Benny Gantz and Rabbi Rafi Peretz at hakafot shniyot in Kfar Chabad, before coronavirus
Benny Gantz and Rabbi Rafi Peretz at hakafot shniyot in Kfar Chabad, before coronavirusYossi Zeliger/Flash90

After 70 years, the traditional "hakafot shniyot" in Kfar Chabad will be held differently: outdoors, in the open air, as per safety protocols and the coronavirus pandemic rules.

"Hakafot shniyot" are traditional celebrations in which participants sing and dance with Torah scrolls in the customary conclusion to the Sukkot and Simhat Torah festivals. Since the holiday is over in Israel, the dancing is accompanied by musicians and hasidic bands.

The Kfar Chabad event has been held for seventy consecutive years and has become a symbol of unity and closeness, thanks to the joy and warmth Chabad-Lubavitch is famous for. This year, on account of the Green Pass and safety regulations which were tightened following the Meron disaster, it was decided for the first time to change the location of the event.

The event has been approved by all of the relevant bodies and will be held according to the Green Pass guidelines. In addition, for the first time it will be held outside the great hall of the central Beit Menachem synagogue, taking place instead in the large parking lot in front of the synagogue.

The event will be subject to security policies and there will be supervisors responsible for enforcing the coronavirus regulations. The public is invited to celebrate hakafot shniyot in Kfar Chabad, starting at 8:30p.m. Tuesday evening and continuing until the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Rabbi Shimon Rabinowitz, Chairman of the Kfar Chabad Committee, said: "Thanks to the efforts of the Regional Council and Israel Police, this year as well many in Israel - men, women, and children, from all sectors of society - will merit to keep the tradition of hakafot shniyot, and rejoice safely and healthfully together with all the People of Israel, at the largest and oldest hakafot shniyot event."