Israel’s Health Minister calls for Purim Covid curfew: Compares Nationwide effort to Fast of Esther

These days of Purim shall be observed at their proper time, as Mordechai the Yehudi—and now Queen Esther—has obligated them to do, and just as they have assumed for themselves and their descendants the obligation of the fasts with their lamentations.




(the israel bible)

February 24, 2021

2 min read

Israel’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved a nighttime curfew for the Purim holiday weekend in an attempt to forestall a spike in COVID-19 infections due to parties and gatherings. Starting Thursday night, the eve of Purim, and ending on Sunday morning, the curfew will be in effect from 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.

During the hours of the curfew, members of the public must remain within 1,000 yards of their own homes, and may not be present in others’ residences. Private intercity travel will be banned entirely for the hours of the curfew, starting at 8 p.m. Thursday. Intracity public transportation will be reduced, and occupancy limited to 50 percent. Police will also be setting up roadblocks on intercity arteries and at entrances and exits to cities and towns.

Health minister Yuli Edelstein called on the Israeli public to observe the guidelines saying that not enough people have been vaccinated writing in a tweet: “Don’t let the vaccines place us in a state of euphoria. We still don’t have enough people vaccinated to celebrate without being conscientious on Purim. We have vaccinated 4.5 million people. Of them, 3,147,000 got the second dose. In the Megillah, the nation of Israel fasts for three days for the common good. We don’t need three days to fast right now. Just observe the regulations for the sake of businesses and the children.”

The Cabinet stressed that in addition, no Purim gatherings would be allowed during the daytime that exceeds 10 participants indoors or 20 people outdoors.

Following the Cabinet’s approval of a curfew, the Israel Police began gearing up to enforce it, with an eye on planned underground parties.

One high-ranking police official told Israel Hayom that because Purim would be the first holiday after Israel began lifting its third nationwide lockdown, the public was feeling “a sense of freedom,” especially in light of the vaccination campaign,” and warned that “it will be hard to enforce the curfew hermetically.”

JNS contributed to this report

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