In an interview with Yediot Achronot for the weekend edition, the portion revealed on Thursday include statements from Shas chairman Aryeh Deri that despite what is believed, he did not initiate the Shabbos/Makolet Bill, which empowers the Interior Minister to shut businesses on Shabbos which have been granted permission to open by local government.
Deri added that he has always felt “nothing is accomplished by coercion or legislating religious law,” adding “I don’t need this law and I cannot and do not plan to enforce it”. Deri feels the opening of a grocery store in Ramat Gan or elsewhere is a local matter and it is not for him to become involved. He referred to the new law as the Litzman Law.
Regarding reports that he pressured MK Yehuda Glick to come and vote for the bill immediately after burying his wife, Deri stated that the Rav of Otniel, HaRav Re’em HaKohen Shlita ruled halachically, Glick may vote, “But each person must act how he feels” asking their rav, and Glick did not, but went home to sit shiva. Deri stated he would have voted in Knesset if in that situation, getting up from shiva.
Responding to the interview, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said, “I do not agree with him and if it [the bill] is so hard for him, why did he run with it to the end? I believe it is correct and it can be enforced, and it protests the religious status quo which was compromised”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)