Security camera in Jerusalem
Photo: Shlomi Cohen

Security cameras lead to Shabbat desecration?

Ultra-Orthodox residents fear Jerusalem Municipality's plan to place dozens of surveillance cameras in central spots across capital will expose them to indirect desecration of holy day

The Jerusalem Municipality's plan to place security cameras in various spots around the city spurred anger among the capital's ultra-Orthodox residents, who fear the cameras' activation could lead to Shabbat desecration.


According to the plan, surveillance cameras will be hung in Saker Garden, Liberty Bell Garden, Pisgat Ze'ev, Gilo Park, the Rose Garden and the Sanhedria neighborhood, among other places.


Notices warning against the city's new project were posted in Jerusalem's synagogues last week. The major concern is that once a person passes by one of the cameras he will create an electric response on the screen, thus indirectly causing Shabbat desecration.


In light of this, the notice advised parents to prevent their children from visiting areas in which cameras have been placed.


Notably, Jerusalem's haredi residents have already faced the dilemma of security cameras operating on Shabbat at the Old City and the Western Wall, where many worshippers arrive to pray on the weekend.


However, rabbis have ruled that in this area the cameras serve to protect lives, and therefore there was no Shabbat desecration risk involved in walking by them.


פרסום ראשון: 02.16.09, 07:49
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