Picture of the day: ‘Half million’ Orthodox Jews rally against military service

Friday, March 7, 2014

Authorities estimated 250,000 to 400,000 attended the massive rally in Jerusalem, which left the main entrance to Jerusalem inaccessible and jammed up public transport. Protest organizers claim up to 500,000 attended the demonstration against legislation which would end military exemptions for seminary students,a system which has been in place since the Jewish state was founded.

Protesters form a perimeter on the roof of a building while overlooking the throng of protesters in the heart of Jerusalem. Most Israeli men and women over the age of 18 are conscripted to undergo 3 years of compulsory military service.
Ultra Orthodox Jews walk past flying leaflets which piled up on the streets of Jerusalem during the anti-conscription rally. Many who attended the protest could be seen waving placards saying 'proudly go to jail rather than join the Zionist army.'
During the mass vigil against military conscription in Jerusalem, Rabbis recited prayers over loudspeakers while the attendees swayed back and forth, repeating a plea to God to stop the law dead in its tracks.
Many of those in attending the anti-conscription rally in Jerusalem were dressed in black hats and coats, traditional Haredi attire for the ultra-orthodox community. Haredim consider themselves to be the most religiously authentic group of Jews, and argue army service would deprive them of the right to fulfill their religious obligations.
Orthodox Jews walk down leaflet-littered streets of Jerusalem with two young children in tow. Despite the fact that Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up ten percent of Israel’s eight-million strong population, the majority of them refuse to work, and instead study full-time in religious institutions.
An Ultra Orthodox Jew is pictured as hundreds of thousands gather on March 2, 2014, in Jerusalem to demonstrate against any plans to make them undergo military service.

Russia Today

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