Jerusalem – Early Morning Muslim Prayer Call is a Rude Awakening for Many

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    Jerusalem – While recent rioting in and around Jerusalem’s Old City has left religious tensions between the capital’s Muslims and Jews simmering, a new dispute – this time concerning the volume of prayers, more than the prayers themselves – is resonating in outlying neighborhoods.

    Jewish residents of these areas, all of which are in close proximity to Arab neighborhoods in the capital’s east, have begun to complain that the Islamic call to prayer, which is broadcast five times a day from loudspeakers inside local mosques, has become an intolerable nuisance, particularly when it blasts through their neighborhoods at 4 a.m. every day.

    “It’s as if they took the speakers and put them inside my bedroom,” Yehudit Raz, a resident of the northeast Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, told The Jerusalem Post. “And it’s not from one mosque or two mosques – we’re talking about tons of speakers going off, one after the other, every morning.”

    According to Raz, many residents of Pisgat Ze’ev are fed up with the noise, which they say has only gotten louder of late. And the police and municipality, to which, Raz said, residents have complained a number of times, aren’t doing anything about it.

    “Everyone is shirking their responsibility,” she said. “All we want is for them to turn their speakers down. How would they feel if we did the same thing to them?”

    Raz added that the gunshots and fireworks that often accompany weddings in the nearby neighborhoods of Shuafat, Anata, Beit Hanina and Hizme were adding to the problem, and that residents of Pisgat Ze’ev felt as if they were under siege.

    “It’s like we’re living under their rule,” Raz said, adding that the Shuafat refugee camp affected her the most. “It’s the area that’s closest to my home,” she said. “And they just don’t care.

    Continue reading at The Jerusalem Post

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    70 COMMENTS

    1. “Why must they wake up the whole neighborhood with the noise?” she went on. “Can’t they just get alarm clocks?”

      And why must frumme yidden to all the things they do under halacha or minhag that may be viewed as disruptive to established Arab neighborhoods. The Muslim traditions have the same legitimacy and entitlement to respect as yiddishe haskofah and minhagim. In some cases, as the article notes, these mosques have been at their locations for hundreds of years, well before many of those neighborhoods attracted jewish residents. If you don’t like the noise, than MOVE.

      • Wrong! there is no Jewish custom to wake up a whole city with hundreds of thousands of people with loudspeakers @ 5:00 in the early morning, not even once a year!
        Every body is entitled to their customs, as long as it doesn’t annoy the neighbors and residents to such an extent.
        Besides that you whole language is full of apikorsos.

          • What? Are you now accusing the Rambam of believing such apikorsus too? It’s bad enough that you write apikorsus, now you want to drag the Rambam down with you?!

          • 1) Hilchos Teshuva 3:16 [8] : Apikorsim are מכחיש נבואתו של משה רבנו – which clearly the Musims are.

            2) Hilchos Teshuva 3:18 [9] : Muslims are categorized as kofrim b’torah who have no chelek. האומר שהבורא החליף מצוה זו במצוה אחרת, וכבר בטלה תורה זו, אף על פי שהיא הייתה מעם ה’, כגון הנוצריים וההגריים

            3) Hilchos Melachim 10:9 [12]: It is forbidden for gentiles to set up their own religions with their own minhagim, holidays, etc., אלא בשבע מצוות שלהן בלבד… כללו של דבר: אין מניחין אותן לחדש דת, ולעשות מצוות לעצמן מדעתן,

            4) Hilchos AZ 10:9 [6]: In a state that is under Jewish sovereignty it is forbidden to allow gentiles to dwell in the Land as long as they refuse to adhere fully to the sheva mitzvos bnei noach. לא יעבור בארצנו, עד שיקבל עליו שבע מצוות שנצטוו בני נוח–שנאמר “לא יישבו בארצך” (שמות כג,לג), אפילו לפי שעה.

            I suggest that you study the RaMBaM more thoroughly before coming to the defense of commentators who spew vile words such as “The Muslim traditions have the same legitimacy and entitlement to respect as yiddishe haskofah and minhagim.” To equate Toras Moshe with the innovations of a madman (i.e. Mohamed) indeed reeks of Apikorsus.

