Jerusalem, Israel - Sept. 25, 2020 - On September 25, 2020, less than two hours before the Israeli countrywide lockdown was to go into effect at 2:00 pm erev Shabbos Haazinu through Simchas Torah, a convoy with dozens of cars arrived in Jerusalem, Israel. With their car horns blasting, noisily, protesters, some with black flags, others with Israeli flags in their car windows, proceeded loudly toward the Prime MInister's Residence.
Video:Protesters drive noisily into Jerusalem before lockdown
There are more protests planned for an hour before Shabbos ends at major intersections throughout Israel. The numbers of attendees and other stricter regulations were announced late Thursday night.
More and more people and families are in isolation, the numbers have risen rapidly. One substitute teacher in Modiin came down with COVID-19. All the young children from the multiple classes were she taught are now in home isolation.
As Shabbos approached food shops locked their doors early. Buses were running, but with very few passengers. A few people were out walking for exercise or to get to their destination. For this lockdown, police have stated the regulations will be more strictly enforced.
Synagogues have been trying to keep up with the changing regulations on the size of minyanim. Some have put up tents, other street coverings to accommodate the decreasing numbers allowed to attend. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation has also changed the arrangements with each new set of rules. Erev Shabbos Haazinu the Kossel and plaza were empty. A group of security officers arrived in the late afternoon as the 2:00 pm deadline was near.
As Shabbos approaches the streets in Yerushalayim are quieter with less traffic than usual for erev Shabbos. Shabbos Haazinu 5781, under the cloud of coronavirus, is leading into a most unusual Yom Kippur.
Gmar Chatima tova!