Rabbi Aharon Troppe, the founder of the Olamot organization, which works to spread Judaism in Haifa, recounted how demonstrators used verbal violence to prevent Yom Kippur prayers from being held in a tent in the city.
"On Yom Kippur night, we came to participate in a prayer service in the tent for those who find it hard to go to a synagogue and still want to be part of the services. There was an amazing atmosphere," Rabbi Troppe starts.
But then, during the Ne'ila prayer, which concludes the day, the situation changed. "The next day, during the Ne'ila prayer, we wanted to repeat the success. My wife and daughters came a few minutes early and found dozens of people who waited for them, yelled at them, cursed them, and chanted: 'You're hated, you're not wanted in Haifa.' When I came and saw the hatred - I told my wife that we needed to leave - and we just ran away," he sadly recalls.
However, Rabbi Troppe emphasizes: "I must say that there were tens and hundreds of people who don't wear kippas who supported us, encouraged us, and were mad at those who harmed and desecrated this holy day. It warmed the heart to see how many Jews there are that aren't considered observant, yet love the Jewish people."