This year’s Passover Eve came with even stricter restrictions on gatherings. Knowing that Israelis might violate restrictions to celebrate Passover with their families, police reinforced by army troops put roadblocks across the country to prevent movement between towns and villages. The country looked as it does on Yom Kippur, that is to say entirely empty.
The traffic restriction was an addition to the existing restrictions limiting people to leaving their homes only for necessary things like buying food, medical attention or dog walking. Synagogues were closed and public prayers of any kind were prohibited. This led to all kinds of initiatives, anywhere from “Zoom prayers” to “balcony prayers,” particularly in densely-populated religious neighborhoods.
But what took place in the City of Ashdod was truly exceptional.
Unable to join with friends or family for the first night of Passover, singer Aviv Shai just couldn’t bear the thought of praying alone. While adhering to the coronavirus restrictions, he made the spontaneous decision to leave his apartment and stand alone at...