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August 11, 2016 5:05 am

Jordan Explains Why Jews With Kippot and Tefillin Can’t Enter the Country

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Amman, Jordan. Photo: David Bjorgen via Wikimedia Commons.

Amman, Jordan. Photo: David Bjorgen via Wikimedia Commons.

Jordanian newspaper Ad Dustour has explained exactly why Jordan bans any Jews from bringing in kipot or tefillin into the country.

Jordanian authorities prevented Israeli militants from entering the territory of Jordan following the discovery of their intention to establish Talmudic rituals in regions of the Hashemite Kingdom.

Israeli press sources said Jordanian administration refused entry to a group of Israeli extremists and prevented them from reaching the historic Petra region and a number of tourist areas after their intention to exercise Talmudic rituals. They were found with tools used in Jewish prayer, in addition to wearing “kipot.”

Official sources confirmed in a statement to Ad Dustour that Jordan prevented a number of religious Jews from entering its territory after being found in possession of Tefillin prayer tools where two bands of leather are used by Jews on the head and the left hand in the dawn prayers according to Jewish belief.

The sources said that the authorities of Jordan informed the Israelis that they will not allow them to enter Jordan as long as they refuse to surrender their Talmudic tools at the crossing. The aim of the visit by Israeli extremists is prayer at the “Aharon Hacohen shrine” allegedly near Petra, where officials prevented UK visitors from wearing a Jewish skullcap. The sources pointed out that Israelis will not be allowed into Jordanian territory for the same reason, unless the Israelis remove their Jewish hats from their heads before entering the country.

We’ve reported this before, but it is nice to see it explicitly stated in Arab media.

Note the language: “extremists” and “militants.”

Usually, tefillin are only worn for morning prayers, and not in public. However, a 2012 Jerusalem Post article says that some Jews would put on the tefillin at the shrines themselves, in public.

 According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, these complaints have been around for many years.

“For years there were some Israelis who would go to different holy sites of one sort or another and put on tefillin and start praying and you can understand for someone who has never seen a Jew before or this ritual this could be shocking, it could cause a disturbance and people could act badly.”

Palmor said they know of a number of incidents in which disturbances and violence broke out after Israeli Jews who had traveled to Jordan began laying on tefillin and praying in public places. He said eventually the Jordanian authorities adopted a procedure of asking incoming Israeli tourists if they are carrying tefillin, and holding them for them at the border crossing until they leave the country.

If that is true, then the Jews who put on the tefillin in public in Jordan were acting irresponsibly. There is no religious obligation to put on tefillin at a shrine.  Their pretense of religious zealotry made it impossible for all religious Jews to ever visit Jordan overnight.

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