In light of reports of increasing Chilul Shabbos in Ashdod R”L, the Pittsburgher Rebbe Shlita and the Gerrer Rebbe Shlita met to discuss the matter. The straw that broke the camel’s back in the city was the opening of major shopping centers.
Non-Jewish city inspectors were sent out by order of Mayor Yechiel Lasri, and issued warnings this past Shabbos, explaining the next time they would be fined.
Residents called on Mayor Lasri to enforce the law and prohibit stores from operating, explaining the law must be enforced equally in all sectors. Lasri expressed his willingness to cooperate.
Concerned over the deteriorating of Shabbos in the city, the Pittsburgher Rebbe, who has a sizable following in Ashdod, met with the Gerrer Rebbe on Sunday in the Gerrer Rebbe’s home in Jerusalem. Rabbi Yitzchak Goldknoff, the secretary of the Committee for Shabbos was also present for the meeting. It was decided a special committee would be formed to address events in the city vis-à-vis Shabbos. The committee will include the Pittsburgher Rebbe, as well as HaRav Shmuel Dovid HaKohen Gross (Rav of the Gerrer community in Ashdod), and Rav Goldknoff.
The message sent to Mayor Lasri is that they expect the law to be enforced by City Hall no less than any other laws towards maintaining the Shabbos status quo in the city.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)