‘Praying in Riyadh towards Jerusalem’ – Israeli minister reads from Torah in Saudi Arabia

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi sends Sukkot greetings to Jews, prays from Torah in Saudi hotel.

By World Israel News Staff

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi read from the Torah alongside other Jewish guests in his hotel in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning, signaling the growing closeness of a normalization agreement between the two countries.

Karhi posted pictures to his X account depicting him reading from a Torah scroll, as well as shaking a lulav (a frond from the date palm tree).

“Even here in Riyadh we had the privilege of praying with the windows open in the direction of Jerusalem. Happy holiday,” Karhi wrote as a caption to the images, alongside emojis of the Saudi and Israeli flags.

The minister is currently in the Gulf Kingdom on the heels of ongoing peace negotiations between Riyadh and Jerusalem.

Karhi is scheduled to attend the Universal Postal Union’s Fourth Extraordinary Congress later this week, alongside Knesset Economic Committee Chairman MK David Bitan.

The conference is focused on the future of international mail services.

Upon arriving in the country on Monday evening, Karhi wrote that “our faces are turned towards peace.”

He added that he and the rest of the Israeli diplomatic delegation “will meet with representatives from around the globe and we will bring peace closer between Israel and Saudi Arabia.”

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The fact that Karhi openly engaged in Jewish prayer and posted the pictures on his public social media account demonstrates a market shift in Saudi Arabia’s attitude towards Judaism.

Traditionally, the Gulf country has not only forbidden Israeli visitors, but tourists of Jewish origin.

In 2004, when Saudi Arabia began granting tourist visas to non-Muslims, a senior official specifically said that Jews would not be granted permission to enter the country.

Hebrew-language media recently reported that the Gulf Kingdom is quietly removing antisemitic content within its educational curriculum and textbooks, ahead of a likely normalization agreement with Israel.