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Today’s blacklisted American: California city harasses Rabbi for having guests over for dinner

Beverly Hills: Where Jews are forbidden to pray
Beverly Hills: Where Jews are forbidden to pray

They’re coming for you next: The headline above is literally true, though you need to know a bit about Judaism, especially Orthodox Judaism, to understand what I mean exactly.

The story is this: Because Rabbi Levi Illulian, like all Orthodox Jews, routinely invites friends and acquaintances to join his family for Friday night dinner and Saturday lunch at his home during the weekly Saturday Sabbath, officials in Beverly Hills in California sent him a “notice of violation” on June 12, 2023, telling him that these dinners must cease, and ordered him to “terminate all religious activities” that included any “non-residents.” It also threatened him with civil and criminal proceedings if he didn’t stop praying with friends in his home.

It appears that the city’s actions were instigated by the complaints of one unnamed neighbor. As described in the letter [pdf] sent by Illulian’s lawyers to the city in response to its notice of violation, after receiving those two complaints in February and March about parking, trash, and noise, the city instituted an investigation that involved stake-outs of Illulian’s home and the use of drones over his property (without a warrant) in which city officials “not only tallied the number of individuals and cars coming and going from the Home, but also photographed Rabbi Illulian’s guests.”

Such weekly dinners by religious Jews routinely involve ten to fifteen people, partly because religious Jews generally have a lot of children and because they tend to live in tightknit communities centered on their synagogue, which they must walk to for Saturday services because religious Jews are not allowed to drive on the Sabbath. As the press release notes from Illulian’s team of lawyers (that include the non-profit legal firm First Liberty):

The Orthodox Jewish faith requires adherents to observe Sabbath—the Jewish day of rest that lasts from sundown on Friday evening through nightfall on Saturday night. During Shabbat, members traditionally join their family and friends to recite prayers and for meals prepared in accordance with their religious beliefs. Because their faith teaches to “make the Shabbat a delight,” many members of the Orthodox Jewish community tend to gather at the home of a family member or friend.

My brother and his wife are Orthodox, and I have attended many a Sabbath at their home. Rarely were there less than ten people at the dinner on Friday heralding the start of the Sabbath, or at lunch on Saturday, when many friends from the synagogue would show up after being invited at the services just prior.

These meals however are not religious ceremonies like a service at a church or synagogue. They are private dinners in the person’s home, not unlike a Thanksgiving meal except that religious Jews do this almost every weekend, and also include with the meal certain required pre- and post- meal prayers.

For the city of Beverly Hills to demand that Illulian and his family and guests cease such private religious activity is such a violation of the first amendment that it boggles the mind. What makes the demands of the city even more egregious is that it has no problem with private poker parties or non-Jewish dinner parties. In fact, it seems the city wouldn’t care if Ilulian held regular gatherings for people to gamble.

To pray however? How dare they!

Illulian’s lawyers made it clear that if the Beverly Hills officials continued to threaten Illulian in this manner, they would be sued for violating numerous civil rights laws as well as the Constitution, and would held personally liable for damages in those lawsuits.

We shall see if this threat has any impact on the thugs running Beverly Hills.

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  • Milt

    There is another, far more serious take-away from this that most people are still not understanding. As egregious — and obvious — a violation of the First Amendment as this is, what is *behind* such actions is even more disturbing. Or at least it ought to be.

    The Powers That Be on the radical left are now pretty much open in their hatred and contempt for Christians and Jews*, and they are coming closer and closer to declaring that any religious activity of this sort constitutes “hate speech,” if not domestic terrorism, and it should be treated as such by the authorities. While Jews should be all too familiar with such pogroms, Christians, as a whole, probably have no concept of what is happening, and they may scoff at such warnings at their peril. As I have pointed out in the past, the BBC series — broadcast here (ironically enough) by PBS — on the Rise of Hitler is completely explicit in the way that the Nazis infiltrated and co-opted every institution in Germany and began a calculated, step by step campaign to defame and then destroy the Jewish population. Does anyone still think that it can’t happen here?

    *And apparently Muslims as well:

    Collectively, The People of The Book constitute one of the last institutions in America that stand in the way of the leviathan secular state seizing total and absolute power, and it has no illusions about what must be “done” to secure its victory over them. Will we allow this to happen?

  • M Puckett


  • GeorgeC

    This is short with good references to the import of having at least 10

  • Related:

    “If I asked you this big picture question: What do you believe the Constitution is fundamentally about?

    Think about that question and see if you can fundamentally answer it from your current understanding and perspective. What exactly is the Constitution really about and what does it attempt to accomplish? What do you think?” ………………………….read the rest below.

  • Ferris

    And to think that many still believe Orwell’s “1984” could never happen.

    These actions by the government of Beverly Hills are a preview of the coming days of something akin to Big Brother.

  • Jeff Wright

    Snobs… homeowners associations… everyone wants in each other’s business

  • The 2023 – 2024 annual city budget for Beverly Hills, CA, is $636.8M. I would call that a floor for damages sought.

  • James Street

    The evil child raping satanists hate God and His people. Remember during covid when they allowed bars to open but not churches because “singing spreads covid”.

    “Is Singing Together Safe In The Era Of Coronavirus? Not Really, Experts Say”
    “The CDC issued a report about the group in May, writing: ‘SARS-CoV-2 [COVID-19] might be highly transmissible in certain settings, including group singing events.'”

  • Col Beausabre

    And to think that many still believe Orwell’s “1984” could never happen.

    Worse, even more think it warns of a rightwing dictatorship.

    (The scales fell from Orwell’s eyes when he served with the International Brigades in Spain)

  • Edward_2

    This is a case destined for the US Supreme Court.

  • markedup2

    This is just crazy, Jewish or otherwise. I had monthly dinner parties for this many people for twenty years (probably only around 200 of them; we did cancel on occasion). It’s my home. I’ll invite whomever I please whenever I please.

    What do you believe the Constitution is fundamentally about?
    Does it matter if no one is heeding it?

    It is fundamentally about limiting government. I’m very glad that those who apposed the Bill of Rights as being unnecessary lost that argument. Our government would have gone off the rails much sooner had those amendments not been there. Of course, even the people who wrote the thing violated it when they were in office, so it’s always been more aspirational than actual, but we used to at least pretend it mattered.

  • sippin_bourbon

    The early Christians held services in homes, basements, catacombs, in hiding, all to avoid persecution and death. They idea of prayer in the home and in private gatherings was key to the early survival and growth of the early church.

    The fact that the extreme left has chosen this path may be an attempt to preempt such activity. To set a precedent that this kind of activity should be suppressed with the force of law.

    Even today, as Catholic, I have seen the prejudice and experienced attempts to suppress us. I will not compare what modern Christians must endure to The Shoah. But the left sees organized religion and orthodox faiths as an obstacle to their agenda. I see this action as a key skirmish in the fight.

    Out side of California, any order that includes the language “terminate all religious activities” should be an instant slam dunk. It should not be a SCOTUS case. It should never reach that far. Anywhere but California.

  • 370H55V I/me/mine

    What’s particularly interesting is that almost every single mayor of Beverly Hills since 2000 has been Jewish as well. The contempt held by secular Jews toward their Orthodox brethren is well known and of long standing (and as a Tribe member myself I have observed this for years).

    Why the city’s rulers are so intent on persecuting their own people should thus not be a surprise. However, the Orthodox will have the last laugh, as their patriarchal society produces lots of kids who stick with the program, while the rest of us intermarry and have few or no kids while we obsess over trannies, feminism, and “climate change”.

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