Chief Rabbi: An act of desecration which harmed the synagogue

Rabbi David Lau condemns leftist protesters who interrupted Attorney General while he was reciting Kaddish in memory of his mother.

Hezki Baruch ,

Rabbi David Lau
Rabbi David Lau
Shlomi Cohen/Flash 90

The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, on Saturday night strongly condemned the leftist protesters who disrupted services at the Petah Tikva synagogue where Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit was praying, disturbing his recital of the Mourner's Kaddish in memory of his mother, who passed away two weeks ago.

The Chief Rabbi noted that "throughout the generations, even people who did not attend the synagogue every day were mindful of the synagogue's sanctity. The act that took place this evening, where people demonstrated while disturbing the worshipers, is an act of desecration which causes harm to the synagogue. It must not be accepted under any circumstances, it must be condemned and such an act cannot happen again in the future."

Mandelblit was removed from the scene of the protest and escorted home by a security guard.

Justice Ministry spokesman Moshe Cohen responded to the incident and said, "The provocation in the synagogue where the Attorney General prays in Petah Tikva, while desecrating the Sabbath and disturbing the worshipers, is worthy of condemnation. These are extremists who spread incitement and lies and who have no inhibitions. Red lines have been crossed here."

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) said, "Unfortunately, I see it is necessary to explain, so here is a rule of thumb for those protesting in Petah Tikva: When you discover that in the name of free speech, you are preventing a Jew from saying Kaddish for his mother - that is not democracy anymore. It is violent bullying."

Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) said, "It is shocking to see how these protesters are so dense and lacking in sensitivity. They disturbed the Attorney General when he was praying in synagogue, saying Kaddish for his mother. This is an inhuman act. There is a limit to the freedom of Israeli democracy's holy protests, and these lines should not be crossed."