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Jakarta Post

Indonesian Jewish community unfazed by Israel travel ban

  • Karina M. Tehusijarana

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, June 6, 2018   /  01:52 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Church of Nativity, Bethlehem.(Shutterstock/eFesenko )

While many Christians and Muslims in the country have expressed their dismay at Tel Aviv’s decision to ban Indonesian tourists from entering Israel, members of the small community of around 250 Indonesian Jews remain mostly unfazed. Rabbi Yohannes Elias of the Eits Chaim Indonesia foundation, which promotes understanding of Judaism, regretted the travel ban for its impact on Christian and Muslim pilgrims from Indonesia, but said that it would have little impact on the Indonesian Jewish community. Though Jewish people consider Israel to be their ancestral land, Yohannes maintained that Jews do not have any religious obligations to visit Israel at this time. "In Judaism, there are three holy days that require Jews to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem – Pesach, Sukkot and Shavuot – but that is only required once the Holy Temple is rebuilt," he said, referri...