There have been shouts of opposition, protests, a large atzeres tefilla, and meetings to persuade operators of the Big Center shopping mall in Ashdod to close its doors on Shabbos. The center recently began operating on Shabbos and the decision is spreading to a growing number of businesses that are now R”L violating Shabbos.
The city’s rabbonim shlita have met as has the rabbonim of the Badatz Eida Chareidis and the decision was made to launch a chareidi boycott against Big Centers around the country if Ashdod does not decide to shut its doors as demanded.
A letter has been sent, a final warning to the mall’s directors, from an attorney representing the chareidi tzibur. The letter explains that if the shopping center does not close its doors on Shabbos and Yomtov, it will face a nationwide boycott of the chareidi tzibur and in the end, the loss will far outweigh the gains of chilul Shabbos.
Attorney Avi Edri who represents the Vaad L’Maan Shabbos sent letters to 40 companies including the directors and investors in the Big Center chain. The letter explains the shopping center that operates on Shabbos is about a kilometer (6/10 mile) from the chareidi neighborhood and its continued Shabbos operation will not be tolerated. It is explained that failure to shut its doors on Shabbos will result in the boycott as well as the many significant chareidi investors in the company will divest. Such actions they warn may result in a “domino effect” that could result in significant loss for the company and its shareholders.
The letter that was sent this week stipulates the company is now given a final two-week warning period to act in compliance or face the consequences.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)