Hundreds of haredim protested in Jerusalem Thursday evening to express their displeasure with summer events planned by the local municipality.
According to the organizers, the summer events held in the capital are inappropriate for a holy city, and in some cases even lead to Shabbat desecration. The protest was planned by the ultra-Orthodox Eda Haredit faction.
Thursday's rally was led by Eda Haredit rabbis – including the extreme faction's leader, Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss. However, the turnout at the protest was lower than expected.
Haredi protest in capital (Photo: Noam Moskowitz)
Official "pashkevils" (posters) issued by the Eda Haredit faction were hung in the
Mea Shearim neighborhood Wednesday evening, calling on all residents to take part in the struggle: "Do not evade your public duty."
Under the banner, "Jerusalem's outcry," the pashkevils state that the protest is directed at "the destruction of Jerusalem and its holiness by the Jerusalem Municipality, which is organizing ugly outdoor events and destroying the ancient neighborhoods in the holy city".
The posters noted, "During this event, God's mercy will be exercised against the troubles and disasters suffered by the people of Israel recently. May the All-merciful protect us."
Headed to haredi neighborhoods?The Eda Haredit journal, scheduled to be published Friday, dedicated its main headline to the "huge protest" against "abominable outdoor events organized by the Jerusalem Municipality and its partners".
According to the organizers, some of the events will be held on roads leading to the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood. This is viewed as another of the municipality's sins.
The haredim claim that that a cultural event is being planned on Friday on Neviim Street, near the center of Jerusalem's haredi neighborhoods. "All requests to stop the desecration of Jerusalem's sacredness have been turned down."
Rabbi Yosef Rosenfeld, chairman of the Committee for the Sanctity of Shabbat, noted that the Municipality desecrated Shabbat in its preparations for the social protest last Saturday evening, as it set up stages and sound systems and hung signs on Saturday afternoon.
The organizers are calling on the public to "fulfill our commitment, the protest mitzvah, and fight for Shabbat in the holy city of Jerusalem."
Yair Altman contributed to the story
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