Prayer Gatherings

The person praying in the public space is rude to God

I suggest to the people of Rosh Yehudi to organize prayer gatherings here and in the future in halls that will be adapted as temporary synagogues. Prayer is not a protest. Excellent prayer is that which is said from a broken and contrite heart

(Photo: Itai Ron/Flash90)

The intention of the organizers of the Yom Kippur prayers in public spaces was good; to allow anyone interested to come and pray Kol Nidrei. However, the implementation contradicted Jewish law (Halacha). Therefore, instead of sanctifying God's name, we received desecration of God's name and desecration of the holy and awesome day. It's another struggle between religious and secular individuals that distances people from religion instead of bringing them closer.

The Zohar (Shlach 105) emphasized that the place of public prayer is in the synagogue. The street does not have sanctity. I suggest to the people of Rosh Yehudi to organize minyanim (prayer quorums) from here on in halls that will be arranged according to Jewish law for temporary synagogues. Prayer is not a demonstration. An excellent prayer is one that is said from a broken and humble heart. The designated place for this is the synagogue or the study hall.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 90:5) ruled regarding the appropriate place for communal prayer: One should not pray in an open area like a field. It is a commandment to pray in a modest place where one can pray with proper intention. The obligation of prayer is learned from the verse "And you shall serve Him with all your heart," which refers to the service of the heart – that is prayer. Hear our voices! This is prayer that comes from the depths of the Jewish heart to the Creator.

The superiority of praying in a synagogue is mentioned in the Torah (BaMidbar 24:5):

"מַה טֹּבוּ אֹהָלֶיךָ יַעֲקֹב מִשְׁכְּנֹתֶיךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל"

"How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel." (Sanhedrin 105:72) The Seforno explains that this refers to synagogues that are designated for God's name and for receiving the prayers of those who pray there. Prayer with intention must be in a modest place that does not distract one's focus. Your connection with your Creator should be without any barriers.

Rav Kahana said: "Cursed is the one who prays in a field" (Berakhot 34b). Rav Kahana means that in his view, anyone who prays in an open field or in a valley, an open place without partitions, is considered immodest. The Magen Avraham (4:6) suggests that the reason behind this is that someone who prays in the street may feel proud to say, "I am capable of directing my prayer to the Creator of the world without being distracted, even though passersby may pass by." This is an attitude of arrogance and impudence. Rashi explains that only someone who prays in a modest place avoids the reproof of the King, and their heart is broken. Tosafot suggests that passersby disrupt one's concentration and interfere with their prayer.

For the aforementioned reasons, during the time of the coronavirus, I closed the synagogues in Mazkeret Batya and preferred individual prayer in each person's home. I believed that one should not pray in courtyards and gardens because, for the simple reason, prayer without intention is like a body without a soul. The happiness and peace that arise from prayer are hidden within, not on the surface. They come from doubt, not from "my strength and ability". They come from mutual commitment, not from personal achievement. They come from overcoming the evil inclination, not from laxity. They come from faith in God, not from "my strength and ability". Our strength lies in our unity, and it is the guarantee of our security.

The ways of the Torah are pleasant, and all its paths are peace. Judaism is not missionary. The way of life according to the Torah will prove that we live by the way of light. A little light dispels much darkness. Each person has the choice to be righteous or wicked. If you see this villain (the evil inclination), draw him to the study hall, and reason will prevail over the inclination. Open your eyes. The decision is in your hands.


Rabbi Efraim Zalmonovich is the rabbi of Mazkeret Batya, the head of the Institute for the People and the State, an author, and a philosopher


Do not send comments that include inflammatory words, defamation, and content that exceeds the limit of good taste.


Free the hostages? Defeat Hamas? How to achieve victory in Gaza

If you want to topple the Hamas government, you have no choice but to replace it with another, which, even if it is not Zionist and loves Israel, isn't as bad as Hamas. Those who oppose this prove that even today they still view Hamas as an asset.

Pasit Siach | 16.05.24


Netanyahu exactly one year ago: "Hamas is completely deterred"

Exactly one year ago, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke out after Operation Shield and Arrow and said: "Hamas is deterred, they don't dare to fire even one rocket."

Chani Edri, JFeed Staff | 16.05.24

Blame is Solely on Hamas

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu: The Blood is Only on the Hands of Hamas and its Supporters

We must not burden the fighters with even a tiny particle of guilt. The blame is solely on the brutal kidnappers from Hamas and all their supporters.

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu | 17.12.23

Rabbi Shmuel Reiner

On spitting and human dignity: "The weapon of the weak and the poor"

Jews spat on pilgrims, adding insult to injury by saying that this was an ancient Jewish custom. There were times when there were indeed good and worthy reasons for hostility between Jews and Christians, but today we live in a different world. A halachic and moral perspective

Rabbi Shmuel Reiner | 03.10.23

Rosh Yehudi Tel Aviv

Following Rosh Yehudi's petition: the judge asked to come to an understanding

The court ordered the Municipality of Tel Aviv and the Rosh Yehudi organization to meet immediately and come to an understanding regarding the Sukkot holiday events planned by the organization. According to Rosh Yehudi: "We are asking for business-like conduct on the part of the municipality"

Liran Vainshtain, JFeed Staff | 30.09.23

Amit Segal Summarizes

Amit Segal summarizes: the big loser from the Yom Kippur storm

Amir Segal sums up the Yom Kippur storm, explains who the biggest loser is, and clarifies: in the clash between Rosh Yehudi and the Tel Aviv Municipality, the public has already made its decision about which side it is on

JFeed | 29.09.23

Religious Zionism Against Huldai

Religious Zionism against Huldai: "acts in a hypocritical and predatory manner"

Religious Zionism reacted to the cancellation of the permit of "Rosh Yehudi" to hold events in Sukkot and attacked Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai: "Trying to cast votes on the backs of the tens of thousands of residents who respect the tradition of Israel"

Bentzi Rubin, JFeed Staff | 28.09.23

"Spread Torah"

Israel Zeira: "Spread Torah, stop apologizing"

"Rosh Yehudi" leader Israel Zeira aira describes the behind-the-scenes of the mass prayer on Yom Kippur, explains his interpretation of the word 'hadata', discusses the reactions he has received following the event, and outlines what awaits us in the celebration of Simchat Torah

Yehudit Lazarovitch, JFeed Staff | 28.09.23

The Conflict Continues

Tel Aviv Municipality cancels the holiday events of "Rosh Yehudi"

The conflict continues: the Tel Aviv Municipality cancels the construction of the 'Rosh Yehudi' sukkah and the Hakafot Shniyot in Dizengoff Square due to "the association violating the rules on Yom Kippur and potentially causing further friction"

JFeed | 28.09.23

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu

After the Yom Kippur storm: Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu took an unusual step

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu reveals that following the repeated attacks on Judaism in Tel Aviv, he considered leaving Safed and moving there: "It is important for me to be at the heart of what is happening"

JFeed | 28.09.23

Gantz Reveals

Gantz reveals: Why did I react only today to the Yom Kippur storm?

It took Benny Gantz 48 hours to condemn the violence of the protesters against the worshipers on Yom Kippur. Now he explains why the response was delayed and whether it is related to polls from last night

JFeed | 27.09.23

The Massacre In Basmat Tab'un

How do I know that the massacre at Basmat Tab'un is of no interest to any minister in the government?

How do I know that the massacre in Basmat Tab'un, in which 5 family members were murdered by assassins, is of no interest to any of the government ministers? Because they didn't even issue the clichéd messages procedure of updating the situation

Arye Yoeli, JFeed Staff | 27.09.23