Love of the Land

For the week ending 12 September 2009 / 22 Elul 5769

The Jordanian Border

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Israeli tourists who wish to cross the Jordan border to visit the neighboring Hashemite Kingdom are having difficulty in bringing with them such religious items as tefillin, talit, siddurim and sefarim.

The reason given by Jordanian officials for denying Jewish tourists the privilege of bringing along such items is their concern that visibly Jewish tourists would be exposed to terrorist attacks. Israel's Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger has appealed to Jordan's King Abdullah to change this policy.

This should serve as a reminder to Jews in Israel who fail to make use of such religious items despite their freedom to do so, that if the fulfillment of mitzvot thus identifies one as a Jew, they should rethink their own definition of a Jewish state.

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