Williamsburg: Neighbors Annoyed By Air-Raid-Sounding Shabbos Siren


sThe following is via OnlySimchas.com:

Congregation Bais Yaakov Nechemia D’satmar in Bedford-Stuyvesant is now facing backlash after installing a new, blaringly-loud siren to signal the beginning of Shabbos every Friday.

Robert Prichard, a man who lives near the shul said he has to wear earmuffs he bought from a gun store when the alarm goes off.

“It’s a war air-raid siren,” the 60-year-old told The Post. “It’s got a sound to elicit flight or fight, kind of (like) a razor saw, high end grating.”

Prichard said the new alarm was installed this summer after the shul built another wing to accommodate more people.

Sirens are common in Ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, but this one is especially loud.

“It’s so loud, it takes your breath away,” said Aaron Graubart, 48, a food photographer who said he complained to the DEP who sent out a worker to measure the decibels from his apartment.

He said it registered 106 from his window – close to a chainsaw.

“It’s not like church bells or the Muslim call to prayer,” he said. ‘I work from home and can’t have clients come on Fridays.”



  1. Yes it might be loud – perhaps a bit too loud but from the last line of his comment you see the blatant anti-semitism factor. He says he can’t have clients on Friday!! HOGWASH! The siren rings for all of 60 seconds or not even!

  2. While its important to have open dialogue with the “bothered” people, We should remember that churches have their religious callings chiming hourly daily, not just twice and only on friday. Try the mosques, they have it multiple times daily as well. Why doesn’t he complain about the mosques? 6:00 am is probably better for him as he doesn’t host any client in his dreams at that time. Well if he has an issue with something that takes 20 seconds twice one day a week, he’s really got to do some inner reflection. perhaps he owes himself to perform a confession.

  3. 1. The “air raid” siren (rising and falling) is not for non-emergency use. They are supposed to use the steady “all clear”.

    2. If the siren is too loud, they should turn it down. One assumes there is a volume control. The same goes for the time controls.

  4. I’m not hearing that the objection is to the bell itself, but rather the decibel.

    The bell is likely something new to the residents in that area. Anyone who has heard church bells or the Muslim call to prayer knows that the sound is usually not deafening.

    They can simply set the volume to that of other bells, such as those in Flatbush, Boro Park, Yerushalayim, etc.

    This is not a value of the goyim, and this should not impede upon their functioning to the point where it is painful to listen to.