Lou Sandler

Tel Aviv was the Victim and Rosh Yehudi the Victimizer

Judge rejects Orthodox group’s petition over canceled permits for its Sukkot events

‘In response to the judge’s decision on Friday, Rosh Yehudi accused the Tel Aviv municipality of canceling its events “because they chose the violent side and blamed the victim; the protesters who came to the square had a goal to destroy the prayers, and it doesn’t matter in what way.”

The ‘victims’ included Tel Aviv and the many citizens, secular and non-orthodox, who came for the public Yom Kippur prayer. Despite events for which it, alone, was responsible on Yom Kippur, Rosh Yehudi continues to deny responsibility and again challenged the municipality and the majority of citizens of Tel Aviv and Israel. Even Ben Gvir decided to withdraw his subsequent intent to generate more havoc. But not Rosh Yehudi.

With this, the municipality is absolutely correct when it wrote that “Rosh Yehudi’s event on Yom Kippur at Dizengoff Square turned from a prayer service to a humiliating event…that almost developed into a mass brawl.”

It is very clear that Rosh Yehudi cannot be trusted in the public square since it still doesn’t seem to understand that the public gender segregation it seeks is not permitted. It will also not be tolerated. Rosh Yehudi will need to remain in their synagogue for those practices.

If Rosh Yehudi considers itself inclusive to the point of drawing in Jews towards an orthodox lifestyle, it is doing a particularly poor job and making very poor choices. Despite its protestations, Rosh Yehudi is just another ultra-orthodox sect trying to impose itself on Israeli citizens whether or not it is wanted and with attempts to circumvent existing laws and policies.

Though it pained to watch, that the sad and unnecessary events on Yom Kippur in Dizengoff Square were flatly rejected by the secular (and non-orthodox) citizens of Israel may represent a move forward. This, in combination with the huge sustained protests against Netanyahu and his Faustian coalition’s attack on an independent judiciary connected to Jewish extremism and fundamentalism.

Reform Judaism matters. The Jewish Diaspora matters. Women of the Wall matter. Non-orthodox bar and bat mitzvahs held at the Kotel matter. ALL of Judaism matters.

This wasn’t ‘Jews against secular activists’ (or however Bibi exactly put it) but Jews against Jews. And as Jews, we ALL have the right to practice Judaism as it is meaningful to us without ‘permission’ of Haredi or the Chief Rabbinate.

It’s time we recovered the intent of the Founders of the State of Israel

About the Author
I was born in Baltimore, MD and have since had a wide range of experiences including a year plus in Israel. I've been a progressive organizer, writer/media spokesperson, coordinator and freelance. I am a PhD level Clinical Behavioral Analyst specializing in severe behavioral need in children (and adults) and their families. I write through no ‘agenda or special interest’ other than being a passionate supporter of Israel and Israel's future.
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