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What not to do in Israel for tourists

Israel is a free country. You will see this after passing strict passport control at the airport and find yourself in crazy Tel Aviv, where homosexual couples and freaks of all stripes walk around the streets …

Israel is a free country

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

Walking in “indecent” clothes in religious neighborhoods
At the entrance to the religious quarters of Israeli cities hang warning signs: “It is forbidden to enter with an organized tourist group and in indecent clothing.” Ultra-Orthodox Jews have a very negative attitude towards T-shirts, shorts, short skirts and neckline. For tourists who want to see with their own eyes the focus of Israeli flavor 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. Trousers and, moreover, jeans will not work: only a wide skirt covering the knees, a loose shirt or a long-sleeved sweater can be worn in a religious quarter. Clothing should not emphasize the figure. An unmarried woman is supposed to walk with her head uncovered, but long hair should be gathered in a bun. If the woman is married, there should be a headscarf on her head.

If a woman is married, there should be a headscarf

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

Defiantly behave in a religious quarter
If you find yourself in the authentic quarter of Jerusalem Mea Shearim, do not provoke orthodox behavior unacceptable to them. If you decide to walk around the religious quarter in a couple, it is better not to show romantic manifestations and passion. You shouldn’t hold hands, hug and kiss.

Authentic Jerusalem Quarter Mea Shearim

You can not point the finger at the locals, speak in a mocking and judgmental tone, laugh at them, look like something outlandish. There are even posters in religious neighborhoods with the inscription: “This is not a zoo!”

Shabbat can not enter the Orthodox neighborhoods by car: they can throw stones. According to the laws of the Torah, on Saturday it is impossible to light and extinguish the fire, and it is these processes that occur in the internal combustion engine.

There is no official ban on photo and video filming, but the orthodox do not like to be photographed, they look at the photographer with a withering gaze 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, closed clothes — cannot be photographed. Shabbat Orthodox Christians cannot participate in creative processes.

Disrespectful attitude towards fasting Yom Kippur
On the Day of Atonement, life in Israel stands still: all Jews do not work, do not drive, do not eat or drink. If you find yourself in a country on Yom Kippur (in September, 2018 – September 19), do not be outraged by closed restaurants and lack of transport.

Post Yom Kippur

Better not plan a trip that day, buy a meal the day before or find an Arabic restaurant.

Photograph strategic military facilities
If you take a photograph of a military object in Israel, separate zones of the airport and its employees, a power station or port facilities, be prepared for the person to come and ask you to remove the photos from your camera or phone.

Strategic military facilities

Also, people with cameras are not allowed into some shopping centers, but the prohibition of filming in shopping centers is considered illegal by the Israelis themselves.

Be cruel to children
In Israel, children are equated with national wealth. Orthodox families may have 10–15 children, and this is considered normal. It is forbidden to use both physical and psychological violence against children.

Adults must tolerate children’s inappropriate behavior.

If the child is behaving inappropriately, adults must endure. Seeing that you are punishing your child, the Israelis can give you a rude remark.

Talking to Israel about taboo topics
Most of the inhabitants of Israel are friendly, cheerful and easy-to-communicate people, but there are topics that you should not touch when talking to them.

1. “There are good people among Arabs.” Even if you have a wonderful friend from Iran or Syria, it doesn’t mean that he is kind to Israelis as he is to you: the genetic memory and influence of the media have an effect.
2. Business talks on Sabbath. If your interlocutor is a religious Jew, you cannot speak with him on Saturday on business topics, including discussing what should be done after the end of Shabbat.
3. Anti-Semitism. No need to talk with the Israelis that the whole world supposedly hates them. First, this is not true: Jews are not loved only in religious Muslim countries.

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