After the government issued a nationwide ban on hosting visitors at celebrations on the first night of Passover, reports emerged that the president hosted his daughter.
By World Israel News Staff
Despite Israel tightening lockdown measures to control the spread of the coronavirus, including a nationwide curfew and a ban on holiday visitors on the first night of Passover, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin hosted his daughter for seder dinner on Thursday evening.
Following outrage, Rivlin apologized the following day.
While Passover is traditionally a time when Israelis visit family and friends for the week-long holiday, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented seder night in which gatherings were limited to those who currently reside in dwellings together.
This left many Israelis alone in their homes for the holiday, leading to scenes throughout the country on Thursday evening in which people took to balconies to sing, pray, and read together from the Haggadah, a special book used at the seder.
Rivlin was slammed on social media for his decision to host his daughter, while other Israelis complied with the ban on visitors and spent the holiday without loved ones.
As of Saturday evening, the number of coronavirus infections in Israel had topped 10,500, according to the Health Ministry, including 97 deaths.
The government imposed strict measures to contain the pandemic early on, closing borders, grounding flights and shuttering all non-essential businesses. The virus, however, tore through the ultra-Orthodox religious community, as many ignored guidelines on social distancing at the outset of the pandemic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.