      • Since when do the Yiddishe Minhagim wake up people 3:00 in the morning. Even in the middle of the day we don’t have loud speakers making noise on a regular basis

        • Actually it is a Jewish minhag to wake people up in the morning for davening or slichos. In the old days the shamash used to go around to every home and bang on the window shutters to wake people up. But the point is that Eretz Yisroel belongs to us, not to the Moslems, so our customs are entitled to a privileged position that their customs are not.

            • Are you capable of engaging in polite conversation? Are you mature enough to speak to another human being without resorting to insults or are you rude and anti-social in person too? And there, I’ve posted my name.

            • I am polite to people who deserve politeness. Not to anonymous cowards who make illogical comments on blogs, and refuse to sign a consistent name to them.

          • Sorry but need to have respect for ALL religions not just to arrogantly say that “our customs” are the only ones worthy of respect. The Muslims should find ways to quiet these loudspeakers, just as yiddin should avoid going up to har habayis to daven and upset the Muslims. We must respect those whose views are differnet from us, even if we don’t engage in avodah zorah.

            • Open apikorsus. We do NOT “need to have respect for all religions”. Why do you think false religions deserve our respect? What kind of perverted chinuch did you have that gave you such an attitude? Do you say Oleinu every day?

            • Why do you need to insult every person with whom you disagree? I’ve yet to see an instance in which any other poster has been the one to initiate an unpleasant exchange with you. I’m at times surprised that VIN allows your ugly comments to be posted.

            • If you’ve yet to see it you’re either blind or not paying attention. But when people wage open war against the Torah, such as comment #1, what possible polite response can there be? A polite response to such a comment is itself an insult to the Torah.

            • My fellow yidden please don’t fight. Its bad enough the Arabs do everything in their power to upset us and make our lives stress ful and full of fear. Lets not hurt each other. The only reason others have the power to hurt us is because we hurt each other. Lets be good to each other so that the other nations strength will be WEAK against us.

            • Sorry, you must have me confused with someone else. I don’t do sin’as chinom. I hate communists, antisemites, violent criminals, and deliberate attacks on the Torah. I tolerate differences of opinion, so long as they are are argued logically and expressed in reasonably correct English, they do not advocate socialism or violent crime, and on this site so long as they are not apikorsus.

              What I do not tolerate are fools, and people who pretend to be Orthodox Jews and yet reject and defy basic Jewish beliefs. When people come on to this site, which is supposed to be “the voice of Orthodox Judaism” and claim that Moslem practises “have the same legitimacy and entitlement to respect as yiddishe haskofah and minhagim”, that is intolerable. To tolerate it is to participate in the chilul hashem; when a Jew hears kefira like that he is obligated to protest and condemn it.

              Of course on avowedly secular web sites the same argument doesn’t apply; I expect atheists to make such a claim, and don’t hold it against them. If a Moslem were to make the same claim I’d be very happy. But VIN is not the place for it.

            • The fact that I haven’t insulted you yet should give you pause. According to your hypothesis I should have insulted you by now, and yet I haven’t. There’s a reason for that, but not one dreamt of in your simple philosophy. It’s a very simple reason: you haven’t yet written anything that deserves insulting. And so long as you don’t write anything that begs for an insult, you won’t see me make one. You can go over my entire oeuvre here, as far back as you like, and you will not find an example that contradicts what I explained in #61. So I think it’s time for you to reexamine your hypothesis and discard it.

            • Sorry, you must have yourself confused with someone else.

              You obviously DO do sinas chinom, you are obnoxious, self-righteous, condescending and hypocritical, and have absolutely no right to be, or to pretend you are speaking for religious Jews in general. You have no right to speak for others in deciding what is and what isn’t a Chilul Hashem, especially considering how bad at it you are..

              Having respect for others is NOT a Chilul Hashem. Writing for the world to see that anyone who wants make noise must be a “frum yid” IS a Chilul Hashem.

              Muslims can make noise, Episcolpalians can make noise, elephants can make noise, and chickens can make noise. They don’t need your approval to do it. And YES, they all have the RIGHT to practice their customs as much as you do.(Ooh! Kefirah! You are OBLIGATED to protest and condemn this!).

              Your opinion, unsurprisingly, matters only to you. The only Chilul Hashem here is if outside people read this web and think your intolerance speaks for other, non-insane Jews. The elephants’ and chickens’ noises make more sense than the noise that comes from you. You are an embarrassment to other Jews – actually, to ANY other people.

              Idiot!

