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Rosh Yehudi Group Distances From Public Security Minister Ben Gvir’s Thursday Prayers

Sep 26, 2023

Tel Aviv Prayer Service Controversy

The organization’s leader, who organized the controversial street prayer held at the Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv, distances the group from the Minister’s Gvir plans to hold Thursday prayers in solidarity with the group. Israel Zeira, the street player who established the Rosh Yehudi group, disapproved of the attempts to associate itself with the Public Security Minister Ben Gvir. 

Rosh Yehudi Group Distances Prayer Event from Gvir Response

Zeira’s comments come after the Public Security minister announced he would lead the Thursday afternoon prayer at the Dizengoff Square. The Rosh Yehudi group leader who held the controversial Monday prayers at the venue ruled out holding prayers to convey political statements. He indicated that the Gvir’s plans contradicted the Group’s way, thus not supportive of the Thursday plans.

The plans to hold the Thursday session at the venue were conveyed by Ben Gvir, identified as a far-right politician. He made the remarks in response to the scuffles witnessed on Monday night following gender segregation when the Rosh Yehudi group held its annual street prayers at the venue.

Rosh Yehudi has held its Yom Kippur service at Dizengoff Square since 2020. The event yielded controversy since the organizers erected a bamboo frame with the Israeli flags upside down. The move was portrayed as violating the Tel Aviv City order prohibiting gender segregation within public places. The Supreme Court similarly upheld the ban in a recent pronouncement.

Protesters descended upon the flags and destroyed the bamboo frame. The police who were on site failed to intervene to calm the scuffles. It degenerated into a loud argument between the observant and secular Jews on Judaism’s holiest day.  

Rosh Yehud Dismiss Allegation of Violating City’s Ban on Gender Segregation in Public Space

The Rosh Yehudi dismissed the allegation that the frame violated the city’s ban on segregating men and women in public spaces. Nonetheless, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai labeled the bamboo frame as violating the ban.

Ben Gvir reacted to the scuffle by warning the group that attempted to eject the worshipers when holding the Yom Kippur as anarchists. The Public Security Minister shared a critic video on Tuesday, September 26, on his X (formerly Twitter) profile. He indicated he would team with the Otzma Yehudit friends to hold a prayer event on Thursday at Dizengoff Square. 

The response offered by Gvir is interesting, considering that the activists engaged in the crash targeted the organizers who established the bamboo frame to orchestrate the gender-segregation barrier.

Public Security Minister Convey Divergent Statement on Tel Aviv Public Prayer

Gvir restated that Dizengoff Square constitutes a part of the Jewish state. He added that prayer belongs to all, whether traditional, Sephardi, Ashkenazi, religion, or secular. 

With the Rosh Yehudi leader who held the Yom Kippur service on Monday distancing from the Gvir’s plans, the matter is taking a sudden twist. Such is inevitable as the Tel Aviv city mayor supported the activists view that the organizers set up the gender-segregation barriers at Dizengoff Square. The venue is a public space, thus, the bamboo frame within the public space portrayed outright defiance of the city’s order recently upheld by the Supreme Court.