Following the horrific terror attack Thursday night in Elad, which left three fathers dead and the haredi sector shaken, one hasidic group has instructed that anyone holding a firearm license carry his weapon on Shabbat.
Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, is a day when many activities are forbidden, as are the tools used to do them. Writing, for instance, is forbidden, and therefore religious Jews will not touch or carry writing implements on Shabbat. Killing or causing injury is also forbidden, and therefore implements used for those purposes - with the exception of kitchen knives used for cooking - may not be touched, used, or carried.
While the Religious Zionist and Modern Orthodox communities often permit weapons to be carried on Shabbat, citing the Torah instruction that it is permitted to desecrate Shabbat to save a life, haredi groups generally do not make such allowances.
But in a Friday morning report, Israel Hayom said that many haredim fear additional attacks and believe they are being targeted, since they are not usually armed and are unprepared for such attacks.
"They were familiar with the park and knew when to come - it's not a coincidence," one of the residents told Israel Hayom.
In the Karlin hasidic sect, therefore, the fear was translated into action, and hasidim were instructed to actively defend themselves, by arming themselves even on Shabbat. Karlin hasidim are mostly centered in Jerusalem and Givat Ze'ev, but there are some who live in other areas of Israel, especially in haredi cities.
It is not clear how many, if any, Karlin hasidim live in Elad.
"By holy instruction, due to the security situation in our holy land, all those who hold a licensed weapon are asked to bring it to synagogue and to every place he goes - on weekdays and on Shabbat," a message sent out to the hasidic sect said, according to Israel Hayom.
As of now, no other hasidic sects are known to have taken similar steps, the site added.