Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi Yonah Metzger condemned, Monday morning, a barbecue picnic by about 200 hareidi-religious Jews in Jerusalem's Sacher Park, Sunday evening, during the opening observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Interviewed by Kol Berama radio, he asked, "To barbecue while Jews are mourning the pain of the six million [who died in the Holocaust -ed.]? What permission is there for this [in Jewish law]? This is blasphemy! Are we in a place that's cut off from the world?"
Saying that he was protesting those who were withdrawing from the public, Rabbi Metzger said it was possible to make the day more Torah-like, dedicating one's studies to the memory of the victims. Speaking ahead of the 10:00 a.m. siren, he proposed that people take time during the siren to say Psalms or study Mishnayot teachings. Asked by the interviewer about secular Jews who desecrate the Tisha B'Av fast, he said both things were bad and he speaks out against them, stressing that people cannot withdraw from a public that includes Holocaust survivors and Jews who are mourning the passing of relatives.
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