September 27, 2023

Chief Rabbi of the Israel Police Rami Berachyahu

‘I appeal to the rabbis of Israel to instruct their communities that everyone who has a license should carry firearms with them on Shabbat’

Chief Rabbi of the Israel Police, Rami Berachyahu, in a letter on Thursday called on rabbis and worshipers to carry licensed weapons in synagogues to ward off any possible terrorist attacks.

Gatherings of Israeli civilians in synagogues raise security concerns after the January 27 terrorist attack that killed seven outside a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Neve Ya’akov neighborhood.

Berachyahu said the attack showed that the “religious neighborhoods and synagogues can serve as an extensive target for terrorist acts.”

“This incident joins the terrorist attacks that took place in the cities of Bnei Brak and Elad last year,” he wrote.

“In deliberation with prominent rabbis and on recommendation of relevant police authorities, I appeal to the Rabbis of Israel to instruct their communities that everyone who has a license to carry a firearm should carry that firearm with them on Shabbat, especially during prayer times in synagogues,” he urged.

The rabbi added that every synagogue should have a kosher cell phone that can be used to call the police in case of emergency. He stressed that in any event that poses “risk to life” the police should be contacted even on Shabbat.

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