Watch: Muslims Pray at Ben Gurion Airport Shul, Use Talleisim in Place of Prayer Rugs

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On Sunday, five Muslims traveling from Turkey to Israel were looking for a place to pray, so they entered the shul at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and prostrated themselves towards Mecca, spreading out talleisim to kneel upon in place of their traditional Muslim prayer rugs.

Some people reacted angrily to the incident, seeing it as the desecration of a sacred Jewish place and tashmishei kedushah.

The shul was empty at the time the Muslims – four men and one woman, wearing a shawl – entered because it was the eve of the Yom Tov of Simchas Torah in Eretz Yisroel, with Hoshanah Rabbah having ended shortly before.

The Muslims all removed their shoes and then carried out their prayers just feet from the aron kodesh.

The prayer was caught on camera by a passerby. At the end of the video clip, seen below, the woman seems to sense that someone was watching them and she turns around.

Ben Gurion Airport is not home to a mosque, so the family entered the shul – perhaps thinking it is an interfaith chapel – for one of their five Muslim daily prayers.

After a passing Jew told the Muslims that their actions were in error, they picked themselves up, allegedly apologized, and left the premises.

The incident has sparked lively discussion across the Web, with some expressing anger, while others are expressing satisfaction that Jews were able to help others.

Ben Gurion Airport has received dozens of questions about the incident. In response, airport spokesman Ophir Lefler said that those “who wished to see [the incident] as a positive [one and] as a positive religious connection saw it that way, while those who wished to get upset saw it a different way.”


{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. Muslims have no business praying in a Shul as do Jews have no business praying on Har Habayis. What goes around, comes around

  2. Uncanny. Take in mind 5777 is a gable year for the numerical outcome of the world. My thoughts fume over a number of different things I have been noting this new year. The sanity is questionable.

    Give to charity as you can. Missing 5777 for 5778 might return us to usual times. The devil is betting on the gold yireh of a number.

    Fun to think he can not live without Israel. The giddiness of muslim prayer must have found out that the jews were so important that their prayer seemed impossible withot desecrating the prayer shawl.

    Its uncanny.

    • Say what? School’s back to routine schedule, you can brush up on your English, we readers can fathom your pearls of wisdom. Lots luck!

  3. The airport spokesman obviously knows nothing about Yiddishkeit. It is a desecration for a tallis to be used as a mat for one to prostrate oneself on. The tzizit of a tallis should never be on the floor. This must never happen again.

  4. “After a passing Jew told the Muslims that their actions were in error, they picked themselves up, allegedly apologized, and left the premises.”

    So, bottom line: this is a non-story.

  5. NOT an esoteric inyan. Great g’dolim dealt with the issue, some quite sympathetic to allowing this (altho NEVER permitting non-orthodox (Sunni) to do so. Islam’s 4 Schools of law had the same leniency and sympathy to Yidn davening in a mosque, when all alternatives are less satisfactory. Tzizis is another matter, and this “gets” esoteric. A rechtig’e Jew in a mosque or Sunni Muslim in a shul wouldn’t intentionally violate each other’s standards. I believe these visitors. Uninformed comments as above or at BG Airport are counterproductive. Any focused Yid finds nothing irksome in a mosque, and the same goes for a Muslim in a shul. And both feel revolt in a YP shtub. Keep a few mats around for the bros, or carpet some of the floor. (BTW: ever notice the fate of tzitzis when some do k’riy’ah? Ever hear any informed person comment on it? Hamahyvin yavin.)
    I hope YK and Ashayrah went very well for all Emunim.
    Yishmael always trumps Avodas Kokhavim (except in Ramallah).

  6. There is actually a machlokes haposkim if tzitzis strings can’t ever touch the floor or if they just can’t be dragged on the floor.

    • NOT END OF DISCUSSION!!! Where’s the Israeli outrage??? If this had been the other way around, there would be arrests!!!
      I hope I didn’t offend you with my self-respect, Mr Cohen.


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