Sabbath siren reminds northerners of war

Monday, September 25, 2006 |  by Staff Writer  

Jerusalem replaced its sirens that announce the beginning of the Sabbath with Jewish religious songs after Israelis from the north who sought refuge in the capital during the Lebanon war panicked when they heard them. Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski decided to make the change after he saw the reaction of a refugee family from Tiberias who were his guests for the Shabbat (Sabbath) meal.

Instead of heralding the onset of a peaceful evening, when the sirens sounded, his guests panicked and the children instinctively started looking for a bomb shelter. To them, the sirens sounded eerily like the ones that warned of incoming rockets during the war.

Now, the Sabbath in Jerusalem is welcomed with the traditional song Shalom Alechem (peace be unto you) rather than sirens.

From the October issue of Israel Today

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