רחובות
Israelis in the central city of Rehovot take to their balconies to celebrate Passover under curfew
Photo: Adi Greenboim
Israelis in the central city of Rehovot take to their balconies to celebrate Passover under curfew

Across Israel, coronavirus captives welcome Passover together while apart

Israelis take to their balconies to share Seder songs in show of unity, as stringent measures confine most to their homes on the first night of the festival celebrating the exodus from bondage in Egypt

Ynet |
Published: 04.08.20 , 23:03

For Israelis, the first night of Passover - Seder Night – was different this year to all other years due to a curfew aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus.
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  • Instead of large family celebrations, many Israelis took to their balconies to sing the songs from the Passover Haggadah, including "Mah Nishtana."
    Israelis sing Passover songs together


    The songs echoed through the night around the country, as neighbors sang together to celebrate the festival of freedom from bondage. Those who did not lend their voices cheered their support and lit up their own balconies.
    In one Be'er Sheva neighborhood, local residents set their Seder tables out on the street, determined to share the holiday spirit while upholding the regulations against mass gatherings.
    Celebrating Seder in Be'er Sheva

    In Givatayim near Tel Aviv, local police chief Revital Karko took a tour of the city with a special message for local residents.
    "Residents of the city of Givatayim, this is station commander," she said through a loudspeaker.
    "We love you, wish you a happy holiday. You are amazing. Look after your health."
    Residents clapped and cheered in response to Karko's message of support.
    Givatayim police Passover message

    Israel this week imposed special holiday restrictions to try to halt the spread of the highly infectious disease.
    Jews could only celebrate Seder with immediate family, while travel between cities was banned until Friday, with roadblocks erected at main junctions leading from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.
    A full curfew also went into effect on Wednesday at 3pm and was to last until Thursday morning.
    In hospitals across Israel, medical teams in protective clothing prepared a Seder meal for patients on coronavirus wards. The world's largest Seder Night was held at the Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv, which is currently housing some 500 coronavirus sufferers.
    רחובותרחובות
    Israelis in the central city of Rehovot take to their balconies to celebrate Passover under curfew
    (Photo: Adi Greenboim)
    The decision to impose a curfew and prevent Israelis from traveling to other cities to celebrate the Seder with their families was made earlier this week.
    "Pesach will not be Purim," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, referring to last month's traditionally festive holiday, which preceded a spike in virus cases.
    "Every family will have Seder alone," he said. "Only celebrate with the family who are now at home with you."
    המשטרה נערכת לקראת ערב החג בצל הקורונה בצומת גורל בבאר שבעהמשטרה נערכת לקראת ערב החג בצל הקורונה בצומת גורל בבאר שבע
    Security forces in Be'er Sheva enforcing nationwide travel restrictions
    (Photo: Barel Efraim)
    Emergency regulations to restrict traffic went into effect Tuesday night after they were approved by the government as police launched what they are calling "Operation Protected Spring."
    "We are reminding them the public that the holidays do not grant immunity from the coronavirus to anyone - so this time everyone can celebrate Passover in their own home with their nuclear family," the Israel Police said.
    "During Passover, police operations will continue throughout the country, on land, in air and at sea, to ensure that the regulations are being implemented," the police said.
    "It is absolutely forbidden to take any trips or vacations or engage in leisure activities outside the home."

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