      • And how would you react if the story would’ve been that the arabs complain on Jews that they make too much noise, you’re comment would be diferrent than its now.. you would’ve thrown tons of critic on your “beloved” jews.

      • please try being evenminded before writing your venomous comments. the yated a while had a letter from a lady complaining against our music on erev shabbos in borough park when there are many christains neighbors. FACT: jews make noise once a week (used to) christain churches do that multiple times daily! jewish neighborhoods don’t try waiking up people from a mile away! and last, get your facts straight. most of these arab neighborhoods weren’t around before the creation of the state of israel. search a pre 1948 map on google and see for yourself.

      • “iF U DON’T LIKE THE MUSIC mOVE”! You really are an inconsiderate person suffering from an oppositional personality disorder. In London, Paris, Sweden , belgium Arabs are changing the landscape existent for hundreds of years and Jews are fighting for their rights to do so. This tradition is in all aspects a de ‘rbonon at most waking up people. U don’t list a single thing frumme yiddin do to the life of ARabs. Nothing will happen if they eliminate the call at 4:00 am and disruopt the lives of their new neighbors. What do “frum yiddin do to disrupt the Arab lifestyle in that nature? ZERO! U are plapling to look important by your antagonistic comments.
        The neighborhoods ahve changed and they can have phone callls or cell phones to call their members collectively!! sO STOP BEING SO SMUG AND NASTY TO YIDDIN !!

      • What?! What kind of Jew could say that Moslem customs “have the same legitimacy and entitlement to respect as yiddishe haskofah and minhagim”? Only a shaigetz and/or apikores could say such a thing. This is a Jewish web site, and if that’s how you feel you have no business here.

        And what is this suggestion that Jews should move because the Moslems are disturbing them? Whose land is it? Theirs or ours?

    2. # 1 says… “d minhagim. In some cases, as the article notes, these mosques have been at their locations for hundreds of years, well before many of those neighborhoods attracted jewish residents.”..
      1) did this crazy abusive “minhag” of setting up loudspeakers to wake all of Jerusalem and all towns around 4 o’clock in d morning go back hundreds of years? when there was no such technology as a loudpeaker at all?
      2) No, the Jewish people also live in Jerusalem for hundreds of years.
      3) why do you aim your comment at frumme when this issue has nothing with frum, are you obsessed with something?

      • why do you aim your comment at frumme when this issue has nothing with frum,

        Are you unaware of the reality of how the city effectively is shut down and many streets are closed on shabbos because the frumme don’t even want to see cars driving through or near their neighborhood. How many stores are closed on shabbos because of respect for a frumme minority in a generally secular neighborhood. Have you followed the rioting when a parking lot outside of the frumme areas was opened on shabbos to ease parking for the tourists. We make many accomodations for the frumme in eretz yisorel.

        • #13 Most really frum people have been accommodaive as tmost roads are closed only during davening hours and many people and few cars have been provided alternate routes with minute chges. The rioting has not been with the approval of most halachic leaders in Israel esopecuially the violence and most of these people are not Arabs but Jews whocan shop in Tel aviv. In addition , this was break in the status quo agreed to by the govt. Most people today live in neighborhoods that were specifically built with shemiras shabbat agreed to. But no frum yeedin put the Arabs through anything like the vicious and purposeful calls repeatedly daily waking them up and such purposeful disruptuion to their lives– Most people should not even answer #1 because your response is exactly the reaction and attention he craves for by the vindictiveness of his comments. He isn’t worth the effort as a JEW!

    3. Let’s hear it for tradition! Traditional calls to prayer did not include amplified sound. That’s a more recent innovation. How about a return to the old-style – and if a modern enhancement is appropriate, how about an automated call or text message to members only?

    4. “”We were living here long before Pisgat Ze’ev even existed,” Sanduka said.”

      But they didn’t use loudspeakers in the old days.

      If they have to make the prayer call, let them do it live, as in the old days, with just human voices, without artificial electronic amplification..

      Wouldn’t that be more historically authentic too? In the time of Muhammed they didn’t have electric loudspeakers!

    5. To those who ask why they need recorded “call to prayers” you need to understand that they no longer have young “chazonim” who can climb up the stairs and have a voice loud enough that can properly to the call to prayer.

    6. When I was learning in the Mir it used to wake me up early morning. Oh and what a rude way to wake up. It made my blood boil! Its a huge Chutzpah and its shocking that its been allowed to go on for so long without protest. In America or any other civilized place in the world the police would shut it down.

