Orthodox Jews accuse one another of idolatry in Israel. Meir Vaknin/Flash90
Jewish World

Who is Practicing Idolatry in the Land?

And no, this has nothing to do with Jews who believe in Jesus. These Jews pray to a different rabbi.

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For weeks Orthodox Jews have been accusing each other of idolatry in their media outlets and on posters on the walls in their neighborhoods. The dispute began with a so-called pashkavil, the large posters with long texts written on them that one often sees plastered on walls throughout ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Israel. Rabbis use these posters to bring their messages to the people, as the Internet, radio and television are strictly forbidden for ultra-Orthodox Jews.

An Orthodox community called “God’s House” (בית ה׳) had expressed publicly their delight that this year the whole fire spectacular at Lag Ba’Omer on Mount Meron in the Galilee had had to be cancelled. The community condemned this celebration, which when viewed by outsiders can be seen as a mass act of idolatry. All through the night the participants celebrate with music, prayers, dance and an enormous bonfire at the grave of Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai. Some 500,000 people from throughout the country annually flock to this event in the Galilee.

The text on the pashkavil in question reads: “The annual celebration…

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