The Moetzas Chachmei HaTorah of the Shas party is going to convene to discuss the planned signing on Wednesday, 11 Kislev, of permits at the Prime Minister’s Office which will once and for all make soccer matches on Shabbos legal in Israel.
Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Shlita has spoken out against this, warning it represents a grave move, one far more serious than the Chilul Shabbos by Israel Railways. Rav Yosef explains when it comes to the railway, only a small number of Jews are Mechalel Shabbos and many workers are goyim. He adds that when one sanctions soccer on Shabbos, he is also going to pull in so many thousands of Sephardim who will R”L drive to see matches and this is avoidable by not legalizing soccer on Shabbos.
The matter began when some frum players petitioned the High Court of Justice, seeking to have the matches moved to weekdays. While soccer has been played on Shabbos in Israel for decades, now, for a first time, the government will be ‘machshir the sheretz’ by making it legal, having the Ministry of Labor issue permits for soccer players to ‘work’ on Shabbos.
The chareidi Ashkenazi parties seem to view this as a fait accompli but Shas’ rabbonim are unwilling to sit by and permit this to occur.
MK Yoav Ben-Tzur of Shas told Kikar Shabbos News the Torah Council awaits the return from abroad of Rabbi Shimon Ba’adani Shlita and Rabbi David Yosef Shlita, and then it will convene.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)