Rosh Yehudi (Jewish Head), an association whose goal is to bridge the gaps between secular and religious Israelis in the spirit of religious Zionism, on Saturday night, announced that “The giant prayer at Dizengoff Circle on Yom Kippur – will take place.”
After three years during which Rosh Yehudi conducted its enormous prayer gatherings at the circle with a mechitza, a partition between men and women, the Tel Aviv municipality announced that the partition is illegal, even though Muslim worshipers in the city have been praying with a partition undisturbed. Judge Hadas Ovadia rejected Rosh Yehudi’s appeal, offering her unique interpretation of Jewish law: “Gender-based is seen according to Halacha as an expression of the exclusion of women.” With that, the judge defiled a tradition of separation between the sexes during prayer that dates back to the First Temple.
Rosh Yehudi argued that the mechitza was stretched only in the area directly behind the cantor, but the judge would have none of that.
On Saturday night, the organizers announced that they found a halachic solution to the mechitza issue which is also acceptable to the City. And so, the prayers will take place as scheduled: Kol Nidrei at 6:15 PM, on Sunday, and Ne’ila at 5:00 PM on Monday.
They also stressed that the prayers would take place despite the theft over Shabbet of the pages of songs that were going to be handed out to the crowd. As you can see, the specially printed machzorim (holiday prayer books) were not stolen, thank God.
Last Tuesday night, the Rosh Yeshiva of the pre-military preparatory school in Eli, Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, and the CEO of Rosh Yehudi, Israel Zeira, were brutally attacked by a leftist mob outside the Rosh Yehudi center on Tsfat Street in Tel Aviv. The attackers ganged up on the two Jewish men outside the building, shouted insults at them, and tried to kick them out, literally.
כעת בתל אביב מפגינים כ-300 מהפורום החילוני ובונות אלטרנטיבה נגד ארגון ראש יהודי שמקיים את תפילת נעילה בכיכר דיזינגוף.
יצויין כי כעת מתקיים שיעורו של הרב יגאל לוינשטיין במקום. pic.twitter.com/kgXrLgsyJJ
— חנן גרינווד (@hanan_green) September 19, 2023
It remains to be seen whether the anarchists will be brazen enough to crash the public prayer service, as they have been known to do in small gatherings of Jews attempting to pray or put on tefillin.