Benji Lovitt
Because the Middle East is Funny

Charedization Continues: Kotel Closed on Shabbat

Just a day after the closing of popular restaurant Restobar was announced for religious reasons, the Western Wall Heritage Foundation claimed it had lost control of the holy wall to a group who planned to close the Kotel on Shabbat for not being Jewish enough.

“Shabbat is the holiest day of the week and we as ultra-Orthodox Jews have a right to observe it as written in the Torah,” said the wall’s new chief rabbi, Menachem Mendel Chatzuf of the Charedi Operation for Extremist Religiosity Creeping Into Our Nation (COERCION).  “To keep the Kotel open on this day is unacceptable.  The dancing, the singing, the Birthright groups….what kind of atmosphere are we trying to create?”

Upon hearing of the change, secular Jerusalem resident Rotem Ben-David responded, “This is just another blow to the future of a pluralist Jerusalem.  Modern Orthodox, non-religious….we all lose today.  And what am I supposed to tell my Bubbie Pearl visiting from Fort Lauderdale?  Where am I supposed to tell her to stick her note?”

An unnamed representative of COERCION said that if he had his way, the changes at Restobar and the Wall would not be the end. “Our hope is that the Terem emergency clinic will be closed by Rosh Hashanah.  There is no emergency that Hashem cannot heal.  Except when my Yaakov Shwekey cassette gets stuck in the tape player.  That sucks.”

Chief Rabbi Chatzuf added, “Jerusalem is the holy city.  Anyone who wants to desecrate the Sabbath can go to another Jewish city.  Or to Tel Aviv.”

About the Author
Since making aliyah in 2006, Benji Lovitt has performed stand-up comedy and educational programs for groups including Jewish Federations, Chabads, synagogues, Masa Israel Journey, and Birthright Israel. His perspectives on aliyah and Israeli society have been featured on Israeli TV and radio and in publications such as USA Today, Time Magazine, the BBC, and more. Benji has worked as a cross-cultural trainer with groups including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Masa Israel and is a popular presenter on the Limmud International circuit. During 2014's Operation Protective Edge, his humorous observations on the war led to his being called in Israel "the only reason to go on Facebook.”
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