Ultra-Orthodox appear oblivious to growing public anger in Israel as large hasidic wedding held

Another mass ultra-Orthodox wedding was held in violation of corona restrictions.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

A large ultra-Orthodox wedding was held Wednesday evening in the city of Netanya, where followers of Sanz and Toldot Aharon hasidic sects broke coronavirus lockdown restrictions that limit indoor gatherings. Pictures of the event were posted on social media showing what appeared to be several hundred people in the wedding hall.

In terms of hasidic weddings, it was a small event as normally such nuptials would host thousands of guests. Police might not have been informed of the event and did not intervene, unlike when a riot broke out when they broke up a wedding last week in the city of Bnei Brak.

While most ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel have been abiding by the health guidelines, public anger in Israel has been growing over the refusal by some sects to comply with restrictions.

Israeli public opinion of the haredi sector, already conflicted, took a hit the past week when riots broke out in several locations against police attempting to enforce corona restrictions, including in Ashdod, Bnei Brak and Jerusalem. The public was treated to the site of hundreds of young ultra-Orthodox Jews clashing with authorities.

In reaction, a recent poll found that 61% of Israelis don’t want ultra-Orthodox parties to take part in the next government. Even a majority of right-wing voters, 52%, prefer a government without the Shas and United Torah Judaism parties. Elections are scheduled for March 23.

Key haredi leaders have come out against the riots and urged their followers to refrain from violence.

Haredi leaders say the restrictions strike at the heart of their daily life, which centers around communal activities like study and prayer, and that police enforcement has ignored blatant violations by secular Israelis who also hold large gatherings, including anti-government protests attended by thousands – although many of those protests have also been broken up by the police.

In an effort to increase compliance, the Knesset is working on a law to raise fines for coronavirus violations.

Meanwhile, ultra-Orthodox journalist Yisrael Frey noted that the number of large ultra-Orthodox gatherings was on the rise.

“After several days of enforcement and fear, receiving a flood of reports of weddings, especially in the cities of Bnei Brak, Modi’in Illit and Beit Shemesh,” Frey tweeted, including a video clip from a large wedding in Beit Shemesh Tuesday where the guests were unmasked and crowded together.