they have made this Tzaddik inyo a diety, placing an oversized picture of only him in every room.
    That is as close to Avoda Zara as the act itself and is reprehensible.
    Thanks Mayor Huldai for stopping this demo. You have saved countless individuals from thinking this is Judaism. It is a farce.

  5. This is another form of christianity. Who cares what they think? R. Chaim brisker defined apikorus as one who doesn’t believe in any one of the 13 ani maamins. Enough said about them, move on.

  6. Lets be clear. These crazies have hijacked a good part of Lubavicth. They do not represent real Lubavitchers. They are horrible people, who have hijacked the legacy of the Rebbe, and turned him into a modern day Shabatai Zevi Yemach Shemam Vezichram.

    It’s time for the real chabad yidden to band together and declare publicly that these people have no chelek in Lubavitch. people like rav Kotlarsky, Rabbi Krinsky, Rabbi Groner, Hagaon Ha’adir Hatzadik Hachosid Harav Yoel Kahan and the rest of the leadership.

  7. these people are nothing to do with chabad.

    no one knows any of these fake rabbonim. and none of these sephardi-conjobs ever saw the rebbe. they are on their fifth stop. soon will be na nach.

  8. Bulldozer,Kingstoner,
    Halevei we would all be active like Chabad
    Now let’s get real
    These supposed crazies are hardly the minority. They dominate and predominate Chabad.The remaining supposed silent majority support , defend ,and hope that the minority’s position becomes mainstream

  9. To all the bloggers who are distracted by anything chabad does. What should really be bothering you is, the State of Israel is supposed to be a place for “all” jews so they say. Yet they ban frum people from congregating. Next, they’ll try to enforce mixed seating in shul and schools. It’s not so farfetched, Hashem yishmor.

  10. @chaimz while I disagree with Meshichists, your comment is incredibly misinformed. The RAMBAM says anyone who disagrees with his 13 IKKARIM is an apikorus. All Rav Chaim added is you can be an apikorus through no fault of your own.

    Unless you can name which of the ikkarim they are breaking, you shouldn’t label an entire group outside klal yisroel.

  11. Bulldozer-“Lets be clear. These crazies have hijacked a good part of Lubavicth. They do not represent real Lubavitchers.”
    -Not to stir anything up, but they kind of do. Those “real”lubavitchers believe the same thing they just dont run around in yellow drapes yelling it.

    “It’s time for the real chabad yidden to band together and declare publicly that these people have no chelek in Lubavitch. ”
    -They will once they are done mentioning “misnagdim” at least 300 times a day. Have you ever been to a farbrengen?

  12. refoelzeev, you are correct I responded hastily and mixed up 2 quotes. R. Chaim said a nebech apilorus is also an opikorus. The other is not one for publication, if I get your email I can send it to you.

    The ikarim are believing in and waiting for moshiach each day.

  13. refoelzeev:
    You want to know which of the ikkarim they are breaking?
    The one where it says that we are WAITING for Moshiach.
    They claim that he is here and alive…
    YES! That ENTIRE group is NOT part of Klal Yisroel..

  14. That was what i answered you. It’s actually 2 ikarim. If I would have your email I could send you a quote from the brisker rov.

  15. A few points,
    1) there is nothing wrong in believing your rebbe is moshiach. See gemara sanhedrin where it says how many yeshivas believed their rosh was moshiach.
    2) majority of chabad believes this about our rebbe. However a large group of chabad will not publicize our belief for various reasons. If you all them is the rebbe moshiach yes it no, they will give you some round about answer (usually one that doesn’t even answer the question).
    3) using the word misnagid should not be offencive to anyone. It simply means somebody who is not Chabad.
    4) the fact that in Israel is prohibited to have a public event with proper seating (hakachik

  16. My post got cut off
    4) the fact that in Israel you can’t have a public event in a halachik, kosher fashion should be upsetting to everybody. Interesting to note that it’s the mishichist that are insisting on having a “kosher” event that’s not mixed seating.
    5) to label them (and myself) koferim is literally ignorance. We are as careful as you (possibly even more careful) when it comes to Torah (including halacha) observance.
    6) whenever you quote the rambam I smile and think who knows rambam better then chabad who learn rambam religiously everyday. Did you know that chabad chassidish finish yad hachzaka eaither every year or every three years (depending on which cycle you do)?
    Do you know how many talks the rebbe spoke about the ramabm and explained in depth etc etc
    7) the rambam writes that bar kochba was killed (for his sins). Obviously the rebbe wasn’t killed (by all opinions)
    8) at this time we should be uniting with each other and not looking to disqualify an entire group of yidden. Many who are working day and night to help other around the globe at chabad houses and the like.

    Good shabbos

  17. Honestly, heretics or not, they definitely are pretty stupid, believing he’s alive. I sure as heck wouldn’t let someone that dumb be a ‘rabbi’.

