Chareidi Groups Declare They Will Not Obey Lockdown Earmarked For Jewish Festivals

Armed Israeli border Policeman and Policewoman inspect drivers in a checkpoint located at the exit of the Ultra-Orthodox city of Bney-Brak on April 03'rd, 2020. Israeli Police have set up checkpoints around roads leading in and out of Bnei Brak as the Israeli government declared the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak a "restricted zone" after invoking emergency powers to handle the coronavirus outbreak, which has massively spread throughout the city. Photo by Gili Yaari /Flash90

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — The Israeli government has announced its intention of imposing a lockdown over the course of the festival period in September if the coronavirus statistics continue to rise as they have been for the past month. Prime Minister Bennett has said that such a lockdown is dependent on the success of the vaccination drive in curbing the spike in infection but chareidi elements are incensed that the government did not even consider a lockdown during the vacation period but rather insisted on keeping the country and the borders open despite the significant rise in infections, many of which originated from abroad.

The Chatzros Kodesh organization which represents a number of Chasidic communities has declared that “as the festival period comes closer, we are witness to a worrying development. Despite the fact that there were numerous professional reasons to make a lockdown due to the spread of coronavirus a month ago, the Bennett government has acted nonchalantly and irresponsibly.

“Now it is clear to everyone that their goal was to delay the lockdown until the festival period. Apparently the “July-August vacation” is more important to them than prayers and supplications during the High Holydays.”

The organization issued a declaration, stating that “the chareidi public will wage a fierce war with all measures at its disposal to ensure that a lockdown during the festival period will not be relevant.”

The director of the Chatzros Hakodesh organization, Rabbi Shimon Blau, told Bechadrei Chareidim that the organization has different methods of fighting the lockdown and called on the public to prepare as usual for the festival period, stating that “we won’t let infections and the lack of government response harm the holy aspects of our lives.”

The organization called on the public to be responsive to their directives regarding the festival period.

Some chareidi journalists have also stated that they will not obey a closure which is specifically earmarked for the festival period. However others explained that the threat of a closure is merely a ploy to persuade those who have not yet vaccinated to go and vaccinate, since this could lower serious infections and prevent the need for a further closure.

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