Chief Rabbi David Lau: 'The people won't accept closing synagogues on Yom Kippur'

Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau warns Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israelis will not obey orders to close synagogues during Yom Kippur.

David Rosenberg ,

Rabbi David Lau
Rabbi David Lau
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Synagogue-goers will not stand for the closure of their places of worship during the upcoming Yom Kippur holiday, the Chief Rabbi of Israel warned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday afternoon.

Netanyahu, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud), and National Security Council chief Meir Ben-Shabbat held a teleconference with Chief Rabbi David Lau Tuesday afternoon, to discuss the possibility of closing synagogues across the country during the lockdown – including on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

During the conversation, Prime Minister Netanyahu asked Rabbi Lau how feasible it would be to close all synagogues, and how the public would react.

According to a report by Kikar Hashabbat, Rabbi Lau responded by saying that in the current situation, in which the government has largely failed to enforce the lockdown restrictions on other public gatherings and mass protests continue to be permitted, the public will largely ignore orders to close synagogues on Yom Kippur.

Earlier on Tuesday, Channel 12 reported that the Coronavirus Cabinet is considering a new plan to impose a tighter lockdown, including the closure of all synagogues, markets for the sale of the Four Species for Sukkot, mikvas (ritual baths) on Yom Kippur eve.

The plan would also significantly cut business operations during the lockdown.