THEY’RE BOTH highly trained professional musicians who bring their hugely varied repertoire to concert halls in Israel and beyond, but singer and master guitarist Rabbi Tomer Perez and violin virtuosa Alexandra Kanarit also play for pure pleasure in Zion Square, where appreciative audiences throw coins into Perez’s guitar case. They are not the only musicians who play for passersby on Ben-Yehuda Street, but they do seem to attract a greater following – perhaps because of their infectious enthusiasm for the music itself. Sometimes people in the crowd are moved to dance, and Perez, not missing a beat, gets up to dance with them.With winter on the way and the weather unpredictable, Perez and Kanarit have found it safer to go inside and will be performing for luncheon guests at the OU Center on Keren Hayesod Street on November 27. This time, they’ll be getting more than mere coinage.Admission is NIS 50 for OU members and NIS 60 for non-members.They’ll be literally stringing along with Carlebach, Broadway and the classics.SOME 150 people who live in and around Bezalel and Shatz streets near the center of town and are sick and tired of having their space invaded, especially on Shabbat when one or two coffee shops–cum- restaurants are open for business, held a protest Kabbalat Shabbat last Friday. Several city council members also attended.The protesters were also irked by the fact that when some of them gathered for prayer, they met with jeers and laughter from the patrons of the coffee shop, who photographed them while they were praying, knowing full well that this was offensive to their sensibilities.The violation of Shabbat was not the only complaint of the local residents. During the summer, residents complained about the volume of the music from the Friday concerts in the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall, but their complaints were ignored. Slightly farther afield, the Aza 40 restaurant, which is open on Friday nights and Saturdays and has a large clientele that spills over onto the sidewalk, is another target of complaints by the religiously observant to whom the restaurant is an eyesore. The law appears to be less stringent where restaurants are concerned than with Cinema City, in which all the movie banks are underground and therefore are not offensive to the eye of any haredi passerby. The Paris Restaurant at the beginning of Aza Road, in its previous Restobar incarnation, was open on Shabbat until Laurent Levy , the owner of the property, put his foot down and told the tenants that if they didn’t close on Shabbat and restore kashrut, they would have to go because if they refused to comply, he would not renew their lease.The man who pays the piper calls the tune, so they went. Under new management and renamed Paris, the restaurant is kosher and closed on Shabbat.AFTER FAILING in his bid last year to be elected Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Stav, chief rabbi of Shoham and chairman of the Tzohar association of national-religious rabbis, has consistently been at odds with the Chief Rabbinate, whose edicts he regards as not being user-friendly to Jews and would-be Jews.After coming out strongly against the refusal by the chief rabbis to recognize conversions by municipal rabbis, Stern was again critical last weekend of Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, who at the funeral of yeshiva student Shlomo Badaani, who was a victim of the terrorist attack in Jerusalem on November 5, urged Jews to desist from ascending the Temple Mount. Yosef declared that going to the Temple Mount was a religious violation punishable by death. He also implied that those who insisted on going to the Temple Mount were culpable with regard to provoking ongoing violence in the capital and the spilling of Jewish blood. Stav took offense at the statement and asserted that Yosef was mixing Halacha with politics – something that was unacceptable.EARLIER IN the month, newly elected Jerusalem Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Arye Stern hosted soldiers of the Haredi Nahal Battalion who were visiting Beit Harav Kook. Stern, who fought in the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War, told the soldiers that they were in the most suitable place in which to gain inspiration for what they were doing.Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook had advocated that defense of the country should go hand in hand with religious observance, which is exactly what haredi units in the IDF epitomize.