Ra’anana City Hall is compelling a food vendor operating at the city pool complex to open on shabbos to accommodate city residents wishing to avail themselves of the pool and its services on shabbos, the daily HaMevaser reports.
A Meretz Party city councilman sent a letter to the city inquiring as to the kiosk/restaurant operating at the pool site. The response explained that one of the terms set forth to applicants in the kiosk tender at the pool was that the restaurant must operate every day without exception.
Meretz Councilman Tzvi Nadav Russler wrote that the closure of the restaurant on shabbos limits the pleasure of residents using the pool and it is also a blatant violation of the terms of the tender. “As a councilman and one who uses the municipal pool I am asking that you compel the restaurant owner to operate on shabbos or alternatively, to revoke his license to operate and give the vendor slot to someone else, one willing to comply with the terms. It is our obligation to provide visitors to the pool a comprehensive service package which includes weekends”.
Religious city councilmen are angered over the letter; for they feel secular coercion compelling chilul shabbos is unacceptable. According to Arutz-7, which broke the story, the owner of the kiosk/restaurant explained that his terms of operation do not include working on shabbos but rather operating on shabbos is optional. Nevertheless, after being requested to do so the owner has decided to begin opening on shabbos as well.
The owner added that until now he did not operate on shabbos but he plans to do so beginning this coming shabbos. He explained that finding workers for shabbos is also somewhat of a challenge but he plans to open in order to comply with the request and provide maximum service.
When asked to comment by HaMevaser officials in City Hall tied to the chareidi councilmen explained that a solution is in the works and they prefer not to discuss the ongoing efforts in the media at this time for fear those efforts might be compromised.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)