ANTI-TRUMP RABBIS ARRESTED
IN one jail cell sat 11 women rabbis. In another cell, out of sight but within earshot, were eight male rabbis. Together, the 19 rabbinic leaders filled one of New York’s crowded and unkempt prison wings with words from the Torah, the sound of Jewish music and even laughter.
“We started singing songs for Tu Bishvat and then the men joined in and it was sort of this moment of humour and levity in the midst of everything,” said Rabbi Lauren Herrmann, one of the rabbis arrested.
She was detained along with the 18 other rabbis after protesting against the travel ban imposed by President Donald Trump on nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The protest, which had been planned by T’ruah, a rabbinical human rights group, began with around 200 people marching from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Columbus Circle, which is directly opposite Trump International Hotel.
It featured singing and chanting and culminated when the rabbis sat in the road to block traffic, prompting their arrest. “Jews have a part to play in healing our democracy,” said Rabbi Creditor, who flew in from California for this event. “We were singing words of Torah in a time of fear even though we are not the ones being persecuted. Well, not yet.”
The rabbis were released on Tuesday morning.