"Don't Disrupt Prayers"

Lapid makes a U-turn: "Don't disrupt prayers"

In one of his messages yesterday, Yair Lapid, who supported the protesters who disrupted the prayers in Dizengoff Square, posted on Facebook, calling for moderation: "Judaism is not a threat to us"

(Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

After expressing support yesterday for the left-wing activists who disrupted the prayers in Dizengoff Square, the head of the opposition, Yair Lapid, is taking a turn in his stance and writes in a Facebook post: "Do not disrupt prayers."

In the post, he wrote: "We cannot allow the scenes of Dizengoff Square to repeat themselves. One of the things Yom Kippur symbolizes is taking responsibility. If you only say, 'They started,' Yom Kippur does not atone. On this occasion, I call on everyone to ignore Ben Gvir's 'prayer' on Thursday in the square. Leave him there alone. There is no greater punishment for him.

"We are moderate people. That's our strength; this is how we understand life in a Jewish democracy. Responding to religious extremism is not a departure from tradition. Responding to separation does not mean separating from prayer. Judaism does not threaten us; it belongs to us and is part of our identity. It is the reason for living in Israel, for serving in the IDF, for social engagement. Our Judaism is the belief in women's rights, rights for the LGBTQ+ community, and the rights of 'the stranger who resides among you'.

"The answer is right in front of us: to return to last year. After all, even last year, before the political upheaval tore us apart, there were religious and secular Jews here, there was Tel Aviv, there were prayers, and Yom Kippur was peaceful and holy. We wore white shirts and considered each other's feelings. Even last year was complex, but there was goodwill – the most lacking ingredient in Israel."

The 'bombing' of the prayers on Yom Kippur (Photo: Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90)

"With goodwill, we can uphold liberal principles, but not disrupt prayers and not give the zealots the religious war they so desire. We wholeheartedly believe that women should not be marginalized in public spaces, but we have also noticed that it's not only men who prefer to pray separately; there are women who prefer it as well. We know that partitions are not ideal, but with a little goodwill, are there no other solutions we can consider?"

We don't need operating instructions on how to be Jewish

Let's remember that after Yom Kippur, Lapid released a video in which he said, "What happened on Yom Kippur is primarily terribly sad. Every year, it was a day of mutual respect, of considering each other's feelings. Those who wanted to pray separately went to the synagogue. Those who wanted to pray together prayed together outside. No one tried to impose their Judaism on the other."

(Lapid reacts to the disruptions in Tel Aviv)

Afterward, he accused the worshipers and the organizers, saying, "Until messianic and extremist elements arrived from the outside who are trying to impose their version of Judaism on us. We don't need anyone to give us instructions on how to be Jewish. It's a shame that they have also turned this holy and wonderful day into another day of Israeli quarrels."

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