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What tourists should not do in Israel

Freedom is felt in other cities. But in the Holy Land there are taboos that are better not to break.

Wearing indecent clothing in religious neighborhoods
At the entrance to the religious quarters of Israeli cities there are warning signs: “It is forbidden to enter with an organized tourist group and in indecent clothing.” Ultra-Orthodox Jews are extremely negative about t-shirts, shorts, short skirts and a neckline. For tourists who want to see with their own eyes the focus of Israeli color and feel the atmosphere of the pre-war European ghetto, there is a dress code.

Dress code in the religious quarters of Israeli cities

Men should be in long trousers, a shirt and closed boots, always with a covered head. Women need to close their knees and elbows. Pants and, especially, jeans are not suitable: in a religious quarter you can only wear a wide skirt that covers your knees, a loose shirt or sweater with long sleeves. Clothing should not emphasize the figure. An unmarried woman is supposed to walk with her head uncovered, but long hair needs to be bundled. If a woman is married, a scarf should be on her head.

If a woman is married, a scarf should be on her head

In tourist areas and secular cities, you can dress as you like, but in the whole country both men and women are forbidden to drive a car with a bare torso.

Defiantly behaving in a religious quarter
If you find yourself in the authentic Jerusalem quarter of Mea Shearim, do not provoke the orthodox behavior that is unacceptable to them. If you decide to walk around the religious quarter as a couple, it is better not to demonstrate romantic manifestations and passion. Do not hold hands, hug and kiss.

Authentic Jerusalem quarter Mea Shearim

You can’t point fingers at local residents, speak in a mocking and condemning tone, laugh at them, look at something outlandish. In religious quarters there are even posters with the inscription: “This is not a zoo!”

You cannot drive into orthodox quarters on Shabbat by car: they can be stoned. According to the laws of the Torah, on Saturday it is impossible to light and extinguish a fire, namely, such processes occur in an internal combustion engine.

There is no official ban on photo and video shooting, but the orthodox do not like to be photographed, they look at the photographer with a sizzling look or turn away from the camera. After sunset on Friday and before sunset on Saturday, Orthodox Jews – men in black frock coats and hats, and women in dark, covered clothing – cannot be photographed. On Shabbat, orthodoxes cannot participate in creative processes.

Disrespecting Yom Kippur
On Atonement Day, life in Israel freezes: all Jews do not work, do not drive, do not eat and do not drink. If you find yourself in a country in Yom Kippur (in September 2018 – September 19), do not resent the closed restaurants and lack of transport.

Fasting Yom Kippur

Better not plan trips that day, buy food the day before, or find an Arabian restaurant.

Taking photographs of strategic military installations
If you photograph a military facility in Israel, certain areas of the airport and its employees, a power plant or port facilities, be prepared for the fact that a person will come up to you and ask you to remove the photos from the camera or phone.

Strategic military installations

Also, people with cameras are not allowed into some shopping centers, but the Israelis themselves consider the ban on shooting in shopping centers to be illegal.

Show cruelty to children
In Israel, children are equated with national heritage. In Orthodox families, there can be 10-15 children, and this is considered normal. It is forbidden to apply both physical and psychological violence to children.

Adults must tolerate inappropriate child behavior

If a child behaves inappropriately, adults must endure. Seeing that you are punishing your child, the Israelis can make a rude remark to you.
Talking on forbidden topics with Israelis
Most of the inhabitants of Israel are friendly, funny and easy-to-talk people, but there are topics that are better not to touch in conversation with them.

1. “There are good people among Arabs.” Even if you have a wonderful friend from Iran or Syria, it does not mean at all that he is kind to the Israelis as he is to you: the genetic memory and the influence of the media are affecting.
2. Business conversations on Shabbat. If your interlocutor is a religious Jew, you cannot talk to him on business topics on Saturday, including discussing what should be done after the Sabbath is over.
3. Anti-Semitism. No need to talk with the Israelis that the whole world supposedly hates them. Firstly, this is not true: Jews are not loved only in religious Muslim countries. And secondly, after such statements you run the risk of being in the police department.

Exercise aggression or sarcasm against security personnel
Security officials may well have a good sense of humor, but they have no right to demonstrate it at work.

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