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Aug 13, 2008

choice - tefillin or vacation?

The Yisrael Hayom newspaper today reported on a phenomena that has recently been happening repeatedly in Jordan.

As you all know, we have peace with Jordan. We have trade, tourism, and overall friendly relations..

It seems that the tourism goes only one way - into Israel - nowadays. At least, if you are religious.

Recently, the border authorities on the Jordanian side of the border have been giving Israeli tourists a hard time. If religious, and sometimes even if not, they do a full search of your belongings. When they find the tourists tefillin, they refuse the tourist entry into the country, unless the tourist is willing to abandon his tefillin.

Why? There has not been any official response from Jordanian authorities, but Jordanian officials at the border have been quoted as giving the reason that it is dangerous for Jews to pray openly. They become a target for terrorists. Therefore they have to not allow entry to people who are going to pray.

I guess it is nice of them to be concerned for our safety. But it seems like an excuse. They could ask the tourists to pray in private, not public, locations.

Regardless, it was nice to see the quotes from a few tourists who refused to give up their tefillin and instead chose to cancel their vacation.
What would Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev say in this case? They choose to forgo the hundreds of dollars (or more) spent for the vacation, the time and effort in planning the vacation, all because they would have to leave their tefillin behind!

Mi Ke'amcha Yisrael!


  1. if that is the case then, it is not good to have a vacation in your place. you better come to our country in the philippines you will find here beautiful beaches and nice people like me.

  2. i still can't understand how israelis aren't afraid to travel to these places.

  3. What kind of damned fool would want to go to Jordan?


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