Israel is currently in its third coronavirus lockdown, and the authorities put a lot effort into preventing a large funeral gathering, setting up road blocks and engaging in negotiations with religious leaders to talk their followers out of attending. Twenty busses heading to the ceremony were stopped and turned back by the police, according to local media.
But it was all in vain as thousands of Orthodox Jews flooded the streets of Jerusalem later in the day. The massive funeral procession departed from Soloveitchik’s home in the Sanhedria neighborhood and proceeded to the Har HaMenuchot cemetery.
עכשיו בירושלים: אלפי בני אדם משתתפים בהלוויה המונית של ראש ישיבה pic.twitter.com/5Gq65ct3LS
— החדשות – N12 (@N12News) January 31, 2021
The gathering was “very bad in every way,” Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kisch tweeted. The Haredi funeral shows that both the public’s attitude to the restrictions and the ability of the police to enforce them are “poor.”
Orthodox Jews have been notable in their opposition to the restrictions during the pandemic, refusing to abide by rules that hinder their religious practices. Orthodox protests occur in the country almost every week, typically ending in clashes and arrests.