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Thousands of Orthodox Jews pray in opposition to Israeli draft

More than 50,000 Orthodox Jews funneled to Downtown Manhattan for a prayer vigil to protest an Israeli universal draft bill.

More than 50,000 Orthodox Jews funneled to Downtown Manhattan for a prayer vigil to protest an Israeli universal draft bill that would mandate military or civil service for the ultra-Orthodox.

The attendees took up at least 10 blocks of designated space, with significant overflow into downtown streets as entire families made their way to the event.

Some 300,000 ultra-Orthodox men gathered in Jerusalem last week to protest the bill, which they criticize as a means to secularize religious citizens.

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