Rabbi: Kotel cameras desecrate Shabbat

A leading Israeli rabbi has declared the Western Wall off limits to the faithful on the holiest day of the week because of security cameras that he says desecrate the Sabbath.

The trouble at the wall is with technology, said Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, a 100-year-old rabbinical authority widely revered among ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Eliashiv says those coming into view of the closed-circuit surveillance cameras activate a light inside the devices, violating the prohibition on operating electronics on Shabbat.

The rabbi overseeing the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, said he and the Jerusalem police were working to fix the problem. — ap