Multiple reports, videos of rule-defying mass gatherings for Simchat Torah

Reports are coming in of various lockdown violations this evening amid Simchat Torah celebrations in ultra-Orthodox areas. Ahead of the holiday leading rabbis urged the Haredi public to avoid mass gatherings during the usually-festive events, in which religious Jews celebrate the completion of the yearly cycle of Torah readings and the start of the next.

Not everyone appears to have listened, however.

In Modiin, Channel 12 reports that several synagogues were evacuated by police after worshipers failed to maintain health regulations and gathered en masse.

A video from Tiberias shows dancing without masks or distancing.

In Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood Ynet reports that hundreds gathered to sing and dance without any distancing. The report says dozens of buses later left the neighborhood, bearing signs declaring them to be ferrying participants in a “protest against religious persecution.”

Elsewhere, some appear to be more closely adhering to health guidelines, as seen in his video from an unknown location.

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