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Saudi Arabia - Armed With His Tefilin And A Message Of Peace And Brotherhood, Israeli Man Tours Muslim Holy Sites

Published on: November 21, 2017 04:31 PM
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Ben Tzion (R) in Saudi ArabiaBen Tzion (R) in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia - What would prompt a Russian born Israeli to pair traditional Arab garb with a yarmulka and tour Muslim holy sites?
31 year old Ben Tzion told The Times of Israel (http://bit.ly/2zomQMv) that his travels through the Middle East are born of respect for other cultures and love of his fellow man. 

He sees himself as a private ambassador for the State of Israel throughout his journeys, which have taken him through Iran, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.  Despite the obvious religious differences, Tzion said that he has been received warmly.

“No one in the Arab world ever approached me with hostility,” said Tzion.  “People know that I am different. They see that I wear a kippah or a different Arab garment.  They come to me and ask me where I’m from. I tell them that I am from Jerusalem, Israel and their first reaction usually is, ‘Wow. Welcome.’”

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Tzion is careful to dress appropriately when entering Muslim holy sites.  A photograph taken last week at Islam’s second holiest site shows him wearing an Arabic garment and head covering while pointing to the Hebrew letters that spell his name on the tefillin bag he carries at all times.

“I knew I wanted to go the Mosque of the Prophet in Medina,” said Tzion.  “Obviously I would not go there in jeans. That would be disrespectful.”

Not everyone has appreciated Tzion taking his message of friendship and brotherhood to religious sites.  Video posted by Tzion to Instagram yesterday of his visit to the Mosque of the Prophet was viewed over 30,000 times and among the 3,500 comments on the footage were expressions of anger from Muslim users.  Instagram has since suspended Tzion’s account.

Tzion declined to reveal if he used his Israeli or Russian passport in his trips but said that his travels are legal, with all of the necessary documentation to enter every country.

He makes no attempt to hide his Jewish heritage or Israeli citizenship and typically times his visits with Chanukah,  seeing the holiday theme of light as a figurative way to reach out to others.  Tzion noted that he has never felt unsafe or threatened and that his message seems to resonate with the people that he meets.

“They tell me that they love Israel and the Jewish people,” said Tzion. “Among regular people there is no hatred.  I was in Beirut two weeks ago. There’s no hatred. People are friendly.”

Last winter Tzion traveled to Tehran and to Qom, a Shiite holy city, where he visited with college friends from Persia, both Jewish and Muslim.  Tzion said that Iran, with its deep historical significance, has always interested him.

“Mesopotamia was the birthplace of science and medicine and its where the Babylonian Talmud originated,” said Tzion.  “Jewish people have been there for thousands of years.”

Tzion’s Facebook page is filled with portraits taken with people he has met on his travels and bear messages of harmony and brotherhood. 

One photograph taken last week shows Tzion with his arm around a smiling Arab man in Medina along with the words, “With my dear brother Nasser number 1 #Chief in #Medina #SaudiaArabia #Jewish and #Arab #People share common #History and #Blood lineage to Abraham/Ibrahim.  With #Love and mutual #Respect, #Peace would come to the entire #MiddleEast.”



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Read Comments (15)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 21, 2017 at 04:58 PM Educated Archy Says:

The man is very naive . I will pray for his safety and for cancer and als to smite Muslims and spare us Jews

2

 Nov 21, 2017 at 05:42 PM Heeb Says:

This dude has too much time and too much money on his hands...

3

 Nov 21, 2017 at 06:19 PM alterknaker Says:

Reply to #2  
Heeb Says:

This dude has too much time and too much money on his hands...

Good luck to him, who cares, let him do as he pleases

4

 Nov 21, 2017 at 06:56 PM ubgeriser Says:

Please don't mock him, if we all would think the way he does we would be living in a better world. I would just comment the gentleman has guts and not afraid of any human beings and hope he fears only Hasem. Good luck to him

5

 Nov 21, 2017 at 07:29 PM Anonymous Says:

May Hashem watch over this fine and brave mench, and may he return safely. Incidentally, in all likelihood, he traveled on his Russian passport, as there is no way that he could have traveled where he did with an Israeli passport.

6

 Nov 21, 2017 at 07:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Educated Archy Says:

The man is very naive . I will pray for his safety and for cancer and als to smite Muslims and spare us Jews

I believe you should see someone to help you with this incoherent posting

7

 Nov 21, 2017 at 08:19 PM grandbear Says:

When I was in egypt in 1965 I found the people to be OK. however they do carry a history of jew hatred that may be discerned in talking to them.

8

 Nov 21, 2017 at 08:48 PM yamsar Says:

Reply to #1  
Educated Archy Says:

The man is very naive . I will pray for his safety and for cancer and als to smite Muslims and spare us Jews

Oooops!!! Your uninformed opinion and rants exposed.. ooooops!!

And like any other uneducated boor you stick to your line as if nothing just hit you. “Don’t confuse me with facts, I already made up my mind”

9

 Nov 21, 2017 at 09:24 PM PaulinSaudi Says:

A nice story.

10

 Nov 21, 2017 at 11:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Educated Archy Says:

The man is very naive . I will pray for his safety and for cancer and als to smite Muslims and spare us Jews

It is not the Jewish way to take joy in the suffering of others.

11

 Nov 21, 2017 at 11:49 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

It is not the Jewish way to take joy in the suffering of others.

Dovid hamelech said " בנפול איוביך שמחתי. You better believe it's the Jewish way . That's what Chanukah and Purim are about .

12

 Nov 21, 2017 at 11:52 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #8  
yamsar Says:

Oooops!!! Your uninformed opinion and rants exposed.. ooooops!!

And like any other uneducated boor you stick to your line as if nothing just hit you. “Don’t confuse me with facts, I already made up my mind”

Facts are simple . Almost all frum muslims hate us Jews and want us dead . It's merely a similar machlokes to Aguda vs nutria karta as to how to deal with the facts on the ground . But muslims hold we are evil and pray for our demise .

This man is silly and naive . No different than Weiss ilk in Iran . He is putting his life in danger .
This is not honorable .

So very sad

13

 Nov 22, 2017 at 08:02 AM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

It is not the Jewish way to take joy in the suffering of others.

Actually a correction on a prior post ( that has not yet been posted )

Dovid hamelech said " al 'tismichi" , however the medresh clearly states that wheb mordechai was rejoicing over Haman , Haman asked him about this posit and mordechai responded that its referring to enemies from within . Our Jewish enemies . But when the enemies are umos halom we do rejoice .

Look it up . The Jewish way is to rejoice when our goysha enemies are smitten . It's all over our Torah

14

 Nov 22, 2017 at 08:48 AM Meloah Says:

There were those who swam with sharks and others with sting ray, and others with killer wales; unfortunately they are no longer with us.

15

 Nov 22, 2017 at 11:57 AM yamsar Says:

Reply to #13  
Educated Archy Says:

Actually a correction on a prior post ( that has not yet been posted )

Dovid hamelech said " al 'tismichi" , however the medresh clearly states that wheb mordechai was rejoicing over Haman , Haman asked him about this posit and mordechai responded that its referring to enemies from within . Our Jewish enemies . But when the enemies are umos halom we do rejoice .

Look it up . The Jewish way is to rejoice when our goysha enemies are smitten . It's all over our Torah

lol!! Rofl!!

16

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