Orthodox Jews clash with police near Tel Aviv. Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Coronavirus

The Orthodox Scapegoat

The COVID pandemic has become a cynical and dangerous tool in the hands of Netanyahu’s opponents

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Rabbi Meshulam Halevi Soloveitchik died on January 31. The number of people that died from Corona in January reached a one-month record high of 1,455. That, however, didn’t deter some 10,000 Orthodox Jews from attending the funeral.

This blatant disregard for clear government instructions prohibiting public assembly for any purpose enraged many Israelis who just don’t understand why, of all people, the Orthodox fail to adhere to the biblical commandment to “watch yourselves very carefully” (Deut. 4:15), which essentially means to not put your life at risk unnecessarily.

This funeral procession was condemned by everybody, including many Orthodox. Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish said that “regretfully, this funeral will lead to more funerals.” Kish’s factual comment paled in comparison to what others are saying about the Orthodox. Screenwriter and journalist Gal Uchovsky, who is also an LGBTQ activist, said last Friday on Channel 13 that “there should be a war against the Orthodox … a civil war … so that they will understand over there that they need a real shaking up.” The tweet below, posted the day of the funeral, follows...

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