The Jewish mayor of Lod in central Israel has decided to address neighborhood noise in a similar style but just a different language.
Lod is a mixed-population city with some 45,000 Jews and 21,000 Arabs, and both entitled to pray in their own houses of worship.
The Islamic muezzin calls its worshipers to prayer five times a day via a loudspeaker which blares a chant over the neighborhood, including in the wee hours of the morning.
Mayor Yair Revivo has received numerous complaints from Jewish residents about the recorded Muslim calls to prayer, which have allegedly grown louder of late, according to the Walla! News site.
Revivo said Wednesday the daily calls have become a cause of “daily suffering and annoyance” for Jewish residents and Arabs, for that matter, who live close to the mosques. They constitute a “clear breach of the law on noise,” he said.
In response, Revivo said the city would blast the “Shema Yisrael” prayer of the Jews (Hear O Israel) each time, over loudspeakers, until the mosques lower the volume of the calls to prayer.
The mayor made the announcement during the traditional second round of Hakafot hosted by the city that takes place on the night after the end of Simchat Torah.
A young Jewish man was arrested on the Temple Mount Thursday afternoon, for suspicion of saying “Shema Israel,” legal aid society Honenu reported. The detainee is being represented by a Honenu attorney.
The latest time to say the Shema on Thursday according to Jewish law was 9:27:29 AM, which suggests the young man was only reading the verse, rather than uttering it as part of his daily prayer, and should argue for a reduced sentence (Berachot 10b).
On the other hand, the young man could have been a Hasid, in which case he may have considered his uttering of the Shema to be part of his morning prayer, and his punishment should thus be more severe.
Regarding Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, the 2010 US State Dept. report on religious freedom round the world apparently finds it disturbing that “a government policy since 1967, upheld repeatedly by the Supreme Court and routinely enforced by the police, denies religious freedom at the Temple Mount to all non-Muslims, although the government ensured limited access to the historic site to everyone regardless of religious beliefs. Only Muslims were allowed to pray at the site, although their access has been occasionally restricted due to security concerns. The police accompanied Jewish visitors to the site and removed them if they appear to be praying. Since 2000 the Jordanian Waqf that managed the site restricted all non-Muslims from entering the Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque.”
However, the 2014 DOS report on religious freedom appears to approve of the fact that the Israeli government limits Jewish religious observance at the Temple Mount, “though some Jewish groups sought to either legally overturn this policy or modify it to permit Jewish prayer, actions that were at times followed by a violent response from Muslim worshippers.”
Shema Yisrael! The phrase that one hears when the Torah comes out of the Ark, when a child is named, every day morning and night, and even when, God forbid, the sword is at your throat. Rabbi Mike Feuer joins Rabbi Yishai for Spiritual Cafe to discuss the epic Torah portion of Ve’etchanan, the Ten Commandments, the Shema, and the fact that there is no other but Him! Don’t miss the stories, the laughs, and your emails on this week’s Yishai Fleisher Show.
Some 200 Jews gathered Tuesday morning by the entrance to the Temple Mount compound, to commemorate Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, HY”D, who was murdered two weeks ago by an Arab terrorist in her bedroom in Kiryat Arba. Police then permitted some 50 to enter the Temple Mount, the largest group to ascend there this year—under heavy guard.
Following negotiation with the grieving family, Jerusalem police agreed to a more flexible visit, permitting the Jewish group a longer stay and not attempting to silence the uttering of blessings or saying Amen—as opposed to the 15-person limit in normal times and the complete prohibition of even the appearance of prayers or blessings.
The Muslims at the site cursed out the group and made repeated references to Allah, who is, they said, great.
One Jewish person was arrested earlier, according to Temple Mount activists, for the sin of closing his eyes and placing his hand over his eyes — an obvious criminal inclination to recite the Shema Israel.
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel and MK Bezalel Smotrich of Habayit Hayehudi, and MKs Yehuda Glick and Oren Hazan (Likud) participated in the event at the foot of Temple Mount, but were not allowed t ascend, by order of the prime minister. The ceremony at the entrance to the holy site ended in dancing and singing.
The murdered child’s parents said they’d like to change the name of the gate from “Mugrabim Gate,” after the north-African Arab dwellers in the area before 1967, to “Hallel Gate,” after their daughter and after the Hallel prayer which accompanies every religious Jewish holiday rejoicing.
Kabbalist Rabbi Dov Kook of Tiberias visited Eilat this week and sailed in a boat to reach an IDF Navy ship to encourage soldiers to say “Shema Yisrael” but almost landed in the sea.
The Hareidi website Kikar Shabbat reported that Rabbi Kook spoke with officials of the southern tourist city as part of a campaign to persuade Jews to say the prayer, recited three times daily in prayers and before going to sleep at night.
After visiting the maritime observatory in Eilat, Rabbi Kook sailed in a boat towards a Navy ship. As seen in the video in the link here, he began to lose his footing while trying to board the ship as others told him, “Rabbi, be careful.”
He settled for remaining on the boat and shouting out loud, “Say Shema Yisrael. This is most important. You can say it now but especially at night.”
The soldiers promised they would, and the rabbi sailed back to Eilat.
Are you engaged to be married, or perhaps there is an upcoming nuptial in your family? If so, the happy couple is eligible to enter a contest to win a prayer shawl tied with the ancient “ptil tekhelet” sky-blue woolen thread.
To enter, just send a wedding invitation to the Ptil Tehkhelet organization at email@example.com. The Israeli nonprofit group promotes, educates and produces what is believed to be the authentic “tekhelet” of the ancient Hebrews.
The “Ptil Tekhelet” is mentioned in Torah (Numbers 15:37-41), which also comprises the third paragraph of the Shema prayer:
“Speak to the children of Israel and tell them to make for themselves fringes (tassels) on the corners of their garments throughout their generations. They shall include a thread of sky-blue in the corner. These shall be your fringes, and you shall look upon them and remember all the commandments of the Lord and fulfill them. You will then not stray after your heart and your eyes by which you go astray. You will thus remember and keep all My Commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I , the Lord, am your God.”
The pilot raffle program created by the organization provides up to 10 tallitot (prayer shawls) per month to engaged couples around the world. Ten winners will be selected monthly to receive a free wedding tallit tied with a ptil tekhelet.
The contest has been extended for six months, beginning with the Hebrew month of Elul which started last Sunday, August 16.
“As these young people enter into marriage,” said Dr. Ari Greenspan, Chairman of Ptil Tekhelet, “it is fitting that they usher in their new life by donning something at once so ancient and so new as the tekhelet strings. It’s the perfect metaphor for marriage itself.”
The practice of including a thread of Biblical blue tekhelet among the white fringes of the tallit was lost over a millennium ago. Its restoration in modern times was promulgated by the vision of rabbis such as Rabbi Gershon Henoch Leiner, known as the Radzyner Rebbe, and Yitzchak Isaac Halevi Herzog, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel. Present-day technologies and Rabbinic responsa, have enabled the identification of the Murex Trunculus snail as the source of this ancient blue dye.
Dr. Naama Sukenik from the Israel Antiquities Authority last year spoke at the Tekhelet Conference on Murba’at Textile, where she discussed new finds from the Murba’at Caves in the Judean Desert.
According to Sukenik, a fabric dated to the second century, dyed with material obtained from the Murex trunculus sea-snail and colored blue, was shown to be of local Israelite origin and it appears that perhaps was colored with the ancient dye known as Tekhelet mentioned in the Bible.
The Ptil Tekhelet organization has now been producing this tekhelet for more than two decades. For more information, please visit the organization’s website.