Rabbi Dov Lior, one of the leading religious Zionist rabbis in Israel, commented today (Tuesday) on the violent disruption of a Yom Kippur prayer service in Tel Aviv yesterday.
"Thank God, we can hear of the many participants and crowds in Yom Kippur prayers, and even of people who did not attend such prayers before. We welcome it, this is a great awakening. The words of Maimonides are being fulfilled in which the Torah promised that in the end, Israel will do teshuva (atone and return to God)," Rabbi Lior said.
"The riot in Tel Aviv will only provoke a reaction in everyone who has basic decency and we in Israel will have the privilege of seeing the Jewish awakening get stronger and stronger," he said.
The confrontation between worshipers and left-wing rioters at Dizengoff Square centered around the traditional partition between men and women, which a court had banned from services in public areas a few days previously claiming that it violates a law against putting obstructions in public places. The planners got around the order by using Israeli flags as a separation.
Residents who arrived at the place confronted the worshipers, destroyed the partition, and even removed the chairs that the organizers had placed.
Prime Minister Netanyahu commented on the riots: "The people of Israel sought to unite on Yom Kippur by asking for forgiveness, repentance, and unity within us. To our astonishment, precisely in the Jewish state, on the holiest day for the Jewish people, left-wing demonstrators rioted against Jews during their prayer. It seems that there are no borders, no norms and no boundaries for hatred on the part of the extremists on the left. I, like the majority of Israeli citizens, reject this. Such violent behavior has no place among us."