South African Chief Rabbi Protests Forced Chillul Shabbos In Letter To PM

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Photo: AP); Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein (By Shaulbehr - Wikimedia Commons)

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Chief Rabbi of South Africa Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, along with other South African Rabbanim, sent a letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett protesting the outrageous incident that occurred last week when frum Jews were forced to be mechallel Shabbos by Israeli airport officials.

“We were shocked and dismayed to hear that a group of Jewish travelers from South Africa, who arrived at Ben Gurion Airport this past Friday, were denied entry into Israel and forcibly returned to their country of origin, and as a result were compelled to desecrate Shabbat,” the letter states.

“That this took place in the Jewish State is simply unconscionable. To further compound the trauma, two of the passengers were making their way to Israel to spend Shabbat with the Kay family, who are mourning the loss of their beloved Eli, h’yd, in last week’s terror attack in Jerusalem.”

“From the reports we received, no attempt was made to accommodate the passengers by allowing them to remain in quarantine over Shabbat.”

“The South African Jewish community has a deep and abiding connection with the State of Israel and we are therefore greatly aggrieved by these events. Moreover, to force fellow Jews to desecrate Shabbat is a violation of the Jewish identity and Jewish values of the state. The manner in which the religious rights of these individuals have been infringed is not something one would expect of any country, and certainly not the Jewish State.”

“On behalf of South Africa’s Rabbis and the communities we represent, we wish to record our strongest objection to the forced desecration of Shabbat,” the Rabbanim concluded.

The letter was signed by Rav Goldstein, Rabbi Yossi Chaikin, chairman of the South African Rabbinical Association, and the Dayanim of the Beis Din of South Africa. The letter was sent in the care of the Ambassador of the State of Israel to South Africa, Mr. Eli Belotsercovsky.

The Prime Minister’s Office has yet to respond to the letter.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. The Prime Minister’s Office has yet to respond to the letter. which means he shall never, because he is preoccupied with paving the way of his Peritzus Miss World Pageantry to be welcome into Israel with open arms.

  2. They were offered quarantine in jail if they refused to fly out and they CHOSE to fly in accordance to the psak they were given by THEIR Rav. They were flying close to Shabbos with an airline that flies on Shabbos so they had to be prepared for this. I am so sorry for them that this happened, however to fly so close to Shabbos and knowing the risks involved in travel during Covid, they had to know they were risking something. Let this be a lesson…

  3. Their mistake is being Zionists, including parroting the Zionist Big Lie that this took place in “The Jewish State”. It took place in “The Zionist State”.

    That State does not have “Jewish Values.” It has Zionist values that sometimes require some concessions to Judaism to maintain the Zionist Big Lie that they are “Jewish”.

    Zionism is all about changing the Jewish people and Torah into godless, Nationalist gentiles.

  4. Who told you they were offered quarantine in jail? And why would they be in jail anyway? They committed no crime, it would be a chutzpah to arrest them. They should have been allowed to spend Shabbos at the airport, or at a quarantine hotel.