Rav Metzger to King Abdullah: Allow Tashmishei Kedusha into Jordan


rabbi-metzgerChief Ashkenazi Rabbi Rav Yonah Metzger appealed to Jordan’s King Abdullah II in a letter sent this week to stop his country’s policy of preventing Israeli tourists from crossing the border with religious items such as tefillin, taleisim, siddurim, Chumashim or Gemaros.  “As a person for whom religion is important and dear, I cannot imagine the possibility that the state of Israel would order a Muslim tourist to refrain from wearing his or her traditional dress or to refrain from entering Israel with religious items such as the Koran,” wrote Rav Metzger, according to a press release issued by the chief rabbi’s office.”Proper respect should be given to all religions,” Rav Metzger added.

Religious Israeli tourists have been regularly prevented from entering Jordan with various religious items. These tourists are told that Jordanian security officials are concerned about terrorist attacks directed against visibly Jewish tourists.

Tourists who were subjected to Jordan’s restrictions said they felt discriminated against, especially after seeing Christians walk through to the other side of the border with crosses.

Jordanian official responded by saying that the decision had been in effect for a long time and that Israeli authorities were aware of it.

“The Jordanian security authorities are responsible for the safety of all visitors to the kingdom and it is our duty to take all measures required in this regard,” the official explained. He expressed regret that the tourists had been offended by the measure.

Rav Metzger wrote in response to the claims of security concerns that it was possible to allow Israelis to enter with all their belongings and simply refrain from publicly displaying the religious items.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}