Haredi on a Bnei Brak street during the closure
Haredi on a Bnei Brak street during the closureEitan Elhadz/TPS

A haredi resident of central Tel Aviv said that last Saturday she saw dozens of people walking in the streets with their children contrary to Ministry of Health orders but that police were summoned only when haredim were reported to be holding a prayer service.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, the woman said that during half an hour at the window, she observed a couple taking a walk with their kids, two girls conversing in violation of directives, two men taking a walk, and many similar cases. She said no one considered taking pictures of these events or calling police.

"But when my husband returned from morning prayers at the Belz synagogue in Tel Aviv, which was held according to all the rules provided by the Ministry of Health - ten people scattered in an open complex - he said that the neighbors repeatedly called police who arrived at the scene but [couldn't do anything] after one of the worshipers presented an official permit to pray in the specific open area according to the strict rules of the Ministry of Health."

"A day earlier," she says, "there was a small minyan in the open space according to all the rules. And again, police were called. They weren't aware that permission had already been granted to pray there - and worshipers fled in the middle of the prayer for fear of arrest."

"At that moment, applause from all nearby houses was heard from secular residents who were delighted that the police were removing the worshipers even though [the service had been] approved - and there was even a special permit dictating the strict adherence to the rules that were kept there."

"My son, who participated in the minyan, said that [neighbors who witnessed the event] made V-signs [when police arrived]. He came home shocked and said he felt like [he was in] Nazi Germany. They're spreading hatred against us. I realize that in Bnei Brak there are a few extremists desecrating G-d's name, but you can't just view the entire haredi society who adhere to the rules the same way."

The woman accused secular Israelis of trying to implicate religious Jews by waiting for their gatherings and catching them on camera. "It's a scary feeling. We obey the law. We follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health. But we feel threatened," she said.