Nov 19, 2014

machlokes among the chief rabbis about security guards in shuls

Interesting machlokes between the chief rabbis of Israel as a result of yesterday's terrorist attack.

Chief Rabbi Yizchak Yosef announced that every shul  should try to get armed guards standing at the entrance. As well, until the situation changes, one should give priority to davening in a shul that has security. This has priority under the commandment of guarding yourself.

Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau said that we cannot allow it to happen that shuls should have security guards, as they must abroad. People around the country go to shuls and daven and learn, around the clock, and that cannot be allowed to stop because of some bloodthirsty terrorists. The security forces will do their jobs.

sources: srugim and srugim


  1. I think that Rabbi Yosef is correct here. While the situation demands it, it is necessary to protect the Jews davening in shul. Why would Rabbi Lau oppose this? As long as those in leadership are not doing their job and have given free rein to these animals to roam the Land with abandon putting every Jew in danger, the shuls must see to it that its worshippers are protected. Pure common sense.

  2. There is no way we can have a security guard in every shul, many shuls have 20-30 (or less) people at a morning minyan, who would pay for a security guard for every small group of people.
    And if we start having guards in every shul, what about bus stops, parks, or street corners where small groups of people gather periodically - do we need armed guards there as well?

    What we should do is encourage Jews to get licenses to carry weapons, and encourage people to carry a weapon on them at all times - if 3-4 people in a shul have a gun and know how to use it, that is more effective than having a paid guard at the door.

    In addition, the police and security forces should continue to do intelligence gathering and other preventative measures to make sure that the terrorist never makes it to the door of the shul (or any other target), or even the neighborhood where his target is located.

  3. I support Rav Lau on this one. I left security guards at shuls behind when I made aliyah, there is absolutely NO WAY that we should internalize and accept the need to implement that in Israel at all 9000 shuls. Besides being a logistical nightmare, an impossible cost to sustain, and the galut acceptance of not being free in our land. I think that it is quite pathetic that we have guards at nurseries, but that is because of past events and our failure to keep much deterrence against the terrorist pigs.

  4. Communities should organize their own protection in coordination with police. Properly armed and trained citizen volunteers could help protect shuls, etc, in their neighborhood.

  5. Rabbi Lau is right, that a focus on protecting shuls only makes sense in chu"l, because that's where it's known that Jews congregate. In Israel, Jews congregate - duh - everywhere there are Jews.

    Saying that the Jews in synagogues need high-priority protection sends a bad message, maybe more than one bad message for that matter.


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