Latest update: March 13th, 2014
Tens of thousands of mostly haredi Orthodox Jews rallied in New York against a proposed Israeli law that would draft more young haredi men into the military.
The Sunday afternoon prayer rally in the Wall Street area of Lower Manhattan drew a crowd that police estimated at between 30,000 and 35,000, according to The Jerusalem Post. Organizers put the number of participants at more than 50,000.
The rally stretched for blocks, with men and women gathered in separate areas.
The prayer rally’s logistics were organized by Agudath Israel of America, the leading haredi Orthodox umbrella group.
Among the prominent rally participants was Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the rebbe of one faction of the Satmar chassidic group.
Following the Minchah (afternoon) service, led by the Vyelipoler Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Frankel, rally participants recited several passages of Tehillim. The psalms were led by leading rabbis that included Rabbi Don Segal, senior mashgiach of Yeshivas Tifrach in Israel; Chacham Yosef Harari-Raful, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Ateret Torah; and Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, mashgiach ruchani of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, New Jersey.
The Novominsker Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, recited Avinu Malkeinu, followed by the Klausenberger Rebbe’s recitation of selichos. Rabbi Shlomo Mandel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva of Brooklyn, led the demonstrators in saying the yud gimmel middos and Rabbi Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe, expressed the kabbalas ohl malchus shamayim (acceptance of the heavenly yoke).
— supplementary reporting by JTA
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