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Dati Leumi Community Wants Shabbos As Much As The Chareidim, But…

shabbosMost of the dati leumi community, 80%, is willing to compromise Shabbos for as long as the religious status quo is maintained, a statement some might label an oxymoron.

A new poll released shows the religious Zionist community is confused and embarrassed in light of its position on Shabbos in Israel.

The poll was conducted by Dr. Ido Lieberman of the Western Galil College, reporting over 80% of the dati leumi tzibur in Israel favors continuing the so-called religious status quo while giving authorization for essential Shabbos work, such as the recent dispute surrounding Israel Railway’s Shabbos maintenance. In addition, the poll shows over 80% feel it is time to turn a blind eye to some entertainment facilities operating on Shabbos while maintaining the status quo.

This community feels a social agreement must be achieved, an agreement that would include an element of flexibility regarding shmiras Shabbos, however it points out this same tzibur is overwhelming opposed to public chilul Shabbos or public transportation on Shabbos. In fact, 82% oppose buses on Shabbos while only 47% are opposed to stores opening on Shabbos.

Dr. Lieberman, a sociology researcher at the Western Galil College explains the contradiction. “Among this tzibur there is confusion and embarrassment regarding public Shabbos as a result of the tensions from within the community. On the one side, observing Shabbos is a value that has been observed by Am Yisrael and guides the Jewish People in its homeland as well as the recognition of the reality of Israel, the needs of the secular public maintaining unity of the people of Israel and national strength.

The poll reveals a large number of dati leumi is willing to make concessions regarding Shabbos as a necessary step towards preserving the overall character of the public areas.

In fact, only 35% of the dati leumi community backs Interior Minister Aryeh Deri’s recent zero tolerance to chilul Shabbos policy be stepping up enforcement. 33% of this same community opposes Deri’s plan.

Age plays a major role as persons polled ages 16-30 are far more in favor of concessions towards the secular community on Shabbos while that number drops significantly among the 51+ group.

The bottom line is the report states observing Shabbos is at the heart of the dati leumi community which simultaneously remains concerned over a split with the non-religious community.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

4 Responses

  1. February 21st, 2012

    Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau Shlita .

    “I have a feeling of deep disappointment and much pain upon hearing of the Tel Aviv/Jaffa City Council’s decision of last night to recommend operating public buses on Shabbos,” the rav said. “This is a significant blow to Kedushas Shabbos which is a remembrance of the creation, the exodus from Egypt, the day of rest and the day of spiritual elevation and family cohesion”.

    The rav added the decision is a blow to the 103 year history of the city which was established as the first Jewish city, and it is synonymous with personalities such as the first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, Ehad HaAm and Chaim Nachman Bialik, who did so much to maintain the character of Shabbos in the city.
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    Operating buses on Shabbos is a violation of the long-standing status quo upon which the state was founded added the rav. He concluded by saying “I turn to Mayor Ron Huldai, who was supported by thousands of Shomer Shabbos voters, please, reverse your decision and don’t contribute to extinguishing the Shabbos candles. I also turn to the ministers of the interior and transportation to prevent this serious breach towards continued shmiras Shabbos”.

    Rav Lau spoke with Israel Radio and when asked what he has to offer for the many Israelis who do not have a car, he explained that “We must do something to earn calling Israel a Jewish State, and this entails not running public transportation. He added that when the decision was made decades ago, there were fewer people with private vehicles but the nation’s leaders understood the need of preserving the Jewish character of the state”.

    Rav Lau explained that in Paris, one does not find a club operating on Sunday. “Each state has its character and one who moves to Tel Aviv knows in advance there is no public transportation. We must define what the state is and this includes defining what is meant by a Jewish state”.

  2. ACCording to the Religious Zionists founders, israel is supposed to be all about the community, Galut about the individual. That is why TODAY we have a centralized control,

  3. This is nothing new. I have met in America liberal Modern-Orthodox Jews who, to the best of my knowledge keep Shabbos, but support liberal things like gay marriage and so forth. They accept the Torah, but the Torah does not guide their conscience.

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