Hundreds of people marched to the site of the murders of Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, 41, and Aharon Banita Bennett, 21, who were murdered in a terrorist attack Saturday in Jerusalem's Old City.
Carrying Torah scrolls, the marchers danced with the Torahs and performed the hakafot celebration that is traditional on the holiday of Simchat Torah.
The marchers danced their way through the streets of the Old City, starting out from the area of the Kotel Hakatan, a portion of the Kotel that is located in the Muslim Quarter. They stopped at Hagai Street, the site of the murders, and there began singing louder and increasing their celebrations. Participants said that they would not allow the tragedy to ruin the holiday spirit, and that terrorists would not be allowed to set the agenda for the Jewish presence in Jerusalem.
Among the guests in holiday celebrations in the City of David neighborhood, which has a large Arab population, was Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Bennett participated in hakafot dancing in the neighborhood on Sunday night, and later went on to the Kotel, where celebrations were taking place as well. He later joined hakafot at the site of the murders on Hagai Street.
In the morning, Bennett danced with the Torah at the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva in the Old City, as well as at the Kotel Hakatan, the Christian Quarter, the King David's Tomb complex, and other sites.
On Monday night, as hakafot shniot take place, thousands are expected outside the Prime Minister's Residence, in a combination celebration and protest, demanding that the government do more to protect Israelis.
They will be joining Samaria Council Chairman Yossi Dagan, who has been sitting outside the residence in protest since the murders of Eitam and Na'ama Henkin last Thursday.