Knesset aide nudged by early morning tefillin SMS

Female assistant to MK Gilon devises novel solution to stop daily messages by putting on the phylacteries.

June 9, 2011 03:06
1 minute read.
Lior Finkel wears tefillin

Lior Finkel 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

For the past three weeks, Lior Finkel hasn’t needed to set an alarm clock – she’s gotten a wake-up SMS at 7 a.m. each day. Finkel, an aide to MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz), and many other parliamentary aides have been receiving daily text messages from an organization whose goal is to encourage Jews to put on tefillin in the morning.

Finkel said she considered the messages harassment, and reported “The Light for Tefillin,” the organization responsible for them, to Knesset security and the police.

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“Beginning in the middle of May, I received messages at 7 every morning – except Saturday – telling me to put on tefillin and bring redemption,” Finkel said. “I sent an SMS asking whoever is sending it to stop, but I was ignored, and when I called, no one answered.”

Finkel later discovered that many other parliamentary aides with cellphones provided by the Knesset were receiving similar early-morning messages, and the group of aides filed a complaint with Knesset security.

“Security told us to go to the police, and the police said that there was nothing illegal about the text messages,” Finkel said. “It can’t be that someone can systematically harass people like this without consequences.”

Finkel and her fellow aides notified “The Light” that they would be suing the organization, but the messages kept coming, until she came up with a creative solution.

“I decided that I’d had enough, and I sent a message saying: ‘I put on tefillin, now leave me alone,’ along with a picture of myself, a woman, wearing tefillin,” Finkel said.

“The next day, the harassment stopped,” she said. “I guess they were right – I put on tefillin, and redemption came.”

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