      • Dont compare your country to America in any way. America doesnt have loonatics throwing rocks around when a parking lot opens on a Sunday! Six of one, half a dozen of the other……to America your outrages are as riduclous as theirs are! No, no one would be aloud to scream over a loud speaker for any reason……but at the same time men and women walk together, kiss in public, and GASP…..show skin and their natural hair!!!!

        • “They used manual amplification of the Musin’s call to prayer”
          Could you explain exactly what “manual amplification” is. This concept is new to me. I thought I knew a bit about sound systems from an historical point of view.

          • They might have used a megaphone (not a battery powered one like you see today), but a long cone similar to what popular singers used before microphones became practical.

            It’s obvious that they’re cranking up the sound beyond what’s necessary to annoy the Yiddin. I’m curious as to what the actual sound levels are. Has anyone actually taken a sound level meter and gotten peak and average ratings in decibels of what’s going on? A “quiet” city street should be about 70 dB. There are ways to control PA systems, speakers with special dispersion patterns and aiming that can be done if they’re really willing to control their sound. That’s a big “if” with these jokers…..

            • You may be right about them deliberately cranking up the volume.. I have traveled in Moslem countries and have heard the call to morning prayer at dawn. It’s audible but usually not very intrusive. Most environmental jusidictions have limits on sound levels. A sound survey might very well find them in violation. Of course in the USA, at least, they might have a First Ammendment exemption.

    7. Sanduka spoke like a true Muslim diplomat when he said he is always willing to talk. Talk is cheap! In this article he also states it is their problem- making it clear that he has no interest in adhering to the noise ordinances.
      If the shoe was on the other foot blogger #1 would probably be screaming, dina dimalchussa dina.

    8. “This is an integral part of our religion” Speaker systems werent invented till about a hundred years and probably took a few more decades to reach the technology-handicapped muslims. How integral can it be? MUhamad didnt have them?!

    9. Buy a good set of earplugs at any pharmacy and presto, no more noise. Its as simple as that.

      PS: I live with a snorer, which is much worse than that call to prayer stuff.

    10. I remember them from my days in eretz yisroel as well. I actually found it quite inspiring.
      Its a call to prayer. Were praying to the same GOD.
      I would wake up and say a kapittel of tehillim for the speedy redemption. It really made me feel good about myself.
      I guess its how you look at it.

    11. Set up sirens that would get set off by their loudspeakers and let them stay on throughout the service. Say to them that nobody can fix it and we don’t know who the perpetrators are. If they complain, say “we can’t find where the noise is coming from but it is set off by your loudspeakers”. They’ll get the hint.

    12. I have an easy solution, it may cause a few disrupted nights but it will get the message across. Each neighborhood needs to get real powerful loudspeakers, download the adhan from the net and blast it an hour before they do one day then an hour and a half before the next day then a half hour before the third day and confuse them, they will get the message. Let them be an hour short of sleep too

    13. and its not just pisgat zev…..when i was in seminary i would stay by my uncle in bet el and every morning at 5 am i would wake up to their “moaning” which is extremely loud when your leaving in a frum yeshuv where there’s no background noise to drown them out.

    14. when i used learn in israel we had our dirah at shmiel hanovie it was terrible when we ware aredy trying to a fall asleep came this krazy speakers and woke us up

    15. milhouse, and Talmid Says, do not represent Torah Judaism, they represent hate, and cloak it in they misinterpation of the Torah.

      They are no different then Muslim extremists, and others of that kind. The only difference is, who should be intolerante of the onthers.

      Also I do not think they learned tanach. Since, there are many instances of the prophets condemning the Jews about how they treat their gentile neighbors

      • Anyone can open some seforim and see who represents Torah and who represents some strange foreign religion. Neither I nor the other poster you named have written anything that is not in the Torah.
        Really? Why don’t you quote a few examples.

      • Very well-said!

        those two may be loud, but that neither makes them right, nor representative of anyone else’s opinion.

        I do admire your self-control in your comment, though. I couldn’t have responded as politely as you did.

        • If you’re so smart, prove me wrong. Find where it says in the Torah that Moslem customs “have the same legitimacy and entitlement to respect as yiddishe haskofah and minhagim”, chas vesholom. Explain why that is NOT apikorsus, why someone who writes such a thing is NOT a sheigetz.

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