Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, was not a quiet and solemn for the residents of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa – all because of a loud wedding hall nearby.
The culprits are the Arab residents of the adjacent village of Sur Baher, who opened the new wedding hall just two weeks ago and have been disturbing Har Homa’s residents with loud noise ever since.
Orly Glauber, a resident of Har Homa, told Arutz Sheva on Sunday that until recently the residents had to deal with the Arabs’ nightly festivities which are known and recognized in many communities throughout Judea and Samaria. However, since the wedding hall was launched the festivities are not sporadic as they previously had been but are taking place daily.
“The hall is not made out of stone, but instead is fenced and surrounded by lamps which are lit at night,” Glauber said, adding that the events have become louder and noisier over the past few weeks. She noted that the distance between the hall and her neighborhood is about 400 or 500 meters, but the noise sounds like it is coming from next door.
Glauber said that Har Homa’s residents were working right until Rosh Hashanah to put an end to the noise, but when they asked the police to enforce the law which says that it should be quiet after midnight, a squad car came to the hall but did nothing and the wedding sounds died down only after two or three in the morning.
She said that on Erev Yom Kippur the residents noticed that the hall was preparing for a wedding that evening and came to the police station themselves, demanding that the police do something. The answer given, Glauber said, was that in order to enforce the law a large police force was required and that this requires “instructions from above.”
About an hour before the start of the Yom Kippur fast the residents saw that the hall’s speakers were being tested, Glauber said. Again, when the residents contacted police and asked that they enforce quiet at least on the holiest day of the year, the response was: "It’s not Yom Kippur for everyone.”
Glauber pointed out that the police said that those who break the law are fined, but she said she believes these fines amount to only a few thousand shekels and that if they are indeed given, the owners of the hall cover the costs by charging the customers.