Protesters Prevent Yom Kippur Davening in Tel Aviv

A man puts on his tallis for Kol Nidrei before protesters prevented the davening at Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90)

Left-wing protesters prevented a Yom Kippur service with separate seating for men and women in Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv.

The organizers of the event set up a makeshift mechitzah using flags after the court accepted the municipality’s position that a mechitzah is prohibited.

Local residents destroyed the partition and removed the chairs that the organizers had placed.

The tefillah was eventually stopped and moved to a side street, and one of the demonstrators was detained for questioning. A group of protesters demonstrated outside the police station where the protester was being questioned.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented: “The people of Israel sought to unite on Yom Kippur by asking for forgiveness, repentance, and unity within us. To our astonishment, precisely in the Jewish state, on the holiest day for the Jewish people, left-wing demonstrators rioted against Jews during their prayer. It seems that there are no borders, no norms and no boundaries for hatred on the part of the extremists on the left. I, like the majority of Israeli citizens, reject this. Such violent behavior has no place among us.”

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai responded to the incident: “Unfortunately, last night, religious and messianic extremists decided to trample on the court’s decision and established a partition between men and women at the Yom Kippur Eve prayer. A crowd of protesters and residents of the city prevented the prayer in Dizengoff Square from taking place in its illegal form… 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 segregation and exclusion in the public space.”

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