Police demand IDs of worshipers on Friday night

Secular residents complain of noise from south Tel Aviv synagogue. Policeman comes to synagogue during Friday night prayers to demand IDs.

Shimon Cohen ,

Yeshuat Yisrael synagogue
Yeshuat Yisrael synagogue
Uli Gol

The struggle of the worshipers of the Yeshuat Yisrael synagogue in southern Tel Aviv to broadcast music to mark the start of Shabbat continued as a policeman was summoned to the synagogue on Friday afternoon.

The policeman came in and demanded that the worshipers show him their identity cards. Ma'ariv editor Doron Cohen who was shocked and published a short post and resented the intolerance of the "enlightened" residents of the neighborhood, spoke with Arutz Sheva about the incident.

"My father was one of the builders of this synagogue," said Cohen. The memorial service for Cohen's father was on Shabbat and therefore he also came to pray in the synagogue in question. "The synagogue devotes two minutes of a song at the beginning of the Shabbat, and then the new residents of the neighborhood flood the centers with cries to silence the synagogue."

He said that he understands that "every time they come to court and fail and then come with other reasons. Once it was noise. They once said that the speakers on the roof are rubbish that needs to be evacuated/"

"If this synagogue would play these songs and sounds at six in the morning, I would join them, but there is the principle of proportionality here. We are talking about a a two-minute song that announces the beginning of Shabbat and they cannot contain it. These are very enlightened people, very liberal, very pluralistic, but they are not willing to accept it," he said.

"When a police car arrived, a policeman came into the synagogue with a sheet of paper and a pen, tried to write down the names of people, I was shocked, he wanted ID cards from the people," Cohen continued, describing the events on the eve of the Shabbat. Cohen says that he himself grew up in the neighborhood and recently published a book about the Shapira neighborhood, where he called the local community a "Absentees." "I wrote this way deliberately, to imply that they are not expressed in the media and society."

"It is time for people to be liberal and pluralistic in everyday life and not just on Twitter," added Cohen, who said that a few years ago he wanted to buy an apartment in Nachlat Yitzhak and after seeing that the apartment suited him, he asked the landlord to visit her one more time. He arrived in the evening and found that there was a synagogue in the lower part of the building, followed by noise. So he decided to cancel the deal, but he adds that if he had bought the house, he would not have thought of turning to the municipality or the police to silence the synagogue.

"In the past few years, housing projects have been built around where Shasniks and haredi Jews live. Has anyone ever complained to the municipality that the bells are bothering him? A new community has arrived in Shapira because the place has become a real estate hit and they are not prepared to respect the traditional population that lives in the neighborhood, and I think that anyone who is a bit enlightened must rise up against this.

"There are people there who very much identify with the worshipers, but there are the regular instigators, some of whom use fake namese, who are very connected and they manage to run all the police and municipal authorities," Cohen said.

In the articlle he published, Cohen refers harshly to the words and compares them to dark eras in history: "If I did not see it with my own eyes, I would not believe it. Friday evening, the shfira synagogue (I was there for my father's memorial),and he takes out a notebook and a pen and demands IDs from the worshipers. Why? Because of that two-minute song that announces the entry of the Shabbat and drives the "enlightened" out of their minds? Is this anti-Semitism? Things that happened in Germany?" he wrote. "See how much it annoys you and you'll understand how annoying it is to others."

"The quarrel surrounding the songs for Shabbat in the synagogue has never been a purely religious dispute, but rather part of the struggle over the disappearing Jewish character of the neighborhoods of southern Tel Aviv," said Pei Paz, who views the policeman's entrance to the synagogue as a significant event. "The siege and the strangeness brought about the installation of the system, but then the organization of new residents who began to bombard the city center with complaints about noise, and as soon as the municipality surrendered to the complainants, they sent supervision, reports and even issued an order forbidding the music to play. We brought in speakers and people and we did Kabbalat Shabbat on the street . So this is what happens: the new residents are complaining, the veteran residents are singing and dancing, and we will see who will break first. "

"On Friday we received information that the city had folded and the municipal police had been instructed not to come in. It turned out that the joy was premature, and the police arrived at the synagogue and entered the synagogue," she said.

The police said in response that "it is the duty of the police to investigate and deal with every report of a noise nuisance that comes to its doorstep, and in this case too. Following complaints received by the police and the Tel Aviv municipality's municipal headquarters about loud loud noise from loudspeakers and disturbing the neighbors, City Hall. After several attempts to find out who was responsible in the synagogue, the noise nuisance was stopped and therefore no report or any other enforcement action was issued. It should be noted that the noise nuisances are among the most disturbing offenses to the normative citizen and we will continue to prevent and enforce them, all in accordance with the law."