DRAMA IN YERUSHALAYIM: Police Come To Dismantle “Dangerous Porch Sukkah” Of Eidah Chareidis Av Beis Din [VIDEOS OF HAFGANAH]


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Drama unfolded on Tuesday night as a large police force gathered on Zonnenfeld Street in the Beis Yisroel neighborhood of Jerusalem in order to tear down the large porch Sukkah of Hagaon HaRav Moshe Brandsdorfer, which had been built with an engineering permit.

The Sukkah, which had kicked up a noisy backlash on social media platforms both in Israel and abroad due to its abnormal construction, was built in a way that left more than half of it hanging off of a balcony and over the sidewalk and street. According to reports in the Israeli media and claims made by the owner, the Sukkah has been built in this style for many years and each year is inspected by an engineer to certify its safety.

However, with following the recent tragedies in Meron and Pisgat Ze’ev, social media advocates called for the dismantling of the Sukkah and the municipality of Jerusalem issued an order to dismantle it.

As the police gathered and cordoned off the area, dozens of residents from the neighborhood entered the Sukkah and began to daven mincha in order to prevent the police from dismantling it. Hundreds of local residents swarmed the street and broke through the barricade set up by the police.

According to BChadrei Charedim, HaRav Brandsdorfer put an end to the conflict by summoning the Chief Rabbi of the Police, Rabbi Rami Berachyahu who came to the home of Rabbi Brandsdorfer together with the Chief Police Officer of the Jerusalem district and the three men settled the matter calmly.

According to the agreement, the police would leave the area, and the Sukkah would be dismantled tomorrow afternoon, before Yom Kippur by the family. It would then be rebuilt on the sidewalk in a safe manner.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. If the succah was built legally with an engineer’s permit, why is it being taken down, and if it was built illegally why are Chief Rabbi of the Police, Rabbi Rami Berachyahu together with the Chief Police Officer of the Jerusalem district negotiating with Rabbi Bransdorfer.

  2. Why would they not have built the succah on the sidewalk in the first place? After the recent tragedies in Meron and bleacher collapses in shuls (where there was also some form of “permit” or “approval”) you would think anyone with half a brain would go out of their way to assure the absolute safety of any structure where there was a likelihood of crowding or exceeding the design paramaters.

  3. I wonder if the police took the engineering permit into account, and then independently had their own engineer
    assess the structural integrity of the sukkah, to which they came to their own rational conclusion that the sukkah was unsafe. i may be wrong, but it seems more likely that the decision was made on some city official’s whim, goaded on by the empty headed rabble rousers on whatsapp.
    For all the commenters that consistently grace this site with criticism of the Israeli chareidi community’s tension and mistrust of the police, bear in mind that some of the frustration is well founded, and that sadly leads to clashes like these all too often.

  4. This is so painful to watch! I know the police and military can be very rough, and many times they over-react, using too much force. But why do the residents have to act like wild beings? Screaming and cursing and throwing things (eggs!)This only gets the police angrier! In this particular case, the police are right! This sukka presents a danger..perhaps listening to reason and not acting like wild animals, confronting the police, a chilul Hashem can be avoided. The media get a thrill from these episodes! We don’t need more enemies!!

  5. The sitra achra is being misgaber. The satan knows that the geula is imminent, so he’s trying to stop it chalilah. By stopping the kedusha of sukah and causing machlokes, the tumah is making a last stand! Daven for mashiach! Avinu Malkeinu hatzileinu hatzileinu!

  6. I’m sure the Rav’s word to dismantle it can be trusted, but I don’t understand why, after Meron, Karlin and Surfside, these fanatics would behave this way. Is it just about fighting the State ? Don’t they care about passers-by, not to mention the Rav and his family?

  7. “By stopping the kedusha of sukah and causing machlokes, the tumah is making a last stand! Daven for mashiach”
    No. Daven that the leadership of the Eidah and the police start using common sense. After recent tragedies, building a sukkah on an upper story balcony supported by scaffolding that will almost certainly be crowded above it “safe” occupancy is totally mindless, irrespective of prior practices and obtaining a “permit”. The Rav (who I assume was not involved in the actual permit and construction) seems to be the only one who showed some “adult supervision” by defusing the confrontation and quickly arranging to dismantle this accident waiting to happen.

  8. And then when C’V there is an accident, we’ll be inundated with tzedakah requests for the victims. And of course, the reason behind the catastrophe will be the style of wigs in our communities.

  9. @ Pekak
    Past performance is no guarantee of the future.
    @Jerusalem observer
    I am not aware of any reports of a permit. In Israel and in the US you can not simply build it because you got someone to state the plan is safe.
    Would you like to walk under this Succah?

  10. If the police were sincere why didnt they simply knock on the Rav’s door and discuss it in a professional manner?? Why was a “large police force” their way of tackling the issue? I have a hunch they were not as caring as the story author makes it sound. They’re professionals and could have handled this more professional. Their inner contempt, while admittedly not unfounded, is not an alibi to the unnecessary provocation.