What's going on?
An Orthodox Jewish congregation is being blocked from worshipping by the city of Dallas because their meetings supposedly don't comply with city parking regulations … even though the congregants are required by their faith to walk on the Sabbath.
Give me the details:
- Congregation Toras Chaim has been worshipping in a north Dallas neighborhood since 2011. The 20 or so members of the congregation purposely moved to the same community so they could live within walking distance from their meeting place and not violate their consciences by driving on the Sabbath.
- The community homeowners association was aware of their weekly meetings and didn't treat Congregation Toras Chaim differently from any other gathering of neighbors. But in 2013, a disgruntled neighbor created a problem by suing the congregation. Since then, Rabbi Yaakov Rich's car has been vandalized multiple times with spray-painted swastikas.
- The congregation won the lawsuit against the HOA; however, the members are again in limbo because of continued litigation with the city. The Dallas Board of Adjustment has refused to waive regulations requiring parking even though the congregation doesn't drive on the Sabbath.
"If the church goes out, you all have to move," Glenn explained the high stakes of this religious freedom fight on today's show. "You all have to change schools with your kids; you have to change your entire life just because one guy says, 'I don't want you in my neighborhood.'"