Staunch Campaign to Prevent Food Stores from Opening on Shabbos

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ampm.jpg“The terrible breach effected by opening stores on Shabbos Kodesh, thereby desecrating and trampling over Shabbos, cannot and should not be overlooked. We have decided to wage a determined battle using all the means at our disposal,” declared Vaadas HaRabbonim Lemaan Kedushas HaShabbos this week.

The notice was a pointed reference to the AM/PM chain of convenience stores owned by businessman Dudi Weissman, who has already opened a number of stores on Shabbos and has plans to reach a total of 50 stores in the Gush Dan area. His declarations — and even worse, his actions — cause a horrendous breach in the walls of Shabbos that cannot be ignored, said the rabbonim.

“An even greater peril is that this could drag other competitors into the circle of those who desecrate Shabbos against their wishes, and this is a great sin that cannot in any way be tolerated,” said Vaadas HaRabbonim. Recently a group of grocery story owners filed a petition demanding that the City of Tel Aviv and the Ministry of Industry and Trade enforce the Work and Rest Hours Law, instead of allowing chains to operate seven days a week.

The storeowners claimed that their livelihood is being destroyed due to a lack of equal opportunity. “We don’t want them to allow us to open on Shabbat, too, because we don’t want to work on Shabbat,” note the storeowners. Even the owner of City Market, which operates two large stores one of which is open on Shabbos Rachmono litzlan, says he decided to open on Shabbos only because of the competition with the large supermarkets nearby.

This breach is exceedingly grave, says Vaadas HaRabbonim, which hopes someone capable of appealing to Mr. Weissman’s better sensibilities and changing his ways will step forward and succeed in putting a stop to the damage. If he persists his plan will not be met with silence. Shabbos-observant Jews, Jews who throughout the generations made great sacrifices for the sake of kedushas Shabbos, will not remain indifferent and complacent in the face of such a blow to the sanctity of Shabbos.

(Yated Ne’eman Staff for Dei’ah veDibur)

8 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s tackle another symptom without addressing the disease. The real issue is not that stores are opening on Shabbat. The real issue is nto really chilul Shabbat either. The real issue is the complete disconect between the religious and secualr populations in Israel. Time once was that most non-religious Jews in Israel were willing to accept certain curtailments of lifestyle out of respect for the sensibilities of the religious communmity. In turn the critical mass of religious Jews, chareidim included, made very few such demands. Such compromises could be made because secular Jews still had a sense of Jewish ideneity, even t it was divorced from religiosity, and relgious Jews had an equally strong sense of Jewish community which included even the non-religious. Both mindsets have eroded and disappeared. Chilinim don’t consider themsev’es Jewish and the dati’im and chareidim don’t consider chilonim to be worthy of real inclusion in k’lal Yisrael. Of course we consdier them Jews in the techinical and theological sense, but we don’t, by and large, take them seriously as people and rather we look for ways to avoid them entirely. The opposite of love is not hate; it’s ambivalence, and that is what prevails on both sides of the fence.

  2. It is very sad that this man, Dudi Weissman, does not appreciate the gift of Shabbat, or that when you serve Hashem, He looks out for you.

    When my husband became ba’al t’shuvah, and stopped working on Shabbat, all his old friends questioned him or told him he was crazy. A gifted musician not working Friday nights? Not Saturday nights half the year? Then no more concerts in church halls? What, now no mixed weddings either?, then … nu, you weren’t already in danger of starving, they said??

    Well first of all, he received Shabbas and closeness to HaShem instead, which is priceless. Nothing compares. And then, through real frumkite, we also found each other.
    But the “funny” part is, his income never decreased- it stayed the same, and then even increased as he took on more, “supposedly limiting” mitzvot. Baruch HaShem. Money is certainly needed in life, and we appreciate it, but we need to remember it is NOT the focus of our lives.

    As Jews we are all responsible for each other, and can not stand by while Mr. Weissman ignores Shabbat. Of course we have to speak up. But I think everyone involved in this unfortunate matter will resolve this more quickly if they focus on the fact that closing for Shabbas is to serve HaShem, and to strengthen ourselves as Jews at a time when this is sorely needed, and NOT for the purpose of avoiding unfair competition.

    But we can also remember an aveira is a distancing of oneself from the Creator, which also distances one from His people. And if an owner is so completely driven by profits in all his decisions, that he can not hear the value of Shabbat, probably his business decisions and the quality of the goods he sells will reflect this, further distancing him from his customers.

    In the end customers prefer an owner who provides honest inventory & responsible service, and what better example of that midot than observing Shabbat? The other stores should be reminded of these issues, to not allow themselves to be mislead into false competition on Shabbat.

    I pray that Mr. Weissman should come to see that closing for Shabbas is the better business decision for both the world to come AND this world. Does anyone know his Hebrew name?

  3. fOR SOME VERY STRANGE REASON, NO MENTION IS MADE HERE THAT MR. WEISSMAN IS ALSO THE OWNER OF SHEFFA SHUK, A LARGE SUPERMARKET CHAIN THAT IS MARKETED SOLELY TOWARDS THE CHAREIDI PUBLIC. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT A SANCTION ON SHEFFA SHUK HAS NOT BEEN IMPOSED, AS OUR MONEY IS BEING USED IN HIS SHABBOS TRAMPLING INVESTMENTS. FURTHERMORE, THERE HAS BEEN A HORRIBLY LARGE AMOUNT OF COVERUP ABOUT THIS FACT GOING ON IN THE CHAREIDI MEDIA. FOR MORE INFO REFER TO ARBA KANFOS – SHOFAR NEWS.

  4. I would like to ask and request that those readers/commentors who are unfamiliar with life in Eretz Yisroel today and all of the local issues, please control your thoughts, and don’t release your critical statements. this is a basic:אל תדן את חברך עד שתגיע למקומו!!!!!!!!!!!!! (this ugly phenomenon was also seen in relation to mehadrin busses, here on YWN)

  5. “Time once was that most non-religious Jews in Israel were willing to accept certain curtailments of lifestyle out of respect for the sensibilities of the religious communmity”
    this statement is false.
    in the beginning of the zionist regime, ben gurion agreed to status quo, saying “in a few years there’ll be no more religios people at all. so why wage war now?”

    the relegious persecution at that time is unfathomable.

  6. I don’t think you’re right KSN. The fact was that the non-religious Jews accepted things like not Shabbat bus service, no radio service, no television service on Shabbat with a fair amount of sanguinity. Remember that for many years the sale of pork was illegal. I believe that they did so out a nostalgic respect for religious observance. After all many of those chilonim came from religious houses or were at most one or two generations removed from Orthodoxy. In the Orhodox world, narishkeit like gender separated busses or eparate chareidi bus lines and the isolationhist mentality that creates it, was unthinkable. Moreover, chareidim took a blind eye to stores open on Shabbt so long as they were not in chareidi neighborhoods. There was a prevailing attitude of “live and let live” That eroded as the status qup become more and more expensive on both sides.