Chareidim in Ashdod protested last Shabbos as the ‘Big’ shopping area opened for business, breaking the religious status quo in the city. Ephraim Weber, who heads the city’s Finance Committee told the media “in addition to the chilul Shabbos, the stores are in violation of the law and it is an affront to the city’s shomer Shabbos residents”.
Rabbonim led a protest at the entrance to the ‘Big’ shopping center, calling on people to boycott the venue rather than to support those who chose to trample on Shabbos.
There is already an effort on social network called “Stopped the Chareidi Coercion” to muster support for opening businesses on Shabbos. They are calling to take control of the city and to shout “Enough of the chareidiazation of the city. We are fed up seeing small businesses, restaurants and large chain stores closed on Shabbos. The time has come for the non-religious mass masses in the city to take control and stop the negative migration”.
It is explained that generally speaking, the frum and secular residents in Ashdod maintain good relations and this campaign must be the work of radical elements.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)