'Secular people dance to the Shabbat songs'

Tel Aviv municipality orders synagogue to cease using loudspeakers to mark start of Shabbat. 'Five minutes a week cannot cause all this.'

Shimon Cohen ,

Yeshuat Yisrael synagogue
Yeshuat Yisrael synagogue
Uli Gol

Tel Aviv municipality inspectors filed a warning against the Yeshuat Yisrael synagogue in southern Tel Aviv over the Shabbat songs which are broadcast on the synagogue's loudspeakers to mark the start of Shabbat,

The municipality would open a criminal file against the synagogue if the warning is not followed.

According Rabbi Michael Arbov, the rabbi of Yeshuat Yisrael, the actions against the synagogue are nothing but an attempt to stoke tensions between the religious and secular communities during an election year.

"This is another of the religious struggles ahead of the elections. This is a failed attempt by a number of politicians who are trying to score political capital on the back of Judaism and on Shabbat. G-d willing, it will not succeed," Rabbi Arbov told Arutz Sheva.

"Not only did we hear [the loudspeaker] as usual, but dozens of secular residents from the Shapira neighborhood also came to the house and said that if the municipality did not want to hear five minutes once a week they would listen to it for forty minutes. , The main street and said that this is their reaction to the Tel Aviv municipality. "

"Personally, I was not aware of this organization of the demonstration of the secular residents, and this strengthened us very much to continue the way we are going."

Rabbi Arbov noted that the letter he received from the municipality did not mention a period of time until the demand to silence the Sabbath songs had to be implemented, but rather demanded that the warning be implemented "immediately, and therefore the city councilor, Mr. Natan Elnatan, appealed to the district court and we very much hope that the court will side with us. We have strong legal grounds for this."

He dismissed claims that the loudspeakers may disturb neighbors. "There are a number of neighbors who may be bothering them, but not because of the noise, but because it cries out for Shabbat and it is a Jewish trait. This is why it bothers them, because it cannot be that just five minutes a week causes all this chaos. Under no circumstances will we give up."

"The place has a traditional character. The names of the streets are of great rabbis from the past. The neighborhood was a mixed neighborhood and anyone who can accommodate one is invited to stay. But those who cannot can find another neighborhood," he said. "It's not simple, but with all the coping with the infiltrators, no one has ever touched on Judaism, and unfortunately this is crossing a red line."

The Tel Aviv municipality said in response that "the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality is acting within the framework of its legal powers to prevent any noise nuisance that disturbs residents, whether it is a church, a synagogue or a mosque. Parallel to this activity, the mayor asked the chairman of the religious council to contact the representatives of the synagogues who installed public loudspeakers in order to reach solutions acceptable to all residents."

"Despite attempts by political elements to drag the public discourse into radicalization, the municipality will continue to act in all the ways at its disposal - whether by enforcement or dialogue - to ensure the quality of life of the residents and to preserve the spirit of tolerance and freedom that characterize the city."