  18. Ok. I’ve read the entire article and most of the comments.
    May I respectfully be the devils advocate.
    There are places like Meah Shearim, when you enter a public street belonging to the government of Israel. There are rules and regulations about the dress code etc. Or as in Bnei Berak with the Shikrikim.
    So why can’t the city of Tel Aviv regulate their domains saying all events in our city must meet our standerds as you have in M. SH.
    Why the difference?
    Why the preferential treatment ?

  19. because TA is a secular leaning city does not mean that it can not respect our religion. Segregation of sex in synagogues is accepted and if Huldai has his way, this ban on separate sitting will become a precedent for outlawing separate seating in the shul too.

    It is a shame that liberal idiots say they accept all, when in reality, they only accept liberals like them selves.

  20. At least the “Mishichistim” are doing one thing right by not having mixed gender events. I am not Lubavitch but I think they are great people who do a lot of good, but meshichistim? That’s a whole different story. Anyway Israel is supposedly a “democracy” so they have no right to prevent a private group from making whatever kind of event they want.

  21. As a Lubavitcher chossid, I would like nothing more than if this event never existed. This event is promulgating a wrong idea and belief, and doing so in the name of my Rebbe. As a chossid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, it personally hurts me to see such things done in his name.
    However many commenters here are letting their distaste for ‘meshichistim’ get in the way of the main point of this issue. The issue at hand is that a city in Eretz Yisroel wants to forbid a mechitza being put up by a event that is taking place in a public venue. This is another alarming incident in the war against Yiddishkeit and Frumme Yidden that is taking place all around Eretz Yisroel.
    The mayor of Tel Aviv does not differentiate between a ‘mishichist’, a Gerrer Chossid, a Litvishe, a Breslover Chossid, or even a Modern Orthodox Yid who wants to keep Shulchan Aruch. For him they are all Frumme Yidden and he will fight all equally. So, go ahead and side with the Mayor of Tel Aviv and the “womens’ rights” organizations. Just remember that when they gain more traction r”l, and support drafting Yeshiva students, or reform “prayer” by the Kossel, or public chillul Shabbos, that you sided with them when it fit your agenda.

    P.S. To all those screaming “apikursim”, “christians”, “not part of Klal Yisroel”:
    Know your place. To label people as such one must be a world class Posek (or at least be boki in the halachos). It is shameful that people are ready to hide behind screen names and call people by such radical labels.
    As a reminder, this is written by one who profoundly disagrees with the ‘meshichistim’ and believes that the ‘meshichist’ movement is wrong

    P.P.S. @litvishechossid : Which beliefs do I share with the ‘mishichistim’? Or most of the Lubavitch for that matter? We must know a different Lubavitch.

  22. BS”D
    I’d like to avoid the Chabad talk and get over to what Ah Yid said, and a few others as well. The mayor of TA bans an event in the name of gender equality. Fine, I guess. Let’s say I agree with the good mayor. Um, but, uh, how is separate-gendered seating in any way a demonstration of gender inequality? Assuming the quality of the ground upon which each group will stand is comparable, and the sight lines to the stage or bimma or whatever are equivalent, and the quality of the chairs/seats is equivalent, etc. etc., then how is gender-separate seating a problem — even according to the mayor’s standards? How does the AG of Israel back the mayor’s decision? And to the commenters, it might be great to watch a group with whom you disagree get shut down, but once the principle at play is unleashed, the principle can (will? — ch”v) be applied against your group. At least one can easily foresee such an attempt down the road. Hashem yishmore.

  23. kaiserw, I asked an undeniably world-class posek if I could drink their wine and he told me it’s a problem. I have more on the subject but I’m told that as much as half of all lubavitch is meshichist so the problem is greater than nir barkat. At least we know where he stands.

  24. @chaimz

    Really? Please name the posek. If he really believes it is a problem, he has a Halachik obligation to speak up and not hide behind “someone said.”
    Additionally, “half of lubavitch is mishichist” is a very broad statement. You are including many different opinions under one banner. Does a large part of Lubavitch believe that when Hashem decides that the time has come for Moshiach to redeem the Jewish people has come, the individual chosen as Moshiach will be the Lubavitcher Rebbe? Arguably yes. However, even if you believe the above to be inaccurate, and another individual will be chosen, please explain why the above belief would cause someone to be a “kofer”, “Christian”, or any other such name.

    p.s. You entirely missed the point of my comment

    p.p.s. Nir Barkat is mayor of Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv

  25. @chaimz
    Beautiful! Come, make a controversial statement based on “someone told me” and then, when challenged to respond with some basic facts refuse to give them. Again, you are daring to passel numerous Yidddshe families and mosdos based on hearsay.
    Good luck with that