Deserving Each Other in Jerusalem


It’s up to the reader to decide whether two recent stories out of Israel show the secular-religious scuffle there entering a newly creative phase, or a dirtier more underhanded one. But either way, it’s hard not to see these two items as of a piece. 

Ha’aretz reports that during recent Orthodox demonstrations in Jerusalem, the city’s dwindling secular population used an innovative tactic that sowed confusion among the religious crowd.

The reason for the sudden panic was that under the boxes, on the street, someone had spray painted the name of God – Yahweh. The boxes had been placed on top of the graffiti as a holy roadblock by an anonymous group of secular Jerusalemites who have taken upon themselves to act lawfully and creatively against the Haredim. The tactics the group uses aim to create confusion among the ultra-Orthodox by turning their own mores and mindset against them.

Meanwhile, at the Western Wall, anti-Zionist elements — presumably religious — have done some protesting of their own.

YNet reports:

Pages with the prayer for the State of Israel on them and a special prayer for the welfare of IDF soldiers were found ripped out of prayer books at the site.

The concerning phenomenon was discovered in Rinat Yisrael prayer books, which contain prayers written after the establishment of the State of Israel: a prayer for Independence Day, a prayer for Jerusalem Day, a prayer for the State of Israel, and a prayer for IDF soldiers. Pages containing these prayers were ripped out of the Rinat Yisrael prayer books.

Except for Rinat Yisrael, most of the Kotel prayer books do not contain the said prayers, and the haredi community society views Rinat Yisrael as a "Zionist prayer book" because of them.

A Yedioth Ahronoth investigation of the Kotel prayer books found that many of them were missing the 10 or so pages containing the prayers connected to the State of Israel. 

Recommended from JTA