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Rishon L’Tzion City Hall Approves Chilul Shabbos

The battle to permit Chilul Shabbos is R”L gaining momentum, first in Tel Aviv exclusively, but now, attracting Rishon L’Tzion, Givatayim, Holon, Herzliya and other cities. It appears that after the High Court of Justice ruled the supermarkets operating in Tel Aviv on Shabbos, may continue doing so, other cities around the country feel they wish to follow suit, to permit the limited opening of businesses on Shabbos, and even to offer limited public transportation.

The Chilul Shabbos that was approved in Rishon L’Tzion includes business owners will be able to operate on Shabbos in industrial areas and central streets, including Jabotinsky, Herzl, Rothschild and Jerusalem. The next meeting of the Council will discuss the hours of activity in the main streets.

This is not a new initiative, since last May Mayor Dov Tzur has been working to change the situation in the city. A team that was appointed set up an extensive program that would enable the change of local law to preserve the existing situation in the city. “Since Rishon L’Tzion has few businesses operating on Shabbos, the effect of the amendment is not supposed to disturb those who are Shomer Shabbos,” the municipality noted.

Cities including those mentioned above are racing against the clock, seeking to amend they bylaws before the chareidim pass the Shabbos Bill into law in Knesset. The latter empowers the Minister of Interior, in this case, Shas’ Aryeh Deri, to determine which stores if any may operate on Shabbos. His office will legally overpower the desire by local officials to amend city regulations. However, the bill will not be retroactive, hence the rush to change city ordinances as quickly as possible. The chareidim have enlisted the required support to pass the bill into law as per coalition agreements promising to preserve the Shabbos status quo.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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