Muezzin Law halted as Israeli Ultra-Orthodox leaders appeal

Israeli Health Minister Yakov Litzman filed an appeal regarding the Muezzin Law fearing that it would affect the PA system that announces the start of Shabbat. Litzman explained that the bill’s current format could impair the existing status quo and requested that the bill be further discussed by the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation before being brought to the Knesset floor for voting.
Litzman halted the bill’s progression Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Yesterday evening (Tuesday), Israeli Health Minister Yakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) filed an appeal regarding the Muezzin Law requesting that the bill be discussed further by the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation before being brought to the Knesset floor for voting. As reported earlier this week by JOL, the Muezzin Law would prohibit the use of PA systems in order to call worshipers or in order to transmit nationalistic or religious messages. However, Litzman explained that the bill could harm the siren that is sounded in order to announce the start of Shabbat.

“The Mishna sages describe the three blasts sounded shortly prior to the start of Shabbat in order to distinguish the nation from labor and the three blasts sounded at the start of Shabbat itself that were meant to announce that from now on, all labor is prohibited until the end of Shabbat,” Litzman explained in his appeal.

“For thousands of years, Jewish tradition has used different instruments for this act,” Litzman continued. “With technological developments, PA systems are now used for the Shabbat announcement at the permissible volume.” Litzman noted in the appeal that the bill’s current format could impair the existing status quo.



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