While fans of the legendary rock band the Rolling Stones rejoiced over the official announcement of their upcoming Israeli performance, religious fans received a harsh disappointment over the concert's timing.
June 4, the day of the concert, is also the major Jewish holiday of Shavuot, commemorating the day the Jewish people received the Torah at Mount Sinai.
Gates open at Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park for the concert at 5:30 p.m., three hours before the holiday ends. The iconic band is expected to take the stage right at the end of the holiday, at 8:30 p.m., reports Yedioth Ahronoth. As a result, religious fans will have to arrive late, or miss the show altogether.
MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home) is among the Rolling Stones fans who are sorely disappointed by the timing of the concert. He contacted promoter Shuki Weiss who arranged the concert on Wednesday, and asked him to postpone the show a day or move it forward two days.
"On Israeli Memorial Day they wouldn't have let something like this happen. Something is messed up here. Only money is important? What about our values?" lambasted Slomiansky.
"It cannot be that they'll hold a concert that will cause a desecration of the holiday by hundreds of thousands of Jews," noted Slomiansky. "It's not logical to force the Israel police to work from two in the afternoon...and harm the honor of the holiday of the giving of the Torah."
Remarking on the widespread observance of the holiday, Slomiansky added "precisely on a holiday that the non-religious public joins in Torah study, such a massive event comes along, which one can't really attend without desecrating the holiday.
"Why can't religious enjoy the show?"
Weiss reportedly pledged the band $6.7 million for the one-night show. Slomiansky noted this isn't the first controversial move by Weiss, saying "last time he tried to bring the band Depeche Mode on (the fast day of) Tisha B'av, and in the end they didn't come."
Slomiansky took a picture of himself wearing a Rolling Stones shirt, to express that "I don't have anything against the band, the opposite. It's an excellent and important band, and I value that they're coming to Israel at a timing like this, when many are boycotting. But why can't religious Jews like us go enjoy the performance?"
Among the many problems religious Jews will be facing to make the concert on time is the fact that Halakha (Jewish law) forbids traveling by car on Shabbat or festivals.
Naama Rozen-Kreif, an avid Rolling Stones fan and a religious resident of the town of Givat Shmuel, located to the east of Tel Aviv, expressed her disappointment over the timing as well.
"If we're going to pay so much for a ticket, we deserve to enjoy the full show. If we leave home at 8:30 p.m., with all the traffic congestion, it's not clear when we'll arrive, if at all," remarked Rozen-Kreif. "It's depressing that they don't consider us. There are many religious who want to see the show."