Religious Trampling Continues: Haifa Cable Car To Run On Shabbos Despite Zero Demand

PM Naftali Bennett (L) and Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli in the Knesset. (Danny Shem Tov/ Knesset); Illustrative. Haifa cable car running between Mt. Carmel and Bat Galim. (By Gilabrand at Wikimedia Commons)

Rabbanim in Haifa are protesting against the outrageous decision of Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli to operate the new Haifa cable car system, the Ravkalit, on Shabbos, despite the fact that there is no demand for it.

The Ravkalit’s route from the Central Bus Station to the Technion and the University of Haifa is specifically intended to serve the students of those universities, which are closed on Shabbos. Despite that fact and despite the fact that Haifa city council members have already made a decision not to operate the Ravkalit on Shabbos, Michaeli is insisting that it run on Shabbos and Yamim Tovim, in violation of Israel’s religious status quo.

The Forum of Religious Zionist Rabbanim in Haifa, headed by HaRav Elyahu Blum, issued a harsh condemnation of Michaeli’s decision. “A special status quo has been preserved in Haifa for many years regarding the operation of public transportation on Shabbat,” the statement said.

“The minister’s decision to operate the Rakavlit on Shabbat when the campuses are empty, despite the fact that its main purpose is to transport students to the universities is a provocative decision. This decision will waste resources with one goal only: to trample Shabbat in the public space using residents’ funds, in accordance with the minister’s anti-religious ideological agenda. This is chillul Shabbat for its own sake, without any logic or reason.”

A frum member of the Haifa City Council, Yoav Ramati, said: “The Transportation Minister is operating an election campaign at the expense of the air pollution of Haifa residents. The cable car which is designed to carry 2,400 passengers an hour, will travel empty for 24 hours at the minister’s whim.”

“I call on the Prime Minister to intervene in the matter and prevent the undermining of Shabbat and Jewish foundations in the public space of Eretz Yisrael.”

Haifa is a mixed city and some public transportation lines do operate on Shabbos and have done so since before the establishment of the State. However, new public transportation systems founded after the establishment of the State, such as the Carmelit, Haifa’s subway system, do not operate on Shabbos.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. I think it was the Chofetz Chayim who said that דור שכולו חייב או שכולו זכאי means that each person will be either a tzaddik or a rosho. When Moshiach comes there will be no bainonim. We see that happening.

  2. I think there would be a much bigger market for a point/counterpoint type radio show or podcast featuring (in no particular order) Giuliani/Cuomo/DeBlasio

  3. Why aren’t we upset when in the Big Apple or the Garden State ir the Sunshine State has trains running 24/7? Cuz we’re in Galus and waiting to be redeemed. SAME THING! Israel is NOT a Jewish State. Its a secular State founded on eradicating Judaism. To All you religious Zionists FACE IT!