Petition To Israeli Supreme Court: Closing Meron Harms Freedom Of Religion And Is Discriminatory

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Jewish men celebrate the Jewish holiday of Lag Baomer in Meron, northern Israel on May 23, 2019. Lag Baomer commemorates the death of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, one of the most important sages in Jewish history, 1800 years ago. Photo by David Cohen/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ?"? ????? ?? ????? ????? ?????? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ????? ????? ????

JEUSALEM (VINnews) — It was reported on Kikar Hashabat that a number of people and organizations had petitioned the Supreme Court against the Lag B’Omer closure on the area of Meron and Kever Rashbi, especially on behalf of those who want to be there for the chalaka,the traditional haircut for a child that reaches the age of 3 years old.

The petitioners claimed that the closure damages freedom of religious worship and is discriminatory against those who wish to participate in the memorial of Rashbi vs the general public that does not. Another claim is that some Admorim are being let in to participate but no criteria was published for how people can qualify for such a permit, and why should some people be allowed in but not others.

Another claim, specifically made regarding the chalaka, is that the chalaka is limited by time and the custom is Lag B’Omer by Kever Rashbi, not the week or month after and not somewhere else – it should be allowed, as there is no alternative to the custom as it is.

The State responded by stating the obvious fear of the spread of COVID-19, especially at events with masses of people and also demonstrated how social distancing has worked to prevent the spread of the virus. The State explained that it decided to have small lightings, one for each participating community – Sefardic, Chassidic and Religious Zionist, each with equal numbers of minimal participants.

The State added that despite the importance of the freedom of religious worship, when it conflicts with other more important rights, such as the right to life, the freedom of worship can be limited. With the State allowing some bonfires at Kever Rashbi in a limited fashion, it claimed that it is not preventing the freedom of worship but rather limiting it due to the serious public health concerns.

The State commented that the right to prayer is not being stopped, as people can continue to pray, just not there. Halacha also recognizes the concept of pikuach nefesh. The State specifically pointed to the official Chief Rabbis, and even Rav Chaim Kanievsky, who stated that Pikuach nefesh is more important and Meron should be closed and shut down to personal attendance this year.

Interestingly, the State pointed to Rav Chaim Kanievsky to “prove” that the rabbonim say this year it is prohibited. Rav Chaim Kanievsky has some sort of status for everybody, but he is really one of the rabbinic leaders of the Litvishe community, not the Sefardic or the Chassidic  communities(even if they respect him greatly). The Litvishe community isn’t even one of the groups that got a bonfire allocation, showing how little the Litvishe community thinks of this as important, yet the State pointed to Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s “issur” to placate the Hassidic and Sefardic petitioners…

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9 COMMENTS

  1. The problem is that some of these people mean it seriously. Giving their son a haircut overrides pikuach nefesh??? Someone has their priorities skewed. These are the same people who had a hard time with bedikas chometz because they couldn’t burn the left over cereal boxes, the chometz s from their freezer. The leftover bread and pastries in their cupboards.

  2. Will the state ban the gay parades in Jerusalem and the other cities as a danger. As the Torah warns that this type of sodomite behavior will make Jews lose Eretz yisroel.

    • Do you support Jewish rule of Eretz Yisroel? I guess we could have had the Charedim running the place and no one would have shut down and the solution to Corona would be to have soldiers make people got to shul to pray… We know how that would end. Actually, COVID-19 illustrates even more than the issues with the army why the worst group to run Eretz Yisroel would be charedim, there is just no conceivable way they would have been able to deal with an epidemic like this properly. Nevemind that they would revert to a theocracy that would be killing people for not have proper beliefs

  3. @ Educated Boro Parker,
    I recognize your style from previous posts, usually regarding gay issues. Interesting.
    I have confidence that the State of Israel would also ban gay parades if it brought about the same risks as Meron. The issue is timing, now might be a dangerous period.

  4. NO LARGE GATHERINGS OF ANY KIND, SHOULD BE PERMITTED, WHETHER RELIGIOUS, IRRELIGIOUS, GAY, SECULAR, REFORM, CONSERVATIVE, RECONSTRUCTIONIST, MODERN ORTHODOX, ULTRA ORTHODOX, HAREDI, SATMAR, LUBAVITCH, ETC. THIS INCLUDES MINYANIMS, KIDDISHES, WEDDINGS, BRIT MILAHS, OR ANY OTHER SIMCHA, OR A LEVAYA. PEOPLE BOTH IN ERETZ YISRAEL, AND IN THE USA, CAN’T SEEM TO GET THAT THROUGH THEIR HEADS, THAT THIS IS AN EXTREMELY SERIOUS PROBLEM (COVID-19), WHICH CAN’T BE IGNORED.

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