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Israel’s High Court Gives Green Light For Chilul Shabbos In Tel Aviv

A three-justice panel of the High Court of Justice on Wednesday 23 Nissan gave a green light to Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai to permit supermarkets to open on Shabbos R”L. Justices Esther Hayut, Dafna Barak-Erez and Chief Justice Miriam Naor ruled on the matter.

A special government committee has already recommended the move, but Interior Minister Aryeh Deri has not given the go-ahead. Hence, the decision has been delayed by the bureaucratic realities of the chareidi parties seeking to avoid playing a role in approving such a move. Hence, the High Court may have saved the coalition for if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu okayed the move, the chareidi parties would have threatened to break from the coalition. Now, they can shout while continuing with business as usual, blaming the court for the move, which is what is taking place.

The court ruled that while recognizing the significance and special status Shabbos holds for the Jewish People, a democratic society must have the right to permit local government to determine how Shabbos would be characterized and in Tel Aviv, opening supermarkets is in line with wishes of local leaders and residents.

The court ruled City Hall may move forward and it does not have to be held hostage by the Interior Minister as the matter has been in the hands of the government for over two years.

Owners of many shomer shabbos businesses are outraged for now, with more and more stores opening, they fear they will lose significant parnasa due to the court’s decision.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

2 Responses

  1. Under the historical practices of EY, there was a tacit agreement dating back to BG in ’48 with respect to government commercial activities on Shabbos in areas which had historically been shomer Shabbos like portions of Haifa and Tel Aviv versus Yerushalayim which had always been strictly shomer Shabbos. The courts are mirroring the public sentiments in those areas with respect to Shabbos observance and allowing local governments to follow the will of their constituents. For those who close on Shabbos, most believe the Ebeshter will reward them and assure their parnassah, notwithstanding “loss of business’ to those stores that remain open.

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